Saturday September 24th, I had the opportunity to go to the home opener for the Fernie Ghostriders, our local hockey team here in Fernie! It.Was.Awesome! With both Ashley and myself being new to Canada this was an grand experience. We are both from New Zealand and were super excited to hit our first Ice Hockey game. Luckily that was just what the next Red Tree Lodge Deskie Adventure was scheduled to be!
Hotel Close To Fernie Hockey Rink
We agreed to meet at the Red Tree since the hotel is so close to the Fernie hockey rink. From there we picked up our discounted tickets from the Front Desk, and then headed across the street to the Fernie Memorial Arena. The game was the Fernie Ghostriders vs Creston Valley Thunder Cats, and we were eager to see the season start here in Fernie. There were a couple of guests of the hotel looking for something to do that evening, so we invited them to join us at the game and walked over to the rink.
When we arrived, a table full of hockey pucks caught my eye! Oooooo! I wandered over and saw they have rubber pucks numbered from 1 to about 200. These were for the ‘Puck Toss’ $2 a puck – if you are not familiar with the puck toss I will explain. The aim is to toss your hockey puck into or closest to the target in the middle of the rink. In this case the target was a bucket with a burger on it. I bought two pucks but with my luck reached no way near the target, of course! I don’t think Ashley did any better either. We also got our inflatable “Bam Bams” from this table too! They were fun, loud, and eventually got annoying thanks to me being an overenthusiastic fan. I was just supporting the boys all the way!
The start of the game was unreal – they turned the lights off and each member of the team came out one by one with an individual announcement. Once all the Ghostriders were out on the Ice, the lights came back on and two figure skaters skated around the rink, holding the Canadian flag as the National Anthem played, which was really cool and unexpected.
Fernie Ghostriders Hockey
The game was so much fun to watch! Even though I’ve never been to an ice hockey game before, I mostly understood what was going on – I think! Luckily, this was a fairly high scoring game so there were lots of excuses to make some noise.
The snack bar at the arena had an awesome selection for food and drinks from popcorn to poutine (I’m coming around on this Canadian staple!). On tap they had the Fernie Brewery beers and some Palm Bay coolers.
After each period, we got to watch the famous Zamboni resurface the ice. I had heard of these machines before but never seen one in action, so that was a treat. The driver even had his own Ghostriders sweater with his name! I would say, with such an important job that he’s a pretty big deal around the rink.
Unfortunately for us Creston won this one 8-2, but not to worry. We will get them back…. I’m happy to say I will now be a regular in the Ice Hockey scene – such fun! It won’t be hard with the hotel so close to the Fernie hockey rink! Our next home game is October 1st against Castlegar – good luck to the team, and we’ll see you there!
Frolf in Fernie
You know those days where you don’t feel like spending a lot of money or loading up the car for a time-committing adventure? Frolf. Days where you would rather make your own fun in town with some loved ones instead of going through hundreds of brochures to find the perfect activity? Frolf. Those times where you want to gently kick some butt without having to rent expensive sporting equipment? Frolf. If you aren’t familiar with the activity, frolf – or Frisbee/Disc Golf – is an accuracy sport resembling golf where players try to get frisbee discs in the target in the fewest possible throws. It allows for all ranges of skill, ability and competitiveness and is a great time for people of all ages. In Fernie its very common for people to round up some friends, grab some snacks and beverages and head over to James White Park where there is the full 18-hole Lizard Range Range Disc Golf course. It’s also very common for businesses to throw Frolf staff parties – which is what the Red Tree Lodge did! You can borrow frolf discs from the front desk (no charge!) to play a round of Frolf in Fernie while you’re here!
Access to the course is pretty straight forward; you head down 4th Street to the Historic Down Town area and turn right onto 1st Ave (before the train tracks). 1st Ave eventually becomes Park Ave which can be followed until you reach a a stop sign – where you turn right onto Mount Proctor Ave. If you’d rather borrow our bikes or ride your own, you can take the dyke trail there as well. You’ll see the entrance to the James White Park and you are all set.
Once all the Red Tree Lodge staff gathered in the park, we handed out discs and split up into doubles. Frolf in Fernie can be played in individuals, doubles, or even teams – it’s up to the players and how long they want the game to go. The majority of us were very casual players so we decided on doubles and hit the course.
We had people who had never held a Frisbee before, people who play leisurely from time to time, and even people who were active members in Fernie’s Frolf League. Everyone enjoyed themselves – Frolf in Fernie is a sport that you don’t have to be good at to have fun.
