Although the bus wasn’t supposed to load until 7 A.M., it was there well before that and, not surprisingly, so were the tour participants. So we were on our way at 7:15, 15 minutes ahead of schedule with all 52 passengers on board. We had 62 on the tour with some self-driving and one member from Winnipeg. After the usual stops in Edson for coffee, Valemount for lunch and Little Fort for groceries, we arrived at the Coast Sundance Lodge at around 4:30 PST. On the way, the passengers were treated to a trivia quiz about this ski tour. Esther Oaks won the bottle of wine. The quiz, and the answers were:
- How many different stamps were on the self-addressed, stamped envelopes that were included with this Sun Peaks tour applications? 22
- How many different stamps were on the tour application envelopes? 21
- How many cities are in our addresses? 6
- How many stamps were stuck upside down on the self-addressed stamped envelopes? 3
- How many people requested new badges? 13
- How many people did not include a stamped, self-addressed envelope? 7
- How many people did not put a stamp on the self-addressed envelope? 2
- How many unique return addresses were on the applications? 46
- What is the most popular first name for men on this trip? John (2)
10. What is the most popular first name for women on this trip? Joyce & Shirley (2 each).
At 6 o’clock, at the Hearthstone Lodge across the street, we all met for a welcoming party catered by the Bella Italia Ristorante. The meal consisted of salad, pasta and dessert. The wine, made in the cellars of Stony Plain and sporting a Rocky Mountain Ski Club logo on the labels, was supplied by the tour hosts and seemed to meet with the participants’ approval.
The next day, Monday, it was foggy at times but the snow was good. It was also foggy on Tuesday and Wednesday with some rain on Wednesday at the bottom but the skiing snow remained good. Since the temperature was around zero all three days, most people skied until the lifts closed.
On Wednesday, Bella Italia Ristorante catered supper with a choice of soup or salad to start, followed by pasta, chicken or pork as the main course. This was rounded off with a choice of desserts. This dinner was subsidized by the Club and seemed to be enjoyed by all.
The hotel gave us permission to store our skis in our rooms if they were in ski bags. This made the departure and loading procedures a little easier on Thursday morning.
On Thursday morning, the bus driver again arrived early, allowing us to be loaded and on our way by 7:15. We stopped at Little Fort for breakfast. Once under way, the tour hosts took lunch orders for our planned stop in Valemount and then found out, to their dismay, that there is no Rogers cell phone connection anywhere from Little Fort to Valemount. So much for planning ahead.
After stopping for coffee at Edson, we arrived safe and sound in Edmonton at around 6:30. All in all, a fun trip, due in no small part because people co-operated in many ways from loading and un-loading the bus to being patient at breaks and meals to not groaning too loudly at the jokes. It made the tour hosts’ job so much easier. A big thank you to all.
Tour hosts: Harold and Shirley Knopke