As we swing into summer, the beaches will be beckoning, the campgrounds will open to the masses and our pristine parks and recreation areas from the prairies to the mountains will become the natural playground for all ages of fun seekers in shorts and sandals. With the low loonie and gas prices, we will soon be invaded by thousands of sun and sand seekers from across Canada, the United States and throughout the globe….and of course we will roll out the welcome mat and act as perfect and always patient hosts.
Believe it or not, there are always lots of questions that our Parks officials are asked by excited visiting tourists, some really quite overwhelming and off-the-wall, and yours truly just could not resist coming up with some quickie and totally wacky answers..
*Is there anywhere I can see the bears pose? From behind the fence at the Calgary Zoo.
*I saw an animal on the way to Banff today…could you tell me what it was? Likely the wild Alberta Gopher, who will pop up anywhere, and quite often becomes ‘road kill’.
*Do they search you at the B.C. border? I doubt it, but don’t ever try to sneak out with one of our wild animals, plants or precious rocks in your trunk.
*Whats the best way to see Canada in a day? Buy an atlas.
*Are there birds in Canada? Just gaze up in the sky or eat lunch under a tree and you may soon get a warm and wet welcome from our magnificent winged creatures.
*Where can I find Alpine Flamingos? Way up in the Alpine meadows next to the wild flowers and cranky mountain goats.
*Is it okay to keep an open bag of bacon on the picnic table or should I store it in my tent? Nix to all of that nonsense unless you want to have a very hairy and extra grumpy guest for dinner.
*Where can I buy a racoon hat? All Canadians have one, don’t they? They used to hang on the wall of Hudson’s Bay Trading Post, which closed 125 years ago, but maybe try Wal-Mart?
*Where can I get my husband really lost? At West Edmonton Mall on a Saturday afternoon.
*Where do they put all the animals at night? As far away from the tourists as possible.
*How do you get your Alberta Lakes so blue? Park Staff: We take the water out in the winter and paint the bottom blue. Tourist: What a great idea.
*Don’t you Canadians know anything? We know enough to be prepared to meet a whole lot of real characters, look forward to selling them lots of our made-wherever ‘treasures’, and don’t mind occasionally rescuing them when they get lost back-country.
*Are their phones in Banff? We have winter and summer phones that work in all weather, but if you have your own fancy phone the higher up you go the better reception you will get.
*How do elk know that they are supposed to cross at the ‘elk crossing’ signs? They are the smartest and safest animals in the park. They follow those nice green, grassy, and quiet paths that are far above the idiots down below who are speeding, texting, and yelling at their kids.
*At what elevation does an elk become a moose? I won’t even try to answer that one, but before they all go hiking in the bush they should first go the library and buy an ‘animals of Alberta’ book, and don’t forget to take along bear and bug spray, a bell, a whistle, and a compass.
Whatever the case, hopefully all of you are busy planning for a fabulous summer with family and friends, but please play safe and share the joy with others. In the meantime, in between time, have a great week, all of you.