Week 14 – First Goodbye

David Cassidy once sang that “saying goodbye ain’t easy.” Man, was he right! This morning we sent Manuel on his way back to Berlin and Alex perfectly summarized our sentiment at dinner when he continuously asked for “Manu? Manu?”. I assume it’s going to be a couple of days until this feeling of missing an essential part of our group will disappear.

@Manuel – we thoroughly enjoyed your company. Your snoring will echo on in the woods of Jasper National Park. The local bear population will make sure to avoid you and your kin for generations to come. Your knowledge of the local craft beer scene has become exquisite. You have thwarted ice and snow in the shadow of the Columbian Icefield. You have made sure to run dry the local coffee reserves. In short: You have left your mark upon this beautiful piece of earth, as your cries of pain for repeatedly loosing at Doppelkopf continue to linger along the magnificent crests of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

You will be missed.

P.S. I am sure that Stefan, Laurens and Moritz (once he too has returned) will be happy to indulge you in your quest to continue to inflect mental pain upon yourself and provide you with an opportunity for revenge…

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There isn’t a single week without something going array with Gonki. This week the multi media system that also contains the rear camera decided to go on strike. In an attempt to check whether there are any wiring issues, we made sure to deconstruct the driver’s cab, however, without any luck. It seems, the computer itself has gone bust and will need to be replaced. Rest assured I am starting to be annoyed by the continuous ailments that I had hoped to avoid by acquiring a new instead of a used camper.

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Alex was accepted into Benni’s new kindergarten! Realizing that Alex was only one and a half months too young to be officially admitted, the Kita decided to move him to the top of the waiting list. We are truly ecstatic! This is going to be great! Thank you, Gesine, for reiterating our request with the kindergarten!

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Our week in bullet points:

  • We were appalled by the tour buses of tourists carted to – admittedly quite beautiful – Lake Louise and tried to escape the massed by hiking to the Lake Agnes Teahouse. Chilly weather made the tea and hot chocolate particularly enjoyable.
  • We made friends with 142, a grizzly bear dame that took a stroll across our parking lot with her two little cubs. A mind-blowing experience in terms of wild life viewing.
  • My parents finally joined us, and it was quite reassuring to observe that the boys acted like they had only seen them a couple of days before. Having them around has made Mieke and me very appreciative of the support system we enjoy in Berlin. Spending a night out without our two rascals for the first time in three months was incredibly liberating. Below pls find dinner with and without the boys.
  • We hiked the Wilcox Pass and marvelled at the Columbian Icefield and its glaciers. We conquered Parkers Ridge and subsequently enjoyed a BBQ dinner along the Icefields Parkway circumventing the fire ban enforced in Jasper by remaining in Banff National Park (2 km down the road from our campground).
  • We thwarted temperatures between -4 °C at Wilcox Creek Campground and 34 °C at Wabasso Campground within a time span of only 3 days.
  • We hiked the Valley of the Five Lakes and made sure to take a dip in lake number five. We spent an afternoon at Lake Annette franticly trying to escape the heat.

The next to nights, we will stay at a KOA campground (near a town and with electricity, water, showers and laundry) to prepare for our trip north, as we finally embark onto the Alaska Highway.

Can’t wait! Until next week!

Some more pictures…

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