Sunday, September 14, 2008

O Canada


our home on 'native' land...

true patriot love ... in all thy 'ones' command...

with glowing hearts, we see thee rise ...

the True North strong and free ..

Welcome to Canada ...

"Home of the Silver Birch"

"Land of the Beaver" ...

Home of Canadian Tire ...
And Tim Hortons (Can't believe we didn't get
a proper picture. But this is Kamloops,
where you can bet there are many 'double doubles'
and where we definitely found one.)

Home of the Royal Mounted Police ...

Ahhhh, Canada!

It's so good to be home ...

Among our old friends ...

Where hospitality is generously offered ...

Alberta! Home of son #3 ... Timothy Reid Moffat

What a good boy, eh?

Here he is with friends and big toys...

Never too old for big toys (Dad on Tim's big bike)

Tim on his little bike...

It's parents weekend in Grande Prairie!
Elizabeth with the 'roomates' out for cheap steak night.
Tyler (left) and Eric (right)

Ready to show old Dad around the 'home base' for his work.
Schlumberger has been in the oil business for many years.

Equipment from the old days ...

Mud was a problem then .. and still is!

Today's Equipment ...

Tim is part of a 12 truck convoy that costs
a million dollars a day to hire.

They set up a truck city at old oil sites,
and with liquid nitrogen pumped into the earth,
'fracture' old wells

to open up new fissures of accessibility.
Yes, it is dangerous and not eco friendly.
Here's to energy alternatives!
(Tim fully agrees.)

A demonstration of how to put on chains quickly...

This is Tim's rig.

Mom tries to get a perspective ...

And so does Dad.

Check out these gears!

Down the highway at 'Grande Cache'.

This is the new home of Patricia Burley,
daughter of friends, Diane and Bernie Burley from Pen Lake.
She joined us for lunch in the RV.
Patricia has long been a forest fire fighter.
Currently she is with the National Parks.

So, what's a 'cache'? You're looking at one.
In the old days of trappers and voyageurs,
furs, dried and cured foods, and trapping supplies
were stored in these structures for the winter,
safe from wolverines and bears.

And speaking of National Parks...we should thank this person,
Sir Wilfred Laurier, Canada's 7th Prime Minister.
In 1905 his government created the provinces of
Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Foreseeing the future importance of preserving
Canada's natural heritage,he established
the "The Jasper Forest Park of Canada" in 1907.
Come, have a look ...

Beauty assaults you at every turn in the road.

Here, we approach Mt. Robson, dream destination
for climbers all over the world.

While there are taller mountains in North America, few offer the almost 3000m (10,000 ft) that Mount Robson offers.

View from Mt. Robson Lodge..

Mt. Robson was first successfully climbed in 1913,
when the Alpine Club of Canada held a mountaineering camp here.
Kane, McCarthy and Foster
made it up the mountain in 8 hours.
Lazier pursuits back down on the Moose River.

Welcome to the great little city of Jasper.

Okay, we're heading 15 kmstraight up now into Fiddle Valley,
amidst Palliser limestone that's 360 million years young.
We left the boat at the bottom.

People have been coming up here for years .. to soak in the beauty ...

and soak in the sulfur springs pool!

Everything old is new again!

The Eberhart-Moffats at Miette Hot Springs,
hottest mineral springs in the Canadian Rockies
@ 40 degrees (104 F)

That night at "Whistler's Campground".

Meet some fellow campers...

The first bear of 7 that we saw!

Glad we were in the truck in the presence of Mama Bear.

Have a look at the depth of snow on the mountains above.
We are beholding a 'glacier' and approaching
the Columbia Ice Fields.

Days of yore when the foot of the Athabasca Glacier
came all the way to this base.

View of the present Visitor's Centre ...

View from the Centre. See how far the glacier has receded?

The Brewster Company has long been taking people up on the glacier. Peter rode in one of these back in 1963
with his parents.

Later model ...

The classic model ...

This is was our mode of ascent.

Meet Sam,driver and ice explorer, and
a font of environmental and philosophical

All aboard!

We had to go down before we could go up!

Take a closer look. Most highways never attempt
more than an 8 degree incline.
This hill had a grade of 32 degrees.

A glacier - up front and personal...
At the apex of the continental divide,
these waters flow both east and west and
are the source of all our ground water.

And you're here with us!

Moving south down the Rockies ...

A reminder of former dangers ...


This could be 'Mt. Rundle' as we are approching Banff.

In the mid 1800's the first 'white' explorers
retraced the steps of the natives, and
looked to the west, straining their eyes to see
a route through the imposing wall of mountains.
They found their way through Bow Valley (below),
and so did the railway in 1883.

Once the mountain barrier had been penetrated,
the railway brought the adventurous and the rich
to this playground - an oasis of civilization
in this vast mountain wilderness.
Do you see what we're talking about ...
in the distance?

