A West Coast Fishing Adventure

Written by Harold McNeill on July 21st, 2013. Posted in Adventure


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Barry, Ryan, Harold, Ashley and Ross display their catch of Pink Salmon.
Piled on the blue box is a feed of Dungeness Crabs that were pulled out of the Inner Harbour
Photos of the Fishing Adventure: Link Here

Other Davis Family Victoria Trip Albums

Photos of the City Adventure: Link Here
River and Lake Adventures: Link Here
Ocean Shore and Biking Adventure: Link Here

Victoria Summer Fun Slideshow 2013-Mobile

 July 11, 2013 Victoria, BC

While there are many adventures to be found on and around Vancouver Island, a salmon fishing trip on the rolling, fog-shrouded waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca has to be in the Top 10.

When my brother-in-law, Barry Davis phoned from Spruce Grove, Alberta, to tell us that he, along with his wife, Nancy and three of the grandchildren, Ryan, Ashley and Ross, were heading our way, we were absolutely delighted. As part of our conversation Barry, who is an avid fisherman, wondered if we might squeeze in a few hours of fishing. He felt the “kids” would really enjoy that type of a West Coast experience (he, he).

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Purple Day Plane Pull

Written by Harold McNeill on March 25th, 2013. Posted in Adventure


In Praise of Volunteers

The Purple Team strain toward a Gold Medal Finish as the crowd in the background go wild. The other winners on this day were the individuals and organizations who depend upon the efforts of Volunteers to raise awareness and funds for those whose lives have been affected by the onset of Epilepsy.

Victoria International Airport
Sidney, British Columbia

Have you ever suffered from a debilitating illness? If not, it is almost certain a family member or close friend has faced or is currently facing a serious medical challenge. The fight to eradicate the many forms disease can take is one that requires not only continuing dedication to the cause, but tremendous amounts of money – far more than can be provided by government and business through direct funding, research and other grants.  To make up the shortfall, individual volunteers, often those having a close connection to a specific disease or medical challenge, devote thousands of hours of their time and tons of energy towards helping fund the battle.

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Grayson Chronicles: Part IV

Written by Harold McNeill on October 22nd, 2012. Posted in Adventure


Photo: Off to the Rodeo

Above is one of the many photos that Grandpa snapped as we travelled from the
Battleford Campground, through north-central Saskatchewan and finally south-west to Calgary, Alberta.
In this photo, taken at the Medicine Hat Rodeo (Chapter 43), the cowboy looking down was perhaps thinking he should rope his partner instead of the steer.  The flag (held by the other cowboy to the far right)
came down at the very moment the first cowboy had completed hog tying his partner. I’m not
sure whey the decided to change from one event to another, but, I suspect, these two will have
to work out some of the kinks in their roping routine before they try again. I bet that steer had
a good laugh as he stormed by the fallen and hog tied rider.

Introduction

Part IV of the Grayson Chronicles is now complete.  In this part we will continue our trip through Saskatchewan and back into Alberta.  Along the way we shall attempt to rescue a down and out relative from the clutches of the Saskatchewan Penitentiary, travel to Birch Hills to visit the farm where Bjorn’s father worked after emigrating to Canada, then, while on the highway back to our way campground, pass a woman just as she drove her car into her boyfriend the fled the scene.

After getting into all this trouble in PA, we head south to again follow the trail of Louis Riel to Batoche, his famous last stand. From there we head to Rosthern where we will buy Taber Corn that isn’t from Taber and BC Cherries that are not from BC.   Following this we continue south to a beautiful section of the South Saskatchewan River known as Diefenbaker Lake were we set up camp for a couple of days of R&R before heading onward to the Cyprus Hills Provincial Park, an immense section of land that straddles Saskatchewan, Alberta and the State of Montana.

After taking in a block buster rodeo in Medicine Hat, the final stop, after visiting a number of Stonehenge type monuments in the fields east of Calgary, we will drop in for a wonderful visit with a number of family members who call Calgary home.  I wonder if they know about these monuments?

We hope you will enjoy the 14 Chapters of this section.

Link Here for Part 1 of the Grayson Chronicles

Link Here for Part ii of the Grayson Chronicles

Link Here for Part III of the Grayson Chronicles

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Grayson Chronicles: Part III

Written by Harold McNeill on September 23rd, 2012. Posted in Adventure


Grayson on Hay Bale

Photo: Our first stop in Saskatchewan is at the farm of two of Grandpa’s cousins, Leonard and Helen Pylypow in Glaslyn. Helen is one of the daughers of Denny and Hazel Dewan (McNeill), (one of grandpa’s dad’s sisters).
Here you see me sitting atop one of the bales of hay in Uncle Leonard’s field. We were only there a few days but we did so many things I have no idea where to begin. Well, actually, I do know, I just need a little bit of Grandpa’s help to get me going. My story involves ‘love’, and love, as I once heard someone at playschool explain, is unfathomable.

