Okay i'll admit right now that i kind of ...

Trip Start Jun 29, 1999
Trip End Dec 04, 1999

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Monday, September 6, 1999

Okay I'll admit right now that I kind of screwed up that last travelogue. I should have said that Lake Moraine is on the back of the OLD 20 dollar bill. I realized I had made a mistake as I paid for the internet time Friday night with a new 20 dollar bill.

Saturday, September 4th
I slept late (well relatively late) after another cold night in the mountains. I left Banff around 10am (my last impression: phony pre-fabricated charm) and proceeded up the Icefields Parkway where I made a brief stop at Mistaya Canyon along the way. This place is really fascinating. The canyon has been cut very deep, very narrow, and very twisty. I then headed up to the North Saskatchewan River and made a right hand turn on David Thompson Highway. This road follows the North Saskatchewan out of the mountains. It's very scenic (not as good as the Icefields but still pretty good). I stopped in Rocky Mountain House for lunch and then proceeded on to Edmonton. I had been looking forward to Edmonton as I'd be able to sleep indoors and out of the cold at my friend Erin's place. Fortunately Erin and her boyfriend Rob live right beside the best strip of bars in town. We first stopped at the Black Dog where on the deck on the roof they had a pretty cool DJ. I can't go farther without mentioning Rob's friend Jackson. I'm pretty sure this guy exists on a totally different mental plane than most of the world. Within a 10 minute period we had a conversation about the creation of Greater Edmonton, the finer points of "Appetite For Destruction," the size of the dome of the state legislature in Olympia Washington, Lord Strathcona, and his opinion of salsa dancing - "the same moves as disco but faster and shorter." Here's a great sample of conversation from that night...

"She didn't want to salsa much. She just wanted to make-out all the time."
"What's so bad about that?"
"Well, not much, I guess, but when everybody around you is salsa-ing, you want to salsa too."

We then moved on to The Commercial which is a bizarre place. They usually have blues bands there and the crowd is weird. There are a lot of university students taking advantage of cheap drinks, a lot of middle-aged guys who still enjoy the biker look, some real alterna-chicks (i.e. many facial piercings), and a few cougars (this piece of vernacular I just learned). It was a fun place bu for last call we headed back to the Black Dog and went downstairs which feels like a rec room. I kept looking for a ping-pong table.

Sunday, September 5th
You can try and imagine what the larget shopping mall in the world looks like but until you actually visit it you won't get it right. If you took every casino in Las Vegas, removed the gambling, threw them in a giant Cuisinart, pureed it, and poured it in a single building you'd get the West Edmonton Mall. When I first went in I just thought it would be a huge mall (kind of like the Eaton Centre times two) but then I saw the Zamboni. Then I stumbled upon the water park complete with giant wave pool and then the dolphin show and then the driving range on the roof. This place has everything including a Hooters. There are 3 different theatres and the Playdium should be opening soon. I inadvertently spent 3.5 hours wandering around this place, most of the time in Chapters and HMV (it heartened me to see that Slap Shot was the #9 top selling video in Edmonton). Once I started getting an extreme headache I decided it was time to move on. I headed over to the Alberta Legislative Grounds to check out a local indie rock festival. The bands played some competent punk rock and I enjoyed the fresh air. My favourite band was called Threshold of Pain. They were about 10 years older than any other band there and they played a metal version of Jingle Bells. The Legislative Building is very interesting and I found out that I can get a free tour of the place tomorrow morning. I then spent most of Sunday evening taking advantage of Rob's rather large movie collection.

Next stop: Jasper National Park
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