Look closer ...

And closer ...

Welcome the the famous ...

And just down the road and across this picturesque bridge ...
The quaint city of Banff. And nearby ...
a wonderful 3 mile hike through Johnson Canyon.

You got here a lot quicker than we did!

At the fabulous Lake Louise (in spirit with Peter's Mom).

Having left our boat again, at the 'Crossings',
we returned an hour back up the road,
heading east from the mountains on the
David Thompson Highway.

David Thompson, Canada's greatest explorer,
who opened up the continent,
charted 3.9 million square kilometers, and
traveled over 55,000 miles
(equivalent to circling the globe twice).
Though he died in obscurity, history has
raised him to prominence.
We have enjoyed reading one
of the many books that tell his colourful story.

The Conestoga carts that pulled the few goods of
settlers west.
Peter and Elizabeth at "Rocky Mountain House",
built by the Northwest Company in 1799.
David Thompson wintered here in 1801,02 & 06,
using it as a base for his discovery of the Columbia River.
For over 70 years it was the most westerly
and southerly post in the Blackfoot territory
and remained in operation until 1875.

The famous Voyageurs...

Canada's first citizens.

Canada's early four footed creatures.

A puppet show in honour of the 150th Anniversary
of David Thompson's death and the 200th
Anniversary of the crossing of the Rockies.

Ever heard of a 'Hoo Doo'? You are in the presence of one.

Aboriginal peoples used 'hoo doo' to refer to evil,
supernatural forces. Some believe hoodoos
to be giants turned to stone by the Great Spirit
due to their evil deeds.

Peter, the Giant Slayer.

"You do that hoo doo that you do so well."

Welcom to the Royal Tyrrell Museum at Drumheller ..
both a place of display and a research institution
with 21,000 sq. feet of exhibits, walking one
through each age in our evolutionary history as a planet.
This place is a MUST for dinosaur loving

children and grandchildren.

We appear to be in a perilous postion here ...

But look whose about to bail us out!

Further on at Dinosaur Provincial Park,
in Canada's 'bad lands', active
excavations persist.

Out in the field

Finding bones!

Heading back to the RV .. and off over the prairies.

A moose on the prairies? Yes .. It's Moosejaw, Saskatchewan!

We enjoyed time exploring here. It reminded us
of Pendleton, Oregon .. with underground streets
where the Chinese people once worked and lived.
Supposedly, Al Capone took refuge here
during Prohibition. Hence, the name "Little Chicago".
Above and below .. the famous "wedding cake" houses.

And up the road, another icon ...

Welcome now to Indian Head SA.

We were feeling very nostalgic here for the
days of our prairie ministry (1974-78) ..
so we stopped in.

If you've never been here, and it looks familiar ...
It's because this is the set for "Little Mosque on the Prairie".

Peter loves all things 'cars'.

Home town folks are so friendly here.
Meet 'Eva', who shared a lot of local lore.

On the street we smelled 'cinnamin buns'.
Here was the source. We so enjoyed
our time here that we accidently left our lap top.
Would you believe this woman put it on a
bus heading east, where we later received it
back in Brandon, Manitoba?
Thank you, Indian Head!

Later at the famous 1904 Swinging Bridge in Souris, Manitoba.
Elizabeth testing the springy boards.

We have special people to meet in Manitoba ...

Jeri Bjornson, serving in ministry at Boissevain!
How great to share this reunion, Jeri!
Thank you for your hospitality and great friendship.

In front of St. Pauls on a rainy day.
Can't believe we didn't take more pictures.

And at Elkhorn, Manitoba? Beth Kerr,
who did 3 years of her field education
serving Parkminster .. leaving
a legacy of gifts like 'confirmation mentors'
and 'neighbourhood groups'.
Doesn't she look great?
Beth has now begun a new
ministry in Portage La Prairie.

We are now entering the little town of 'Starbuck' Manitoba,
named (we've been told) by the first 2 oxen to clear the territory.
This is the home of one of the 4 churches we served
in our years here ...

Peter stands in front of Starbuck United Church.

30 years later, we meet some of the former
children of the Pastoral Charge. Linda and
Andy Livingston (parents: Bill and Helen Livingston)
are out checking water in the fields of their farm
on the La Salle River.
We were once very close to this family,
that lost its oldest son, Kim, in an accident while
hunting further north. It was Canada's
Thanksgiving weekend.
A year does not go by that we don't remember.
Father Bill's funeral had taken place just
the week before we made this surprise visit.
Mother Helen and sister-in-law Inga
were away together.
So sorry we missed you both!
But the next generation is wonderful!
And, we'll be back when the gas prices drop!

Peter and farmerette, Linda.

