July 8 – Saskatchewan Beach

We took a morning drive to explore some of the area north-west of Regina including the communities of Lumsden, Craven, Silton and Saskatchewan Beach.

The little town of Lumsden is perhaps like many little towns on the prairies. People going about their Saturday morning chores and such, and you could smell the aromas from the local smoke house.

Craven is much smaller than Lumsden and is the site of a Country and Western Music Festival in a couple of weeks. I was very impressed on the facilities in place to welcome about 30,000 folks in the campgrounds. I’m sure they must have a great time and make quite an economic impact on the little community.

Silton is even smaller than Craven, just a cross-roads and a handful of buildings.

By the time we reached Saskatchewan Beach it was getting close to noon and we were starting to get hungry. We were in luck! The local plumbing supply company was hosting a free barbeque so we joined the fun. Great burger and friendly people to talk to. One couple we met, Sherri Gybulski and Ron Gates, had a cabin at the lake and told us the background for the free barbeque. With the significant rainfall and high water levels for the past few years there has been considerable erosion on the shoreline resulting in many property owners loosing their docks, their foreshore and some their buildings. The local community officials required everyone to convert from the supplied natural gas line to propane. Hence, the free barbeque provided by the local plumbing company. Free enterprise in action.

Sheri and Ron at Saskatchewan Beach

As an extra item, Sherri and Ron are going to the football game this evening and they also know the Minister, Ken Cheveldayoff, whom we met on Wednesday, and further more, Ken has seats at the stadium very close to Sherri and Ron. Small world.

July 7 – Aircraft Maintenance

The hydraulic pressure switch arrived and was promptly installed. Well, the problem was partially fixed and the new switch worked better than the old one. The real culprit was the hydraulic power pack not producing enough pressure. The guys ordered the replacement and now expect the part to arrival Monday morning.

Now we look forward to unexpectedly spending the weekend here and really seeing Regina and the area.

 

July 6 – Aircraft Maintenance

We had a good flight from Parkland, AB to Regina, SK. However, on the arrival to Regina there was an issue with the indications for the landing gear. The system seemed to be running OK, but not quite. An early morning visit to Prairie Flying Service had the aircraft up on jacks in short order.

The Arrow on jacks at Prairie Flying Service

 The system was checked and parts were ordered and should arrive in a day or two. So, we had an opportunity to see some of the sights in Regina.

July 6 – RCMP Depot – Regina

RCMP Depot

I had arranged for a meeting at the RCMP Depot in Regina. That’s where all  RCMP basic training takes place, and other special training as well. Caroline Nadeau, their Media Relations person, met us along with a very smart looking constable in Red Serge. They gave us a tour of the facility and we had a few photo-ops along the way.

This is one of the older building on site. Note the initials for the Royal North West Mounted Police.
Memorial Wall with the names of the officers fallen in the line of duty.

 

Drill Hall. I am sure that many hours were spent marching to and fro; ya gotta love it.

 

RCMP Depot entrance.

July 5 – Edmonton, Alberta to Regina and the Saskatchewan Legislature

We departed early, for us, from Parkland Airport and headed to Regina, Saskatchewan. We flew right over the Edmonton International Airport then it was up to cruise altitude at 15,000 feet for a good flight with a 30 knot tailwind.

Our afternoon appointment in Regina at the Saskatchewan Legislature was to meet the Minister of Parks, Culture and Sports, the Honourable Ken Cheveldayoff.

Saskatchewan Legislature Building with the Honourable Ken Cheveldayoff, the Minister of Parks, Culture and Sports, . Photos were taken on the steps of the Legislature then the Minister gave us a private tour of the Chamber and the Premier’s office.

Saskatchewan Elected Chamber
Office of the Premier of Saskatchewan, the Honourable Brad Wall

Saskatchewan Legislature Building 

July 4 – Alberta Legislative Building in Edmonton and Leduc #1

The Alberta Legislature building in Edmonton is built along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River.  My cousin, Jack, was hosting our visit in Edmonton and he came along with us to help with the Canada Flag on the steps of the legislature. I don’t see Jack too often but when we do get together it is always nice to hear how our families are doing, and now also the grand children.

