Our first stop was an unplanned roadside detour to Craigellachie - the location of the last spike on the Canadian Pacific Railway.
|Michael is attampting to steal the last spike. Though unsuccessful, I applaude his efforts.|
|At the top! It had been bright and sunny (and hot!) all the way up until just about the time we took this photo...|
I nearly lost my sunglasses, too. Just as we were metres from the bottom of the trail, I realized they were no longer in my pocket. My first thought was "well, if I've left them up there near the top, they can stay there." Luckily, I remembered that 'nature called' only about 50m away and they'd only recently fallen out.
We were aiming for Lake Louise on Day one, and we drove on to meet it. Our photos are from the next day because it started to rain miserably. Mountains really aren't as nice in the rain.
|Cooling my feet in the glacial waters of Lake Louise. Contrary to how this photo looks, there were at least a hundred people milling about nearby. But it was a lovely spot to sit for a while.|
|I managed to pursuade Michael to take a paddle upon the famous Moraine Lake, nearby. It was absolutely the most perfect day a girl could ask for. Clearest skies, snow-white glaciers, and that green, green water. This is where I got a sunburn, and it was worth it for sure.|
|No biggie. Just Canadian wilderness at its most perfect.|
|A good shot of the area surrounding Banff.|
|I can't remember if Mike's putting on his "I'm a rough cowboy" face, or if he's generally unhappy that I made him put on my straw hat. But really and truly, the hat was my saviour during those 30 degree + days!|
|We went to see the miniature pony show!|
|In the cowbarn, I (literally) tried my hand at "Guess which cow is pregnant!" The cow back end is fake. They had me put cornstarch (or chalk?) on my arm and feel around for a bit. I guessed right.|
|This poor miniature pony... We decided there were two options for him. #1 - Superhero. #2 - he's thoroughly embarrassed that he has to wear a skintight suit in public. He woudn't look at us.|
|The rodeo! I love rodeo. We had nosebleed seats, but this time it was a bonus because it meant that we got to sit under the shade of the arena for those three hours. My favourie even - hands down - was the Junior Wild Pony Racing! And then once the event was over, an 8 year old boy on a miniature pony did the rounding-up!! Most adorable sport in the history of ever.|
|We also spent some time in the sweatiest beer tent I've ever seen - Nashville North. But it was still awesome.|
|This is one of my favourite pictures from the rodeo. I've got my face in a cutout board, and I feel as if I look like a Little Person giving it my all on that bull!!|
|Riding a giant missile. Giddy up!|
But after three nights at the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth," it was time to move on. We stopped at the outlet mall between Calgary and Edmonton, and paid a visit to the most countrified, Albertan shop I'd ever seen - Bass Pro. I tried to take plenty of photos, but there was just so much going on! Check out their website for more. I was tempted by the giant mailbox in the shape of an open-mouhed fish. eew, and awesome at the same time...
|THREE taxidermied moose greeted us at the entrance.|
|In this photo: three bears, a cougar, an airplane and three mountain sheep. And that was just in one corner of the enormous store...|
|Did I mention the "ride" to the football game was a yellow school bus?|
|On the last Edmonton day, the guys went out for beers, and Meg and I went for Pedis at "The Mall." We all rejoined later for a rainy dayfull of indoor waterslides!|
Leaving Edmonton, we moved on to the "see the awesomeness that is All-Natural Western Canada" portion of the road-trip. Stop number one was the Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site. It was interesting, but it didn't have nearly the wow factor that some of our other stops gave us.
|Honestly, I think the entire site is flavoured with tonge-in-cheek jokes. Their logo includes buffaloes jumping to their death.|
|But it's a fantastic view of the plains!|
|Again, I see the humor all around. This carpeting was all over the interpretive centre, but it just looks like dozens of buffalo tumbling down the cliff (or stairs, in this case) here. A little morbid, no? Who thinks of this!?|
|It appears I was also a casualty of the Jump. Ow.|
The rest of the trip has us drive through Fernie...
|Big Ski Pole at the Fernie Ski Hill!|
|It was raining and we needed gas badly. Rather than help me out in teh downpour, Mike decided to take a picture. Nice guy.|
|Midway has a plaque to "Commemorate the Installation of Their Sewew System"|
|We stayed in Osoyoos overnight and took a tour of the Nk'Mp winery. Delicious!|
Later in July, I used up my voucher for a walk-on role in a local production of RENT, by Fighting Chance Productions. I was allowed to hang out backstage with the cast until my triumpant return to the stage as a participant in the AIDS/HIV therapy group. We gave hugs, I said my name out loud, and then we sung a little. Easily the best part was arriving just before showtime, being told that I would be on stage long enough to be a part of a song, and realizing that I knew all of the words already! (they told me I could just mouth the words, but I killed it, FYI). The cast was warm and welcoming (beyond the fact that I'd brought them homemade brownies!), and I made friends with one cast member who is also a nurse. I couldn't believe it! Now, he said that this was his first show, but he also went to UBC for it's opera program, so he's not a newbie. At any rate, I had a fabulous time! (And thanks to Mike and Christa for sitting through the entire show just to see me on stage for 3 minutes!)
|Me and the cast of RENT!|