Welcome to Suzanne’s blog, Tuesday Café

Suzanne StenglAuthor Suzanne Stengl writes whimsical, heartwarming romance and cozy mysteries. When she needs a break from her keyboard, she swims lengths at the Y, skis at Sunshine Village and hikes in the Rockies. She’s also a pretty good line dancer . . . and a very poor euchre player.

Hiking food – Chewy Granola Bars

honeyThis is a favourite on the hiking trail. Bring lots to share.
Here’s how to make them.

Cream together:

  • 1 ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup honey

Add:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ tsp grated orange rind
  • 1 tsp vanilla

 

Then add:

  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup skim milk powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • 1 ½ cups granola
  • ¾ cup coconut
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips

Spread in 9 x 13 x 2 inch greased pan
Bake 30 min @ 350 degrees
Will be soft but firm
Cut into squares

Bon appétit!

honey from istockphoto.com #000014443603

Corner Gas

Corner GasRolf completed his bicycle trip. On May 9, he flew to New Orleans, then bicycled up the Mississippi River Trail. On July 1, he reached the headwaters of the Mississippi at Lake Itasca in Minnesota. From there he continued west across North Dakota. On July 9, he crossed the border into Saskatchewan.

The next day, he made it to the little town of Midale, 80 km from the border.

Saskatchewan is prairie. And while those vast yellow fields of canola are beautiful, the head winds are challenging. Rolf decided to finish in Midale. The next morning, Friday, a local gave him a ride to Moose Jaw. On Saturday, I drove from Calgary to Moose Jaw and met him there and then we toured “Dog River”, half an hour south of Moose Jaw.

Dog River SignCorner Gas is set in the fictional town of Dog River, which is really the little town of Rouleau, Saskatchewan. This is Corner Gas.

Corner GasThe award-winning Canadian sitcom ran for 6 seasons from 2004 to 2009. Last month production started for Corner Gas: The Movie. It will be filmed at the original location in Rouleau with the original cast. Here is a summary of The Movie from the Corner Gas website:

It’s been five years, and there’s still not a lot going on 40 kilometers from nowhere. But that’s all about to change as the fine folks of Dog River, Saskatchewan face their biggest crisis ever. Brent and the gang discover that the town’s been badly mismanaged, leaving residents with little choice but to pack up and leave. As residents make one last rally to save Dog River as they know it, they discover a devious plan by a corporate giant that would change life for Dog Riverites forever.

Rolf and I had a perfectly sunny day to visit Corner Gas and Dog River. Here I am at the Police Station where Davis and Karen hang out.

Police Station, Dog River

And this is the newspaper: the Dog River Howler

The Dog River Howler

Let’s not forget the grocery store.

Food Mart

Back at Corner Gas, Rolf and I are sitting outside Lacy’s coffee shop, The Ruby. (She inherited it from her Aunt Ruby.)

The Ruby

Behind the set, you can see the movie trailers.

behind the movie set

Rolf is posing in front of the gas pumps. The place looks so real that people sometimes stop while looking for gas.

gas pumps

And across the road from Corner Gas, the Dog River grain elevators.

Dog River grain elevators

Have you seen Corner Gas? Are you waiting for the movie? Who is your favourite character?

I’ve redecorated!

romantic pinkIt’s been a great week. Since May, my hubby Rolf has been on a self-supported bicycle trip along the Mississippi River Trail from New Orleans to the headwaters of the Mississippi in Lake Itasca, Minnesota. On July 1st, after 7 weeks and 2 days, he touched the waters of the lake. Read about it here.

The Calgary Stampede has started. Everyone’s decked out in their cowboy duds. Though we’ve had a lot of June rain, the city didn’t flood this year. Not like last year.

I’m learning Yoga. I signed up at the Yoga Studio for the Summer Sizzler special – a really good price for 11 weeks of drop-in Yoga. In the first 3 weeks, I’ve attended 11 classes and I’m loving it. Now my DIL Liz is coming too.

