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August 5, 2013     Times
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19 Wed morning we slept in and use golf carts as their means of boy, did it feel good. Cool and transportation. They keep the overcast here this morning. Ate streets very clean and also the . breakfast and then took a tour alleyways for people to cut-thru of the Island by van. We went from one block to the next. up into the mountains and the We ate supper and then just . higher we went the denser the people watch some morebefore . clouds with a light mist. By heading back to the hotel for.the the time we reached the airport night. Thursday morning after you could hardly see a thing, eating breakfast we took a tour This airport is for small private of the City of Avalon, which is planes, soit is very small. The where we are staying. Up and i airport is the highest point Of around and thru the winding o the island and it was also the streets. We saw the Wrigley a. turn around spot of our tour. As House that is now a bed and - we came back down the clouds breakfast. The Wrigley family started to lift and we could see purchased the controlling inter- more of the island. We saw a est of the Island in 1919. Since bison up close, a bald eagle William Wrigley Jr. also owned o u and a golden eagle, and then it the Chicago Cubs, he brought was back into town for the end them over to Catalina Island for of our tour. We spent the rest spring training for 30-seasons. of the afternoon shopping and Wrigley constructed the Cata- Just relaxing watching the boats lina Casino that houses a bail- come and go and the people, tt was so peaceful sitting there along "flae- shoreline. An inter- esting thing about the area along the shore and the shop- ping area is that no vehicles are allowed. A lot of people here room and a movie theater. Back then a Casino was a gathering place and not for gambling. During World War H the gov- ernment declared the island a federal military zone and three branches of the military set up training stations on the island. Harbors. Then we walked back an hour-cruise one way so we Today the Catalina Island Con- and boarded the boat for our tlTi'p sat back and enjoyed the trip. servancy acquired the title to back to Avalon. On the way we When we got back to Long 88 percent of Catalina Island in got to see the flying fish. Now Beach we got a cab that took order to protect and restore the these are not big kike the ones us to the Queen Mary for the land and its many varied inhab- we hear about that jump into night. We took a one-hour tour itants. The Wrigley family still boats and hit people. These of the ship and then wentto eat owns the Island. After the tour, fish are about 8-10 inches long supper Back to the cabin for we did some more shopping and have wings. They fly out the night. The cabins are very and watching people. Then late of the water; but stay close to beautiful with rich woods. The afternoon we took a boat tour the water and then dive back city of Long Beach purchased to Two Harbors. It was an hour into the water. When you first the Queen Mary as a tourist ride. They handed us rain pon- see them, they look like birds attraction. It is half times larger chos as we got on the boat. flying just above the water. We than the Titanic. During the war What should that have told enjoyed seeing these flying fish. it hauled over 16,000 soldiers us? They also said that we Then back to Avalon and bed. across the Atlantic. It is the might not need to use them. Friday is our' last day on the most people ever to cross the Well, we did. We were going Island. Ate breakfast and then Atlantic on one ship..The ship into the wind so all of the spray just walked around for a while is still a tourist attraction, but it of the water came back on us. hoping that the sun would is also a functioning hote!. They Thank goodness for the pon- come out. A little before noon, host wedding and many other chos or we would have been we rented a golf cart, for three types of receptions. drenched, as it was we were hours and drove ail around the Sat morning we are again up just a little wet. Two Harbors Avalon area. This was fun. We early to catch our flight home. is just a little village of about went up the mountain and down We arrived back in Central Illi- 200 people. They have a nice around and then up and down nois safe and sound and worn restaurant and b and a grocery some more. After this we went out But we did have a good store. We ate supper and then back to the hotel to collect our time and experienced a new we all walked to the other side luggage and called a cab to area to visit. of the Island, about half mile, take us to the boat dock for our Next year we are again back to the other harbor. Hence. Two trip back to the mainland. It is in Reno. See you then. "Welcome to Canada" Cont'd From Page 13 East of Calgary is an area known as the Badlands of Canada. Unlike the US version of the Badlands, this is distinctly different in looks and size. The real prize here is in the small town of Drumheller. Drumheller's real claim to fame is