To Banff

A warm walk along the bank of the Bow river, with  a small detour got us to the Greyhound station.  More cotton wood trees, many with branches snapped off.  My theory is they are an early coloniser, and branch loss is just a better solution to heavy snow build up than total tree loss.

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You might spot the white drift of seed and cotton – like stuff at the edge of the path.  Just 100 minutes on the coach to Banff, but the world changed.  Calgary is beside the big toe of the foothills of the Rockies,  Banff is in the middle of them.  Huge and steep rocky crags still smeared with snow where the ravines are deep enough to hold a depth that can outlast the daily sunshine.  We followed the Bow River and the railway all the way here  but the river banks became steep and actively eroding young conifers get a foothold until a big flow erodes the bank, the slope above slips into the river and the trees go with it.  It’s still the frontier for plants, life is short and tough.
I asked the young woman at reception for the altitude of Banff, but she had no idea.  But she did know how to find a brew pub in town, so we went there.  Banff Avenue Brewing Company (est 2010).  We tried Pond Hockey Pale Ale and Muscles from Brussels Witbier.  Ate an apparently traditional dish called Poutines,  which is chips in brown gravy (with curd cheese).  Do you recall ace reporter Bluebottle asking Eccles for a quote?  Eccles replied, “I like chips in brown gravy”.  If you are hungry they are a passable source of calories.
Bought half a bottle of Canadian whisky, Crown Royal.  Had a couple after dinner in an adjacent hotel, which should have been grand but failed to be.  They had a Canadian gewurztraminer on the wine list, which I asked for, but the waiter strongly suggested we avoid.  The Arctic char was not available so I had two starters, but they proved to be swamped with tough lettuce.  On the upside our table was number 42 – the waiter did not understand the reference.

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Jackie’s dinner was better, a prawn and lobster pasta.  On the way home we passed a great site, so I got Jackie to pose beside it for the photo below.

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You don’t see gas plumbing like that just anywhere you know.

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