20. A Young Man Falls in Love (by Grandpa)

Nothing can warm a grandfather’s heart more than seeing his five year old, well, almost six, grandchild fall in love before your very eyes.  About mid-way through our prairie adventure, we were hunkered down on a cousin’s farm in Northwestern Saskatchewan in the small community of Glaslyn. After a day of baling hay, target shooting and feeding the buffalo on the farm of another of another cousin, we were just getting ready for dinner and it was at that moment — love struck.

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Mount Albert Edward: An Adventure

Written by Harold McNeill on September 20th, 2012. Posted in Adventure


golden_hinde

Cover Photo (from Web). No this is not Mount Albert Edward, this is the Golden Hind, viewed from Morrison Spire (photo by  Dave Ingram). The Golden Hind, at 2200 meters (7217 feet), is the highest peak on Vancouver Island. This photo is placed here as it will serve as a challenge to Dianne and Michel who will surely stand on that peak in the not to distant future. Perhaps, just perhaps, I shall stand with them. The mountain we set about to challenge on this trip is the somewhat lessor (although not by much) Mount Albert Edward. a respectable 2100 meters (6900 feet). The twists and turns of the trip are documented in this short story of our three days in Strathcona Park.

Link Here for the Mount Colonel Foster Adventure

I am most fortunate to live within an extended family whose quest for adventure has motivated me in every decade of my life. In the recent decade, since joining Facebook, never a week goes by that the details of new adventure by some family member or friend is posted. It is the posts about real life experiences and adventures that serve as constant motivation too challenge life at every turn, not the memes and platitudes that seem to come with such frequency.

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Hiking Mount Colonel Foster

Written by Harold McNeill on September 3rd, 2012. Posted in Adventure


Hiking Travelogue by Dianne McNeill and Michel Payeur

Link Here for the Mount Albert Edward Adventure

This weekend we did a backcountry hike we’ve been wanting to do since we first moved to the island…an overnighter into Mt. Colonel Foster. We loaded 30-35 lb gear/food into our backpacks and off to the mountains we headed.

I wondered how I was going to cope with the pack…but my strength, agility and endurance were well up to the task. And what a wonder-full weekend it was! Glacier fed waterfalls and lakes, beaver engineered ponds, SNOW!, forest scented by giant cedars, jagged mountain peaks, the green only seen in sun thru the rainforest canopy, tumbling/rushing rivers.

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The Grayson Chronicles: Part II

Written by Harold McNeill on August 30th, 2012. Posted in Adventure


ColdLakeMarina2

Photo (Web)  Downtown overlooking Marina.  My Uncle Frank and Auntie Louise Yochim along with their seven children operated this Marina for over 30 years.  On Uncle Frank retiring from the business, my cousin Lorin, the second youngest son, took over the business for several years.  My Grandpa and Nana, spent many summers with their children lazing around this Marian.  Cold Lake, of course, was my Grandpa’s hometown about which he has written many stories in the Family 1940-1965 series. (Grayson)  

14. Visiting Auntie Louise and Uncle Frank (Grayson)

Link Here for Part 1 of the Grayson Chronicles

Link Here for Part III of the Grayson Chronicles

Link Here for Part IV of the Grayson Chronicles

We had barely backed in at my Aunties place, when I heard the sound of a police car approaching from somewhere in the yard.  A first I wondered what my Grandpa might have done wrong this time as he seem’s to draw a lot of heat, but, as it turned out, it was one of my cousin’s rushing out to greet me in ‘his’ police car. Man, his car comes equipped with all the bells and whistles that Grandpa said he used to have on his police car.

Cousin Paxton opened the door, asked me to jump in and we were off and running. I like that kid (he just turned four) as he can handle the car like a real pro.  I bet if we hit the street we could meet some chicks just like my Grandpa did when he had his own police care.

Even Grandpa who was no slouch behind the wheel, was in awe. Pax and I, traveling flat out, headed for the park while dodging people, plants, trees and sundrey items in my Aunties back yard. This was a really good start to the Cold Lake part of our adventure.

Photo: I suppose I may look a little apprehensive, but, believe me, from the moment I jumped in, for Pax was petal to the metal.

