I'm back on level ground after spending the past few days in the Canadian Rockies. I traveled with three families including the family at whose home I reside while here in Canada. One of the doctors in our party has a time share. i was given a private room with a private bath in exchange for about four hours of babysitting for one of the couples traveling with us who has a three-month-old infant girl. In truth, I would have paid for the privilege of playing with their baby for the time she was in my care. They really didn't have to comp my room.
We're pretty far north and at a decent altitude, so it wasn't exactly balmy, but I had suitable attire for the weather. With the latitude comes somewhat late dawn and early dusk prior to the summer solstice even after the vernal equinox. We were warned about grizzly sightings. No one in our party was fortunate (?) enough to see a grizzly or even a black bear. I didn't venture far enough into the woods to have much of a chance of sighting Ursus arctos horribilis or whatever his scientific name is. A family staying near us in the lodge started a hike a bit earlier than was prudent one morning and came face to face with a cougar that reportedly looked something like the one pictured here. There were five hikers and three of the five quite tall; the mountain lion gave them a second look but decided they weren't worth the risk. A teenage girl in the party had a severe asthma attack immediately after the cougar retreated. She didn't have an inhaler with her. They rushed her back to semi-civilization, where a rescue inhaler was provided. As a word of caution, rescue inhalers are handy devices to carry while hiking if one suffers from even occasional asthma.
It was a nice diversion and a nice long weekend. Memorial Day isn't celebrated in Canada, but Victoria Day was celebrated last Monday. I worked that day, so I was comped today. The other hospital and medical school personnel with me are essentially high enough on the food chain that they may choose their days off.
I will soon be leaving the Great White North, which isn't so white as when I arrived here. I have limited power at best to foretell future events, but I may return in the not-too-distant future if circumstances work out in such a way as to permit it.