Monday, May 13, 2013

Head for the Hills

It's hard to believe it's been two years since we've been to Banff. But the date on our park pass doesn't lie. In the old days it would have been unusual to go two months without a trip to the mountains. Of course, for several decades every single holiday we took was centered around climbing. Now, we've branched out a little. We haven't even been to the Banff Mountain Film Festival for the last couple of years because we've been off traveling in other directions.

We make our usual stops - Subway in Hanna for lunch. Starbucks in Airdrie. The houses and cars around Calgary continue to multiply. I take the old 1A highway from Cochrane to Canmore. It's slow and windy but seriously, do you come to the mountains to drive on the TransCanada freeway, or to see the scenery?

It's raining in the mountains, a change after the +28c heat on the drive. But it stops so we get the tent up without getting wet.

We get to Banff in time for Shelley to restock at the Banff Tea Company. Then we wander around for a bit to stretch our legs after the drive. Too bad the bookstore is gone, but we visit the Patagonia store that took over the same location. We finger all the expensive high tech gear, especially the new M10 goretex jackets at only 8 oz. But it's not like we need any more gear and we don't buy anything. Mountain Magic is gone after being around for so many years, but Monods is still here.

We have supper at the Bison, one of our favorites. For a change from wine we have a bottle of Sea Cider Pippins. We visited their tasting room on Vancouver Island last time we were out there.

The Evelyns by the theatre is gone, but we stop at their new location on Banff Avenue to read our books over a cup of tea.

In the tent for the night I finish the last few pages of my book before turning off my headlamp. The tall dark trees stand all around us like silent sentinels. I smile as I'm serenaded to sleep by chattering squirrels and croaking ravens.

We stop at Wild Flour for breakfast before hitting the road again. The clouds are gray and it's raining off and on, but there are breaks and rays of sun on snowy peaks. The low clouds swirl around the valleys. Like coffee and wine, the infinite subtleties of the mountains are an acquired taste.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fabulous way to start your journey.