My WIP (work in progress) is progressing. It’s the story of a psychic who does not want to be a psychic. It’s part romance, part family drama, part quirky small town.

And . . . I’ve redecorated this website.

My first website looked like this:

old websiteNext, I progressed to this:

another old websiteAnd now I have this new one. Kyle says this is over-the-top romantic pink and suitable for a sweet romance author.

What do you think? Do you like pink? How’s your summer progressing?

pink paint from thinkstockphotos #57300645

Johnston Canyon

2014-06-24-P1010146sfw2Last Friday, my friend Wafaa and I hiked the Johnston Canyon trail to the Ink Pots.

Johnston Canyon is located 25 minutes west of the Banff townsite, and the trip along the winding Highway 1A, known as the Bow Valley Parkway, is picturesque all by itself.

We park on the east side of Johnston Creek. From here, a little trail leads across a foot bridge and we arrive at the Johnston Canyon Lodge and the trailhead. Although Johnston Canyon is a major tourist attraction, with tour buses downloading oodles of visitors, the locals still love this place. I’ve been coming here forever.

This is probably one of the most accessible trails in the Rockies. Much of it involves catwalks built into the limestone cliffs, complete with handrails—but hold on to your children. The view of the cascading waters below always impresses me no matter how many times I come here.

It’s only a 1.1 km walk to the Lower Falls. Here, a little bridge crosses the creek. The bridge itself is an excellent viewpoint, but it’s even more fun to cross over and enter the short tunnel on the other side which opens to an up close and dramatic view of the waterfall. Pause before you enter the tunnel and let a few tourists come out before you try to crowd in there. And don’t use your camera unless it’s waterproof.

Johnston CanyonHere is Wafaa at the Lower Falls. You can see the cave in the background.

Johnston CanyonThis is Wafaa taking photos from the catwalk.

Now we continue up the trail another 1.6 km to the Upper Falls, which drop 30 metres (90 feet) into the canyon. At this point we have climbed 135 metres from the trailhead.

You can take pictures of the Upper Falls from the main trail’s viewing platform which juts out over the waterfall. Note the ice.

Johnston CanyonOr you can follow the trail to the catwalk which looks up at the falls. Again, it’s wet, so if you don’t want water all over your camera lens, don’t photograph from here.

Most tourists only go this far.

Now the trail becomes more like a trail, narrow and less developed, as it moves into the trees.

2014-06-24-P1010152sfwIt’s another 3.1 km from the Upper Falls to the meadow at the top and the Ink Pots. And it’s another 80 metres of climbing. The total elevation gain is 215 metres (700 feet) from the trailhead to the Ink Pots. After the crowds below, we experience a quiet meander up the trail.

2014-06-24-P1010150sfwApparently Johnston Canyon got its name from the prospector who discovered the creek in the 1880s. The Johnston Creek source is north of Castle Mountain. From there, the creek flows between Helena Ridge and the Sawback Range, across the meadow and down the gorge, the Johnston Canyon. Finally it meets the Bow River between Banff and Lake Louise.

And now we reach the top, and the seven pools known as the Ink Pots.

Ink PotsFed by underground springs, the Ink Pots remain at 4 degrees Celsius throughout the year. If you see them while cross country skiing in the winter, the blue green water looks like a giant’s ink pots sitting in the snow. Notice the patterns created by the underground springs.

Ink PotsHere we sit and have our lunch.

hiker's lunchThe day is mixed sun and cloud. There is a light rain shower at the top and we put on our rain gear jackets. But we only need them for about 15 minutes and the sun comes out again.

2014-06-24-P1010166sfwMy walking sticks are necessary for the down trip. I can hike up just fine, but on the return trip, my knees don’t like going down. So I’m glad they invented walking sticks and  I use mine.

Ink PotsWhat’s your favourite hiking menu? Are your knees happy with steep downhill hikes? Do you find it annoying when waterfalls splash your camera lens?