its dinosaur fields. That's right - fields. Two football sized fields of dinosaur remains were discovered in the Burgess Shale formation that is indigenous to the Canadian Rockies area. Whole herds of dinosaurs died en masse in this area and the shale's characteristics that have made the fossil remains extraordinary. Enough bone rerriains have been dis- covered to determine the size of a given species go fill in any missing pieces with casts made to scale. Everything from a tyrannosaurus rex to a woolly mammoth is on exhibit. Did you know some non- flying dinosaurs had feathers; most had clawed feet and that birds are some of their,direct modem day descendants? The supposed Loch Ness monster is really a dinosaur and the fossilized remains of one can be viewed in its own room made especially long to house its exceptional length, It's all right there at the Royal Terrell Museum. They have so many dinosaur fossils that many of the skeletons on display throughout the world were unearthed here. West of Calgary lays Banff, home of the world class Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel where the Queen stays during her Canadian holidays away from Bucking- ham Palace. Banffis also at the entrance to Jasper National Park, the Rocky Mountains and the world-renowned turquoise loch known as Lake Louise. Beyond the lake is the Ice fields Parkway and home to Columbia Ice field and its lightly tinted blue glaciers. The Rocky Mountains were still heavily blanketed with snow and the cold weather still in force which might have been the reason animal sfightings during the drive were limited to one elk, two sheep and a young black bear." Soon after entering the park we stopped for gas: The station attendant commented on my sunglasses and I happened to mention my first pair like this was lost last year when I was in the Philippines. Next thing I knew we were talking away about the Chocolate Hills and a zoo near there that keeps giant pythons. I'd had my picture taken with one of them and he excitedly showed a picture of his son in the same cage I had shared with the snake last fall. Another friendly fellow was this Filipino station attendant and again another example of what a small world itis. How does one end up in the Canadian Rockies discussing giant pythons with another foreigner? At the same time my mother was wondering if I were attempting to set the world record for time it takes to pay for gas. It's the land of opportunity here for those willing to endure the dements and have a want to work. Immigrants from Asia, Pakistan and India with an occasional American thrown in make up an unlikely combination for there to be enough people in Canada to fill the jobs. Canada is near the top of the list in the world for having the most in natural resources. A sparse native population seeking to fill the global energy needs of an ever-hungry world makes Canada much the same as the US was in its pre- industrial age when immigrants became vital t.o its growth. In my job alone I work with natives from Chile, Colum- bia, Britain, South Africa and Honduras as well as India, Pakistan, Asia and Aus- tralia. Last but not least, Canada. Growth brought me to Canada. Besides energy, the world is hungry for food and that demand grows in sync with the population. To efficiently grow that food requires fertilizer whose key com- ponedt is potash. This province contains the biggest available potash reserves in the world and now here I am on a new project for a company to design and build a mine and its process facilities. In sync with the melting pot from around the world, the project's owner is German as is the staff they sent to work locally. Their naturally overbearing bullying ways ceased to be used on me after I explained that my paternal grandmother was full-blooded German and despite my southern twang I could be just as hardheaded as them. We don't always get to pick where we want to work and these destina- tions aren't always in the garden spots of the world. But it's the little things in the places far from home that make the difference. The handshake deals and trust extended to an unknown outsider; the benevolence and warm hospitality shown by the people and at the end of the day, their small town charm. Like many reading this, I grew up in a small farm town. When I started this cross-country tour over twenty-five years ago, little did I know it would morph into an international adventure. Bigger than that, the whole idea of what a small town is and the uniqueness of life it offers was lost on an all knowing -twenty something who knew no other way of life. Somewhere along the way the all-knowing one learned how little he knew but did discover what consists of a small town's soul and that it can exist regardless of its number of occu- pant, its locale and the makeup of its people. This latest stop is no exception. I've found it in the Saskatonians as well as those like me who are so far from our homes. Friendliness and a smile know no boundaries of countries or cultures and. can help even a longhaired stranger with a southern twang relive the home- town of his youth.