May. 7th, 2017

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I got a late start due to lethargy and the assumption that the weather in Banff was going to be gloomy (weather report was saying it was only 5C). Drove down the highway with light traffic and the occasional sprinkling of rain. No assholes. Parked in the usual spot and bought some fudge.

I was going to go to Bison to try that rum cocktail I saw last time I was there, since I'd have many hours to sober up before driving home. They close at 2 after their Sunday brunch. I got there at 2:05. Alas. I then decided to walk to the Banff Springs hotel along the road. I wandered around the hotel briefly, then walked down the foot path to Waldhaus pub since I had a few hours to kill. Did part of my crossword, while enjoying a Hacker-Pschorr Weisse.  Given I had only eaten potato chips for lunch, the pint of beer hit me pretty hard.  I was tipsy and very happy.  The radio was playing lots of songs I liked, I was just feeling glad to be alive.  i thought briefly about how being alone while travelling often triggers my jerk-brain, but I just told it to fuck off and I was fine.

After finishing my beer, I left the pub and encountered a guy photographing the scenery.  He asked how to get to Bow Falls, and since it was easy, I told him.

"I can't take two steps without taking a picture.  Even if it's the same mountain.  It's all so incredible."
"I know.  Sometimes I get a little jaded because I live in Calgary, and get to come to Banff basically as often as I'd like.  But then I look at all this..." gestures at Mount Rundle"...and I realize just how blessed I am."
"Well, it's Canada."
That made me incredibly proud, given his accent identified him as being from the UK.  A place that is no stranger to beautiful vistas.

I walked to Bow Falls, then back to the bridge and opted to check out the Old Banff Graveyard.  Always a good place for quiet reflection.  Ultimately, I'm going to be cremated, but I wonder if it wouldn't be worthwhile to have a gravestone made, just so someone will look at it long after I'm gone and have them wonder about my life, like I wondered about the lives bracketed by the dates on all those tombstones.  I'll need to look into which rocks last the longest.  Oh, and a place to put it since my body won't be anywhere.

I walked up the pathway to the Banff Centre and was the first person to be seated at Three Ravens, which, as some friends pointed out online yesterday, ain't cheap.  But it is oh so good, and has the best view in Banff.

By this time the sun had come out, and I was facing right into it.  I donned my sunglasses and my server asked if I wanted to have the shades drawn.

"Oh no, I'm enjoying this sunshine - it's filling me with warmth.  I just need to cut the glare a little."

Bread and custom butters was served. I had the duck breast with beats, followed up by a white chocolate mousse and a chocolate apertif.  Then I hiked back into Banff along the hidden corner lookout.

I was starting to feel quite sore from all the hiking, and would have loved rounding out the trip with a soak in the hot springs.  Alas, I'd forgotten my swim wear.  I opted to come home while I still had sunlight.  once again, traffic was light with no assholes.

In fact, the whole trip there weren't many people.  Banff only had a light scattering of tourists.  I suspect the gloomy weather (that went away once I got there) kept a lot of people away.  For me the weather was almost perfect.  I basically just wore a hoodie and was never hot or cold.  It was a goldilocks afternoon.


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