We decided to only do half of the course (9 holes) and it took us just over an hour and a half… we were taking our sweet time though. We did end up sharing the course with a few other people but we followed proper ‘Frolf Etiquette’ (letting the quicker teams pass you with a quick wave and a nod) and it was all fine.
The park is very gorgeous with well manicured grass and huge cottonwoods… which means your disc might end up parking itself in some branches. One of our Deskies proved the possibility of this and everyone took a break from Frolf and participated in a ‘throw random things at the disc to knock it down’ event. This was all done for research purposes though…we swear.
Our maintenance guy Gary, blew us away with his skills. He of course is the one who plays in the league and actually oozes skill – it was a fight among the others to be on his team. He also let us know that it is possible to get a hole in one… I still don’t believe him.
Overall frolfing never fails to be a good time and a great way to spend your days outside. If not everyone in your crew wants to participate there are tons of other things to do in the dog-friendly park which features a baseball diamond, tennis courts and walking trails alongside the frolf course. Next time you stay with us be sure to swing by front desk and rent our frolf discs for FREE so you can enjoy your own round of Frolf in Fernie.
A Summer Activity Enjoyed By Many
Summertime in Fernie is a favourite season shared by locals and visitors. Why might you ask? This mountain town is loaded with endless activities to keep you busy during the hot, sunshine-filled months that guarantee fun for every kind of person. Since Fernie is fortune enough to be situated along the Elk River, water-sports are a popular choice, and maybe the most fun one of those is rafting. In Fernie rafting means two things: 1) Floating merrily down the stream (river) that flows through town in a blow-up flotation device bought from Canadian Tire or the Red Apple – often done in groups with a drink in hand. 2) Heading over to the raging Elk River Canyon to brave the various levels of rapids and spectacular views on a guided white water rafting trip – often done in groups with a paddle in hand. The Deskies here at the Red Tree Lodge set out to go white water rafting thanks to Mountain High Adventures:
We loaded up bright and early on the bus and set off to Elko where we met up with the rest of the Mountain High crew. Thanks to the close-knit aspect of Fernie, we didn’t need introductions for our guides: Josh took us on our SupSquatch adventure and Mark was a familiar face from the Lodge – working with Nonstop. After suiting up and walking down some steps to the river, we were given some safety instructions and facts about the canyon and the rapids we would be facing.
Even though the sun was playing hooky that day, the air was warm and we were provided with stylish wet suits and splash coats with fleeces just in case we got chilly (I think I was too excited to feel temperature to be honest). We split the group into two rafts – each with a guide – and set off down the river (after practicing our rowing of course). You should probably know that I was in the one of the Dragon Warriors (front ‘power’ rowers) and yes, every position on the raft had a name.
Why they call it White Water Rafting
Right off the bat we were splashing around and hitting rapids and I was soaked within a few minutes (FUN FACT: If you aren’t looking to get wet or do any paddling, you can sit in the middle of the raft… but you WILL be called ‘Princess’). We carried on further into the canyon and encountered many more rapids boasting relevant names such as ‘Spin Cycle’, ‘The Calm Before the Storm’ and ‘The Big Kahuna’. Don’t worry though, your wonderful guides will lovingly yell directions at you when needed to ensure smooth sailing (probably not the right use of words for this situation). All jokes aside though, even though it was super exciting I never felt scared or in danger while on the river and our guides did a wonderful job keeping everyone safe and sound.
Other activities on the river
Although there was no shortage of rapids, the float wasn’t all just shredding through white water. We had chances to appreciate and admire the beauty of the canyon with it’s impressive vertical walls and the even some wildlife in action. At one point stopped for a very tasty lunch of wraps, salad and cookies which was enjoyed on land. Swimming was also encouraged!
Did I mention cliff jumping? Because that’s another part of this trip (optional of course)
How cool are the guides though? One was PADDLE BOARDING through the rapids, and another couple were in their own single rafts. Impressive for sure.
Ending our river trip
The trip ended on a chill note (calm – it was surprisingly warm) as we floated along the last bit of the river, right before it feeds into Lake Koocanusa, telling jokes and stories. We all hopped out and stripped off our gear (I do admit I was pretty excited to be back in dry clothes) and then once again loaded back on the bus. On the ride back we were encouraged to come into the Mountain High Adventures’ office to look at all of our awesome pictures because yes, there will be someone snapping majestic shots of you as you scream your way through the rapids.
Mountain High Adventures did an amazing job once again to provide us with a fun-packed experience. Be sure to check them out on your next trip to Fernie so you can hit the river and make your own memories white water rafting. Thanks guys, you rocked our socks (or should I say neoprene booties?)
*All pictures are credited to Mountain High Adventures