Happy to be back!

Cheryl and I have returned from Phoenix, AZ, where she had knee replacement surgery. I am pleased to report that preliminary indications are the surgery was successful, illustrated by the fact that she’s already able to walk again.

I can hear many of you asking the question, “why couldn’t she have the surgery in Canada where it’s free?” It wasn’t available in Canada on a timely basis and Cheryl was in extreme pain and couldn’t walk. Many other things start going wrong when you are immobile. 

The medical care in the U.S. was excellent. The surgeon came highly recommended and was very attentive through the whole process. One incident stands out for me. After a long day in the operating room, the surgeon came to update me as I was sweating it out in the lobby. By this time, it was 7 pm. Before leaving, he offered me a ride home!

The food in the hospital was on par with that of a five-star restaurant. You order from an extensive menu that would make your mouth water. They believe you heal faster if you’re eating tasty, delicious food.  

The sunsets were spectacular

While Cheryl was recovering I was able to indulge in my summertime hobby of attending classic car shows. It’s peak season for car shows right now because it gets too hot later in the year. 

Cheryl had her heart set on going to Sedona so we rented a vehicle and took the 90-minute drive. It’s very beautiful but it’s also peak season there. If you’ve ever been to Banff in the middle of summer, that’s what it’s like. Wall-to-wall people and no place to park. We went a few miles down the road to Red Rock state park where it was quieter and less crowded. 

Kovach. Photo by Tracksetter Jeff.

Thanks for all the trip reports and photos while I was absent from the “empire.” The last place I wanted to be in the middle of winter is Phoenix but it had to be done. I’m glad to see you’ve kept some cold snow for me. I just had this email from Ribbon Creek Tracksetter Jeff to tempt me…

“First of all welcome back. This photo was taken on the Kovach S turns. In my 40 years of grooming I’d have to say that tomorrow may be the best skiing conditions ever for this time of year.  Cold firm snow no dirt and best of all -5 c.”

For the record, I returned to Alberta on March 10. The self-isolation requirement went into effect on March 12. 


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  1. Welcome back to sunny Alberta snowland, Bob and Cheryl, and best wishes of full, prompt recovery to Cheryl.

    Thanks! -Bob

  2. Best wishes for a fast recovery to your wife, Bob. Glad you are both back.

    Thanks! -Bob

  3. Bob and Cheryl,
    It was great meeting ya’ll and getting to know you both.
    Thanks for having me assist with the hotel and medical transport needs during your stay
    If anyone is in need of surgery and tired of waiting in line, have them reach out and I can put them in touch with Dr. Kassman asap for discussion
    Stay warm and healthy.
    Sincerely, Ellie

    Thanks! We will be happy to recommend you and Dr Kassman. -Bob

  4. Welcome home! We are happy to hear your good news, and hope to see you on the trails soon 🙂

    Thank you! -Bob

  5. Welcome back! We’re so happy you had a positive experience in resolving a difficult problem Health is everything. Good for you for being so proactive.

    Thanks! -Bob

  6. Bob – are you aware you should be self-isolating for 14 days after returning from AZ?

    Great to here the surgery went well.

    I’m well aware, and thanks! I returned to Alberta on March 10 when the self-isolation requirement was not yet in effect. XC ski trail grooming is perfectly designed to provide the recommended safe spacing and “social distancing.” -Bob

  7. Welcome home!

    Thanks! -Bob

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