With Linda's family .. husband David Neilson,
son Eric (14), and daughter Kylie (11)

With Andy's family (wow is Andy a picture of Bill):
Wife, Marie, sons Zack and Dawson, and Katia (the princess).
How wonderful to see all of you, so many years later.
"Nothing shall separate us!"

On down the river a piece, we came to the place
of our second church, Ferndale United.
Though the building has been moved,
the foundation remains.
We looked across the road to see if another
favourite family was there ...
and they were!

And as on so many wonderful occasions,
we were welcomed to their table.
Meet Herman and Shirley Troster.
Son, Paul is visiting too,
with grandchildren: Flin (4 ) and Griffith (hockey
statistic pro). Paul is still a lovely quiet person.
Where did these talkative ones come from?
We could go on at length about
these special people and our history together.
How grateful we are for our surprise reunion,
and we ask your prayers for Shirley
as she continues her cancer treatments.
Godspeed, dear ones.

Here we are in Sanford. As you can see, the local
Cooperative elevators have been rendered redundant
by the centralization of larger corporate agri-business.

Sanford United Church

The manse of Meridian Pastoral Charge -
our first home and the place we welcomed
Andrew home from the hospital after his birth.

And these terrific folks were on hand for that birth
with lots of help and support!
Alf and Elaine Rex have continued
to be good friends over the years.
How wonderful to be together again.
We would ask again for prayers.
Alf is still facing serious health issues.

Here Elaine has taken us to visit her daughter Jan
and family. Roy and Jan's wedding was the
last one I performed before we moved
to Ontario. Can you imagine these changes?
Meet Courtney (22), with a great vocal
and drama career in the making .. and
Stephanie, in her last year of high school,
planning to become a CA and take
over her father's business.

And the last of our 4 communities .. but hardly the least,

Home of bins and barns...

And lots of equipment!

Avonlea United Church .. at Domain.

It's Sunday morning, June 8th .. and You are Here
with the minister, Alan, and organist, Jane!
Jane Manness and husband , Stuart,
were our hosts.

A window to celebrate the children from 1988 - 1999.
We knew quite a few.

Something I never got to do much as minister..
sing in the choir (except on one infamous Christmas Eve).
Wedged between
Sharon and MaryAnn .. I
am very happy to
follow along. Thank goodness for an ear
on each side.

Coffee after the service

Thanks to everyone for the warm
hospitality of Domain, still present
and strong after decades.

And just down the street (yup, these are the streets)

We come the to home of Stuart and Jane.
These two were just a pace behind us in age
when we were here and all newlyweds.
This home, being built when we left,
is on the farm where Stuart grew up
in the big Manness family.

Mother Gladys Manness .. Blessed Matriarch.

And this young woman on the right is Jane and Stuart's
daughter, Angela .. born at the same time as Andrew Moffat.
Meet her family .. husband, Darren, and sons Luke and Tyler.

Stuart, firing up the barbeque.

The old folks at home (not).

Alan and Kathy Wilson, now living in Winnipeg,
came out just to see us! Thank you, friends!

The best of reunions with Shirley Cole,
former choir director. How do you
stay so young, Shirley?
It has to do with music and spirit.
She has plenty of both.

And dear Laurette and Larry Manson,
who have never failed in the Christmas Card department.
They welcomed us into their home on our
last Domain night.

Thank you to all of you! We leave you with the
rainbow sign (below) that arched
over Domain as we left the next day.
Blessings in Abundance!

Back on the road and a mad dash for home.

One brief pitstop in Duluth, Minnesota
to visit a train we have passed for years.
(Duluth Missage and Iron Range Railway #226 - 1941)

In this exact place (above) we have taken
pictures of the Moffat boys in
various ages and stages.

Over the reknown MaKinak Bridge
for a brief rendez-vous in Petosky with
nephew Michael Eberhart (son
of brother Bill and Sue of Florida)

Yes, all too brief, but great, none the less

Stopping home to meet Mike's children:
Daniel (12) and Emily (14).
So sorry to miss Cheryl and baby
Mitchell Dryden - at day care.

"All's well that ends well." We are so grateful
to the Spirit that we are safely HOME AT LAST!

For the many at a distance who welcomed and
hosted us over the past 9 months and 40,000 km
(roughly 25,000 miles) ,

we offer our heartfelt gratitude,
along with this little review of our summer
to acquaint you with our home
and our fam

Here we are back in Toronto with Andrew,
where he shows us around Bishop Stracken school,
where he has just finished his first year,
teaching high school math and coaching swimming.

He and Sarah have been building a 'grandparents flat'
in the basement in anticipation ...
the nursery now taking the place
of the old guest room.

And below, a Moffat gathering on Andrew and Sarah's
back deck. Next to Andrew and Sarah
are nephew Steve and wife Monica Moffat.
Somehow all the women in this picture
look pregnant. Must be maternal identification.

But these are the true ma coys...
Sarah due September 3
and Monica on October 5th (?)