I love visiting my Aunties place as I find it is like being in the middle of hurricane sized Bed and Breakfast, Coffee Shop, Day Care and Nursery that, when one family, child or friend is just leaving, another has just arrived on the doorstep to fill that momentary vacancy.  Each fall, about the end of September, I have heard that my Auntie starts suffering from withdrawal symptoms when things tape r off.  She has even taken a job as a teaching assistant just to use up some of her excess energy. 

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The Grayson Chronicles: The Journey Begins

Written by Harold McNeill on August 22nd, 2012. Posted in Adventure


Grayson Walker and his Grandpa

Photo (2012): Five year old Grayson and his Grandpa get set to go hiking in the hills behind his mom’s home in Kamloops, BC. It was during the trek the two hatched their summer plans.  Join us for the Journey Begins.

Dear Reader,

The following chronicles were written during the magical summer of 2012 when five-year old Grayson Edward Walker, along with his Grandpa, Harold David McNeill, his Uncle, Jay Wesley McNeill and a family friend, Bjorn Oscar Simonsen, completed an exploratory expedition through British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. While the trip through British Columbia was relatively peaceful, once they hit the Alberta border, they entered a new and perilous world.

Fighting massive lightening and thunder storms, flooded highways, tens of thousands of monster trucks and flocks of giant, blood sucking mosquitoes hatched in the primordial settling ponds of Fort MacMurray, the intrepid explorers bravely marched across Alberta and into the largely unknown wilderness that is now known as  Saskatchewan, an immense flatland whose name originated from a river the Cree originally called “Kisiskatchewani Sipi“.  In that harsh land the group encountered buffalo as big as barns, tractors that were even bigger and giant, round bales of hay that once set rolling in a land that has become known as Tornado Alley North, farms, cities and towns were placed in immanent danger of being wiped off the map.

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Comments

  • Andrew Dunn

    May 14, 2019 |

    Thank you so much for all your help thus far Harold, aka. Tractor guy! I could not have done without you!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 25, 2019 |

    I find it interesting to contemplate how a small community evolves in general isolation from the rest of the world. We have a similar situation in the northern communities in Canada to which access is limited. The inclusion of the world wide web and mass media has changed things, but these communities are still left pretty much to their own devices when it comes to personal interaction.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 19, 2019 |

    Hi Dave. Not that I am aware and I have a fairly comprehensive family tree for the McNeill side of the family. I will pull it up and scan. Cheers, Harold. Great chatting with you and I will give Ben a nudge.

  • Dave Cassels

    March 16, 2019 |

    Were you related to Guy McNeill who owned the Bruin Inn in St. Albert in the late 40’s or early 50’s? Guy was a close friend of my father-in-law who was the first President of the Royal Glenora Club. My phone number is 780 940 1175. Thank you.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 15, 2019 |

    So glad you found the story and enjoyed. Indeed, they were memorable times. I did a fair amount of searching but never managed to contact any of the Murffit kids. However, it was neat to make contact with the Colony and someone I knew from back in the day. I have enjoyed writing these stories from back in the 1940s and 50s and have made contact with a lot of friends from those early years. I will give you a call over the weekend. Cheers, Harold

  • Yvonne (Couture) Richardson

    March 7, 2019 |

    I enjoyed your story. I too, lived in Pibroch in 1951, as my parents owned the hotel there. I was a very close friend of Bonnie Murfitt at the time. I moved to Edmonton in 1952, however, and have not seen her since. I would like to be in touch with you to talk about your story. My email is listed above and my phone number is 780-475-3873.

  • Laureen Kosch/Patry

    March 5, 2019 |

    I grew up in Pibroch and would not trade those years for anything. “ Kids don’t know how to play anymore” Never was a truer statement made. During the summer we were out the door by 8am, home for lunch, and back when it got dark. For the most part our only toys were our bikes and maybe a baseball mitt. I will never forget the times when all the kids got together in “Finks field” for a game of scrub baseball. Everybody was welcome, kids from 8 to 18. I didn’t know it then but I guess I had a childhood most dream of. Drove thru town last summer. It all looked a lot smaller.

  • Harold McNeill

    January 13, 2019 |

    Well, my dear, it’s that time again. How the years fly by and the little ones grow but try as you may you will have a hard time catching up to your Daddy. Lots of love young lady and may your day be special
    Love, Dad

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Guess what? My response went to the Spam folder. Hmm, do you suppose the system is trying to tell me something?

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Thanks, Terrance. Your comment came through but went to the Spam folder. Have pulled it out and approved. Can you send another on this post to see if you name is now removed from Spam? I’m not sure why it does that. Cheers, Harold