The Athabasca Adventure

What a fantastic day! My sister and I drove out to Athabasca to visit my uncle, aunt and cousins, who were out at their cabin enjoying the last nice weekend of summer. Athabasca is a small town about 1.5 hours north of Edmonton. I used to teach out there, ages ago, and lived at my uncle's cabin at Baptiste Lake, which is not to far from town. It's beautiful out there:

(That's an awesome picture of Baptiste! And no, I didn't take any of these photos, click the links to go to the source.)

It seems we never get to hang out with family much, and I'm sure I hadn't seen these cousins in years, so it was really fun to catch up and chat. We were only supposed to stay for this:

and this:
but ended up also staying for this:

(Only idiots don't wear life jackets.) While we were out in the boat we saw about a dozen pelicans:

We then had to stay for dinner and celebrate for my aunt (and I guess me a little too) with:

Really, were were supposed to go home after that but ended up doing this:

Seriously, I'm sure the last time I went quading, I was like 10 years old and was with these same cousins on those same trikes (the quad was new) and we went out on the same trails. It was wicked good fun!! (Only idiots don't wear helmets.) We ended up going out for a couple hours (!) but saw some fantastic wildlife:
Those would be deer, grouse and moose for those unfamiliar with Ukrainian cuisine. Honestly, our families do things a bit differently. Ask me sometime what we used to find in the garage, freezer, or frying pan.

Anyways, it was a fabulous day. I really enjoyed seeing family, but also getting back to nature. I've been thinking about this for awhile, every since I got to contrast Las Vegas with the Grand Canyon. Floating down the Elbow was just a start. Hanging out at the Shamchuk Shanty was a nice continuation. But what's next? I'm thinking of joining the Edmonton Outdoor Club for a few hikes in the foreseeable future, and can't wait to float down the Pembina next summer (thanks for this idea but anyone who has actual details of how this is done, just let me know. 'Go to Entwistle' is a bit vague for me!)

Any other outdoorsy ideas are most welcome, as would be some excellent company for my next awesome adventures!