Last run down the mountain

Trip Start Jan 09, 2004
Trip End Jul 14, 2004

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Monday, May 10, 2004

We returned from the Rockies last night, and we fly out to Montreal this morning. This is officially my last day in Calgary. I'm all packed and ready to venture out into the world again!

Ian and I were meant to go to Sunshine on Tuesday, had pre-booked our bus up there and accommodation at the Sunshine Inn (ski-in ski-out) and all. Unfortunately the Sunshine Coach decided to screw us over, as they don't run buses every day this late in the snow season, but they didn't bother to tell us they weren't running a bus the day for which we had reserved it! Unbelievable. So we got up hideously early with everything packed, caught a taxi to Lions Park with all our gear and sat by the road for 20 minutes in the cold. Eventually we conceded that the Sunshine Coach has indeed screwed us over, getting a train back to Brentwood to make some very angry and desperate phone calls! Luckily the rest of the Sunshine crew are great, so we were able to transfer all our pre-bookings to the following day. I was still very disappointed that we were losing a whole day in the snow, but Ian tactfully concluded it was probably for the best. I had picked up a nasty throat virus on Ian's arrival and through the stresses of being host wasn't particularly looking after myself. So we crashed out in Karen's bed while she worked all day on Tuesday, which did me wonders. On top of that the weather on Tuesday was shite. I saw it rain in Calgary for the first time, and boy did it come down. On Wednesday morning, though, it had progressed into a full-on snowfall, which was enchanting for Ian. We traded in a day of sleet in the Rockies for Ian's first snow experience - landscape transformed and big fat snowflakes landing on the tip of his tongue. That was definitely worth the hassle.

So when we finally arrived the conditions were perfect, I couldn't have asked for more at this time of year. My friend Sarah lent Ian her snowboard and boots (she has big feet), so I finally got the excuse to snowboard! We took a workshop lesson on the first afternoon and snowboarded for the rest of the week. Snowboarding is soooo much easier than skiing and so much fun! I'm really glad that I finally got the opportunity to get into it. We had a great few days at Sunshine, staying at the Inn for the first night, then at Global Village Backpackers in Banff, as I had done in Vancouver with much pleasure. On Saturday Sarah and Liz came up, and I got to go out snowboarding with Sarah finally which was awesome.

Saturday night Karen and Lowell came up and we stayed at Karen's parent's place in Canmore, which was better than a five star hotel! Complete with little soaps in the guest bathroom and all. Then on Sunday morning Mal and Chellsie drove their van up from Calgary and we headed out to Lake Louise. The conditions were marginal, it was 'slush cup' day, the last day of the snow season, and slush it was indeed. Reminded me of Mt Hotham! So our last day of boarding was by far the most average, but finally getting to check out Lake Louise was worth the sacrifice.

We stopped in Banff again on the was home for some sushi and Irish stew (catering to all tastes), then made my last journey back into Calgary. I caught up with Darren and Karen for the last time which was a bit sad, although I'll see them in Australia sooner or later when they get their acts together. Ian's friend Ado has just arrived to take us to the airport so I'd better get going... this is it, bye Calgary! I'll miss ya!
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