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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The long, long journey home.

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After a great weekend of skating, we poured back on the bus for our journey home. The ceremonies ended around 5pm and we left shortly after. The plan was for us to drive all night and arrive back in Edmonton around 4am Monday morning. That was the plan anyway. We stopped in Kamploops around 8pm for a late dinner. While we were there, one of the girls on the Novice team sitting at our table got a phone call from her Mom & Dad, who were driving back to Edmonton in their own car, except that they were 4 hours ahead of us. She told her daughter that the roads ahead were very "treacherous" and to stay awake and to stay seated. My heart just sank because this in not what someone who already worries too much needs to hear. We got back on the road, and the girls put on a movie and the volume on the bus was a dull roar. I was sitting 3 rows back from the driver, and I contemplated asking Hunter to sit with me instead of at the back of the bus. The roads were not too bad until we got to Jasper. I was keeping my eye on my friend Allison, who is from Penticton, B.C., and has driven these roads many times over her 27 years of residing in Edmonton. She looked perfectly calm. I decided that if Allison was calm, then I should be calm and I stopped watching the road. Really, unless I was going to get off the bus in the middle of nowhere, how was watching the road going to help? We made it to about 20 minutes outside of Edson, when we came upon a very bad accident, and traffic was completely stopped for 2. 5 hours. Thankfully, alot of the girls slept thru this. Going to the bathroom at the back of the bus was an obstacle course. Girls were sleeping on the floor, in the aisles, under seats. Bodies were littered everywhere. We finally made it into Edmonton around 10 am, 6 hours past our original estimated time of arrival. Of course, I had been calling Ron on my cell since 4am to give him updates on our progress. He and Tyler were waiting for us in the parking lot when the bus pulled in. I went home and went to bed. I was exhausted. On Friday night we went to skating practice. I was chatting with Allison in the bleachers, as usual, when she told me that our trip was the worst she had ever seen the roads in 27 years. She didn't sleep a wink on the bus. I was so thankful that she chose not to share that information with me when we were on the bus!!!! As an endnote, the club has decided that the next time Westerns are hosted in B.C. , our club will be flying. Amen to that.

Mount Robson

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This is Mount Robson. I took this picture from the bus on the way to Chilliwack. It was a fantastic, clear view of Canada's highest peak. I am told that people who drive this route often rarely have a *clear* view of the peak, so this was a spectacular day.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Placing 3rd at Westerns.

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The big news from Chilliwack was that our team placed 3rd in the Pre-Novice category. This was an incredible feat considering that after our first skate on Saturday, the girls had a fall and we placed 7th out of 8 teams. This first skate counted for 50% of the final mark, so we did not have high hopes. But on Sunday, the girls had a clean skate with perfect unison and wonderful expression and placed 3rd overall. We were all jumping with joy. The Northern Lites had a great weekend, with 4 of 6 placing in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

chillin in chillliwack.

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We had an awesome trip to Chilliwack. Tyler & Ron drove us to the bus for 5:45 am and we were on the road by 6am. Our bus was home to the Pre-Novice, Novice & Junior Teams. It was really quite quiet as everyone was sleeping until around 8:30 am when we stoppped at Timmy's in Hinton. Of course, Hunter with the bottomless stomach, asks me if she can get "lunch"-she wants a full meal deal of a sandwich, donut and drink and it's gone before we get back on the bus. I am starting to think that if it's going to cost $20 to feed her everytime we stop, I did not bring enough money. The scenery was just incredible as we continued our trip thru the mountains. It was a beautiful clear day and the mountain views were spectacular. We arrived in Kamloops around 3:30 where we stopped at the local Mall for an hour to get some hot lunch and stretch our legs. We got into Chilliwack around 6 pm. As a side note, the other club bus, which was initially following us, but then dissapeared from view, actually broke down and did not arrive in Chilliwack until 10:30 pm. We were SO very thankful that we were not on that bus. Here is Hunter is Chilliwack. Notice the mountains nestled in the background.
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