Above is the glorious place that we spend as family.
From atop of Wolf's mountain, meet Pen Lake
summer haven of Moffats since the early 1900's.

Our humble little cottage

And you're here in time for the big launch!

Bill Lewis, Peter's childhood friend and former
owner of an Aristocraft .. present
for the inaugural run.

Nostalgic moments for two old boys (Up and Down)

Look at that 'Merc' spring to action!

Andrew gets in on the action ...

With his best girl friend!

Dick and Peter after their first run together.

Put to bed after a first big day.

There's a lot of extended family in these parts.
Meet Norma and Lang Moffat at their cottage
across the lake.

Pen Lake is a place to entertain friends. Here
Rob and Allysa and baby Toby come to
be with Andrew and Sarah,
while Tim welcomes Freda,
a childhood friendship that
has survived!

Every year we spend a day and night with Bill and Lucille Lewis,
this time at their place on Lake Haliburton.

There's a lot of lake community here ...

At the opening ceremony of the new Cottager's Association
Natural Reserve.

Steve Moffat is on the Lake Association Board.
Monica made the official sign above!

And now .. the big event ..
a Baby shower, welcoming their children
to "our world" and themselves
to the lake now as "mothers".

Everything is ready!

Sarah led the team of 'Andrew and Tim' in
the production of this fruit cabob spray.

Guests arrive by boat. Meet Debbie Court
and Dibbie Appleton!

John and Debbie Hay are here. Remember them
from Phoenix, Arizona?

Here is Auntie Margaret, one of the last troupers
of her generation. She arrives on foot!

Cousin Susan (Margaret's daughter) chats
with Marion Moffat, co-host of this fun event.

Nan, is the amazing 90 year old grandmother
who raised Stephen. Here she is
with daughter, Jackie ..
always an asset to any party.

Wonderful neighbours, Gaye Musselman,
Nancy Rogers and Betty Hudson (l. 2 r.)

Nan visits with Diane Charlton, our cousin
who you met in pictures from Florida at
Christmas time.

If ever there were a 'dynamic duo' it is here
in the Mother/Daughter catering team
of Kari Williams and Darci (Marion's daughter & grandaughter)

We greet the great Kimmel women,
whom we visited in Maine and California!

Heather and George Dickson, Sarah's parents,
join Sarah in greeting Lake of Bays friend,
Jinty Stewart.

Cousin Catherine Moffat tells a story.

Official Welcome, gift and game time.

Everyone contributed to a stroller/car seat ensemble
for both couples. But you just can't
stop some from bringing other gifts.

Pen Lake is a place of pleasurel
Uncle Dick and Stephen launch
brother John's old sail boat,
"Patch of Blue".
It's been many years since she last sailed.

Tim with a blessed haircut tries out the skull
that his grandfather once enjoyed.

But favoured by far .. are the quiet
waters for skiing.

2008 was a good year at the regatta for hardware.

But the end of July brought the "change over".
Dick and Marion took up residence,
and we returned home.

There were a few relaxed August moments,
camping at the Pinery on Lake Huron ...

And attending the formal engagement party
of our god daughter, Laura O'Krafka...

Here she is with her niece, Bryn...

and fiance, Matt Davies (lucky guy)...

But we were back to the lake on Labour Day
weekend to help Dick and Marion close the cottage
(boo hoo time)

But guess what great events awaited us back
in Toronto?!

Here's you first peek of the peanut in the bed below...

Allison Elizabeth Dickson Moffat,
born on the day she was supposed to arrive,
and just one day after Elizabeth's 63rd birthday.

Welcome to the world, little Allison.

Know what she is singing?
"Alli .. alli .. alli .. lujah!"

Thank you, Sarah and Andrew.
What amazing parents you are!

Grandaddy and Grandmommy Moffat,
transported in joy.

So this is the end of the great adventure..
but the beginning of many more ...

Meet the Camino Peregrinas
(or the 'Camino Chicas', as we've dubbed ourselves)
We leave tomorrow afternoon,
September 16th
for Spain..
where we plan to make an ancient pilgrimage
along the Camino de Santiago.
It traverses 750 km along a power meridian
of the earth from the French Pyrenees
to the Cathedral of St. James in Santiago.
We will complete the journey on October 22.
I will return home after a visit
with Ethan, Marisa, Andrea and Guillermo.

We are all women either making
decade birthdays or at transitional moments
in our lives. One of my motivations is to walk
in honour of several women who
died prematurely from cancer.
We all believe this event will
change us.

We walk "for all who have made the journey before
and all who follow in the days ahead".
(from 'Walk Sister Walk', by Nan Thompson)

You can follow us on another blog,
published by Kathy Shortt @

So, faithful blogmates ..
May the Spirit attend us til we all meet again
along the road!


Peter and Elizabeth Eberhart-Moffat