We needed a photographer and noticed a young couple in the area. He accepted the challenge and our photo was taken by Jacob. It turns out his girlfriend was from Hamilton.

Quite elaborate on the interior design with lots of marble and ornate decorations.

Several young families were visiting and it was nice to see them with the young children being introduced to the government in a friendly way. The children will not likely remember the details of the visit but may later recall that it was a good thing to do.

Many cities have various kinds of “water features” in the downtown area and are usually only for show. Edmonton allows people to enjoy the water in the reflection pool in front of the Legislature. The water appeared to be only knee deep so there was very little risk involved. The tree lined boulevard was surely welcomed by everyone on this hot summer day.

Friendly security was helpful and this fellow really seemed to enjoy being able to offer information and suggestions to all the folks that came by.

Oil, oil, oil; synonymous with Alberta. The oil industry in Alberta really began in 1947 with the discovery of oil at drill site Leduc #1. That well changed forever the economic and social development of Alberta.

The first well in Alberta to hit oil; Leduc #1

 

July 2 – Getting Ready

Taxi from downtown Victoria hotel to Victoria airport

 

flight to Abbotsford

With the Arrow safely in the hangar it was time for a tea and coffee at Tim’s. Of course, my donut of the day was Canadian Maple.

Coffee and tea at Tim Hortons

We thought it fitting the our journey begin with a stop at an iconic Canadian coffee shop. The staff were both surprised with the request and pleased being in the photo. I am sure that we will visit many Tim Hortons coffee shops across Canada and back.

 

 

 

July 1 – Parliament Buildings of British Columbia in Victoria

This morning we begin our Canada 150 Anniversary Journey with a short flight from Abbotsford to Victoria, British Columbia, to celebrate Canada Day in Victoria.

All pilots have to talk on the radio to air traffic control from time to time and the standard procedure is to use the aircraft registration letters as a call sign to identify the aircraft. For my aircraft, a Piper Turbo Arrow IV, its registration is C-GPSE and when talking on the radio I use the call sign GPSE. For this journey across the country I figured that perhaps it would be fitting if I could use a more significant call sign, considering the intent of the journey.

Last week we were at the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association Convention and Trade Show in Kelowna, British Columbia where I had the opportunity to speak with the manager of the the Nav Canada Air Traffic Control Center in Surrey, Greg Dansereau, regarding our journey. We discussed the possibility of a special call sign and came up with “Arrow 150”.

Greg took my information regarding the journey and contacted his counterparts in headquarters in Ottawa. I was super pleased when after a few days I received a letter from Nav Canada headquarters authorizing the use of the call sign “Arrow 150” for July and August. Great! Thanks Greg!

The above is a screenshot of the first flight plan that I filed using call sign Arrow 150.

After flying from Abbotsford our high school friends, Tony and Jean, met us at the Victoria Flying Club. We have known each other from our teen years and we have kept in touch, sometimes not so often, but it was sure nice to spend this special day together. Tony and Jean got married just after high school, with Jean working and Tony still going to university. None of us had any money. They couldn’t afford a photographer at their wedding and I couldn’t afford a wedding gift. I ended up taking their wedding photos and it appears that everything “developed” nicely in the end. Today, Tony was our photographer for several of the photos on this page.

There was some construction taking place on the front of the legislature building and were unable to get on the front steps of the BC Parliament Building. With all the set-up for the Canada Day celebrations, we had to settle on the grassed area to the east for our photo with the Canada Flag.

Happy Canada Day 2017!

Happy Canada Day 2017 from downtown Victoria, British Columbia.

 

 

We headed downtown and the area was bustling with folks celebrating the holiday. Without a doubt, Victoria has to be one of the most beautiful cities in Canada, or perhaps all of North America.

Harbour Air has painted one of its Turbo Otters in the Canada 150 paint scheme and we were able to capture a photo with our Canada Flag.

Here in Victoria Harbour on the west coast we dipped our Canada Flag in the water, and providing all goes well, in a month or so we dip the Canada Flag in St. John’s Harbour on the east coast.

Every where we went we saw people wearing red (Valerie and I as well).

 

The street entertainers and just about everyone had somewhere on their person.