Day 13 – The Kicking Horse Kicks Back

Day 13 – The Kicking Horse Kicks Back

I can feel it will be a short entry today as I am exhausted from my heroic efforts doing battle with the rapids on the Kicking Horse river. Who knew white water rafting could be such fun? Fighting the urge to bail during the safety talk, we launched onto the river for an 8 mile adventure through 14 rapids – although only one class 4 I believe. Adventurous we may be, mad we are not!

I suspect that I may have not been as quick in reacting to some of the instructions as the guides would have liked as my old joints creaked into action, but the guides did a great job of making everyone feel (relatively) safe and comfortable.

Ethan even leaped over the side of the boat at one point for a quick swim in the icy waters. I was tempted but seriously doubted my ability to regain access.

Anyway, another one off the list. I feel that a stiff drink has been earned!

raft1

Nice day for a gentle drift down river

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Dream team?

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What could possibly go wrong?

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Oh come on now!

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Still smiling…

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Well that’s just rude

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Phew, made it

Day 3 – Ridiculous, just ridiculous

Day 3 – Ridiculous, just ridiculous

So, time to leave Calgary and head for the hills. We perhaps haven’t seen Calgary at its liveliest – it still being a month until the famous Stampede. Not that I have a particular hankering to see this event, but it would be fun to be here so that I could keep telling people that this is, in fact, my first rodeo.  Clearly I am very easily amused.

First stop of the day: Ethan wants to go in search of the Hart mansion. I have never heard of it, but apparently it is where many of the famous wrestlers were trained. Who knew? Who, at the end of the day, cares? I am told in no uncertain terms that it is the topic of one of the best documentaries of all time. I am duly chastised. Mission acccomplished, time to move on.

Hart Mansion

Quick wrestling session in the dungeon, erm, basement?

Onwards towards the Rockies. I can see why there are distracted driving laws in Canada. Phones are the least of the problems, the more and more spectacular vistas awaiting around every bend do the job  of drawing attention. It’s the sort of scenery that cameras never qute do justice to, but there seems to be far more of it here than anywhere else I have been. Seems almost rude of the Canadians to hog it all. Just ridiculous.

 

Coming through!

They really wanted the road to go this way!

Stopped at Canmore to stock upon groceries and liquid refreshments before driving to the back of beyond. Supermarkets in Canada don’t seem to sell alcohol, but have associated booze emporia. Safeways has Liquor Depot, which I was almost tempted to stay in as the beer is in a refrigerated room and it was 28C outside. Amazing how warm it stays as you climb into the mountains.

Ethan is selecting favourite mountains, I think largely based on shape. The latest one is described as “suitably pointy; no Matterhorn, but a good effort”. As we are in no great hurry, we swing by Lake Louise as we are passing. Swing by is about right. Nowhere to park for miles around. Dread to think what it is like in the actual tourist season!

We finally make it to base camp (or base Condo) in Kicking Horse which will be our home for the next 10 or 11 days. Looks fairly spectacular. Quelle surprise. About the height of Snowdon I believe which is manageable for an altitude challenged individual like myself.

 

The condo seems very nice, but has already incurred Ethan’s wrath on a number of fronts – no bears yet; the mossies have ruined his hot tub relaxation (war has begun) and I beat him at a game of Canadian trivia. The last of these is most galling as Ethan knew quite a lot of the answers, whereas I fluked my way around the board, answering a single question correctly and then then finished with a flourish by knowing the name of the Canadian town which has a large model of the starship Enterprise. Nerdtastic.

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