Ruthie’s Blog

Merry Christmas 2021

Hello my my dear friends,

         I hope you are well and able to enjoy Christmas in spite of this Covid-19 thing. I am definitely doing much better than I was during half of this year.

          For me January to mid April were fairly normal, but in the middle of April I tried lifting heavy bricks to raise the height of my fire pit only to discover that was not a good idea. From that point on I was either going somewhere in an ambulance or keeping a bed in Canmore Hospital warm, and finally having to trade a mountain view for amazing sun rises in Cochrane in the assisted living manor Hawthorne where I receive so much pampering that it almost blows my mind.

          This has been a very difficult period of my life. I had to sell my van and my house and give up driving. Fortunately my brother Phill proved he has a heart of gold when I told him to go off and live his life with his wife and not be saddled with a crippled old woman. (I am 14.5 years older than him). He ignored me and continued to fetch and carry between my house, his place, and even driving me here and there. When he had to have triple by-pass heart surgery there wasn’t much I could do for him. I tried. He is doing well heart-wise, but now is awaiting knee replacement surgery.

          I also discovered there are other friends with huge hearts of gold. There is Marguerite who made me a gorgeous quilt. It isn’t just me who enjoys the quilt, but the women who make my bed every day enjoy it as well. If I ever get my computer hooked up properly I’ll send you a photo. Then there are the amazing friends, 20 or more, who ran my yard sale to get rid of my household stuff when I was unable to do so. Vern was an awesome leader in this regard. While I was languishing in Cochrane, Vern had a crew working like beavers at my house; such as Clarence setting up posters and convincing the local paper to run advertising even though they don’t do that any more. Some dads brought their little kids, some little kids brought their money and named their houseplants they bought Ruthie.

          After 4 months in Hawthorne I took a taxi to a church and came home with a friend who now takes me to church every week.

          Brother Phill, of the big heart, who with his wife spend their winters in the southern U.S.A. has come up with the idea of using Zoom to keep eight out of nine Oltmann siblings connected on a monthly basis. Something that came out of Covid-19. Only one Oltmann sibling isn’t in the computer age.

          For all of you who wondered what happened to Ruthie this gives you a bit of an idea. When I was in hospital I had no way of getting in touch with my friends. I had a cheap little flip cell phone, but no phone list. Hopefully Boxing Day will change that.

                             Much love to you and Merry Christmas,


And Ronan Makes Ten

Here he is. Another adorable child arrived on December 20, 2020 to the Dormain household. In an age when large families are looked down on there are still some people who love children more than the ability to buy material goods, or other such thing.


Old Friends Found

In this modern age it is easy to lose touch with friends when they change their email address. That happened to me when I couldn’t find Tom and Lynda Galeski. No matter what I did. However, I had discovered some time ago that if I would wait awhile people will surface in unexpected places. Recently I was chatting with Vern and Idel at Dead Man’s Flat and while standing in their parking lot they greeted a young couple who had just come around the corner of a building. As soon as I heard the name Beau I knew it had to be Tom and Lynda’s son. Beau had been on my Chilkoot Trail hike with his parents in 2003. Subsequently Tom and Lynda and I reconnected and arranged to do a little hike in Bow Valley Provincial Park.


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Jura Creek Canyon hike

Yesterday was another warm day in the Rockies so Idel, Vern and I headed out to Jura Creek to check the canyon walk. The parking lot was full and there were people scattered over the countryside. Fortunately being 2 metres from people was not difficult as the alluvial fan is expansive before reaching the canyon. The canyon floor was packed snow and was fairly easy going with poles to dig in for traction when required. I took lots of photos so here goes for your enjoyment. Click on photo to enlarge it.

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A Florida Couple

Many years ago when I was working in the Barrier Lake Information Centre in Kananaskis a couple from Florida came with a question. After I answered their question I had one of my own since they had told me they had been married for 27 years.  My question was “What makes for a long marriage.” Here is the answer:

He:  I don’t know. Don’t let the things bother you which should bother you.

She:  My father told him he didn’t get her spoiled, so don’t spoil her because I won’t take her back.

Me:  Did he spoil you?

She:  Yes.

He:  And he wouldn’t take her back.


Wasootch Creek to Porcupine Creek

Well, that was disappointing.

Four of us headed north up the Baldy Pass Trail from the Wasootch Creek parking to Porcupine Creek. The uphill seemed to be longer than I remembered it, but we did get to the bridge over Porcupine Creek that we found two weeks ago. From the bridge we hiked up stream only to be disappointed because I forgot about the tricky spot where the creek ran into a rock cliff. Forty odd years ago I could scramble on tiny ledges to avoid having to get my feet wet, but at that time I was a lot steadier on my feet than I am today and my companions were not rock climbers, so we sat down and ate our snacks. Somehow that return trail was easier; maybe because there was more downhill.

Another day I shall have to go back and check out something that looked interesting. I did see a little American Dipper flitting over the water in search of food.

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Baldy Pass Trail south to Porcupine Creek

We are into fall colours and sun these days. Five of us enjoyed this easy walk through the forest. We crossed three little streams with moss and clear water, and discovered the wooden bridge that was destroyed by the 2013 flood has been replaced by a metal one that is further upstream. Thank you Diane and Olwyn for your photos.

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The Troll Falls Genius

The Troll Falls genius has not yet retired to Quebec. My friends Mike & Maria read my website blog and did exactly what I did – rushed off to Troll Falls to see the miracle trail. They met Alex working on the trail as it is not quite finished and learned that Jeff Eamon is still here performing miracles in Kananaskis. The little trolls can be found hiding in the trees.

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Troll Falls – a Miracle Trail

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It is finished and I couldn’t wait to hike the new, improved trail to Troll Falls and the upper falls. I knew those water falls were there because many years ago I had bushwhacked downhill to see all seven falls and the canyon above them. Since I found out Saturday morning that the new trail was done I just couldn’t wait to see it. In spite of Idel’s warning that it was steep I picked up a little pizza in Canmore and off I went to Kananaskis and the Troll Falls trailhead. I am impressed with the hard work and the planning that went into this project. It is nice to see barriers erected and moss and debris covering the rocks that used to have beautiful moss on them, but was destroyed by people scrambling over them. I don’t know who planned this, but they did a great job. In warning me about the steep trail to the upper falls Idel forgot that I don’t have 14 pieces of metal in my ankle like she does and I have climbed several mountains that are even steeper. I will admit that it helped that I increased my Parkinson’s medication so I had more energy than usual.

I first heard about the waterfalls from Chris Bearns who was the school teacher in the coal mining village of Ribbon Creek in the 1950s during the coal mining on Mount Allan. Mrs. Bearns would take the school children to see the seven waterfalls and teach them about the rocks and plant life. I first saw Troll Falls in 1973 when Don Gardiner was clearing a cross-country ski trail for the hostel association and came across the falls and ended the trail at the falls. In subsequent years I have bush whacked down past the various waterfalls to Troll Falls several times and even took one of my hiking groups on that bush whack. Now with this new trail we don’t have to bush whack to see them. It is even more popular than it used to be.


A Baptism in Quarry Lake

Saturday morning a group of people from Trinity Bible Church in Canmore gathered to see Jon Krohe be baptised by emersion in Quarry Lake. He gave a short talk about his spiritual journey first. It was impressive and his dedication to Jesus Christ is heart warming.

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