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The adventures of the Mel

Adventures in Banff

CANADA | Sunday, 27 January 2008 | Views [559] | Comments [1]

Once upon a time there was a young woman walking through a forest. She was known commonly as wee Mel, a name a Scotsman gave her one time because she was quite short. Personally, the narrator believes that all non-short people suffer from midget-envy, or at least the altitude at their height makes them a little crazy. But I digress….wee Mel was exploring a small trail that wound through the trees haphazardly like a drunken snail. As she skipped along gleefully, she spied her old friend, Buddy the Elk (what’s your favourite colour?). This time, however, she decided to give Buddy a wide berth because he was a little cranky last time she saw him. Unbeknownst to our wee Mel, there was danger lurking ahead – a mechanical danger. It screamed down the trail wee Mel had now stepped off to avoid Buddy at a dangerous 10km/hr, sweeping snow as it went. Buddy lifted his head and twitched nervously, uncertain as to what this noise was bringing. A spur of the moment decision, and he bounded off, away from the noise. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Straight for our heroine. Thinking quickly, wee Mel dashed to a cluster of trees and firmly planted herself there as Buddy crashed past in a trot. Wee Mel was stranded in the trees for well over 30 seconds as Buddy meandered to greener pastures. She clambered out and returned to the trail, to receive a wink from the driver of the mechanical monster. Lucky he was cute, because she could have slapped him.

So after I changed hotels I decided that I would head up to the Banff Gondola and have a look around. It was a nice walk up the mountain, although it was hurting my ankle a little bit. I got up to the entrance and then baulked at the price of going up to Sulphur Mountain - $26 fricking dollars!! I nearly walked away, but remembered that we easily pay that for a meal or a few drinks. So I payed my Canadian dollars and jumped on the gondola. And remembered that I am terrified of heights. Wow, I’m really glad that I’ve payed $26 to scare the shit out of myself. Frick, that is steep. Whoah, oh god, oh god. The wire is moving. I’m swaying in the wind. I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay. So, I do the only logical thing to do – I sing at the top of my lungs about how I’m not scared. “I’m not scared at all, no I’m not. It’s not that high, it’s just like a chairlift….I’m really okay, there’s nothing to be scared of, people do this kind of freaky crazy shit all the time!!!!!!” Breathe, breathe, breathe…

I scrambled out of the gondola before you could say scaredy-cat-meister-tron-3000-version-3.214c-copyrighted-2008. I walked out onto the boardwalk and was completely blown away with the view that lay before me. 360º of snow-capped mountains and valleys.

I could just make out Banff below; I’m not sure of Banff’s elevation, but Sulphur mountain (which, thankfully, did not bear it’s name’s scent) was at an elevation of just over 2100m. I don’t think that words can do the view justice, as they so rarely can. Even the photos pale in comparison to the rugged beauty that stretched out before me.

I started walking along the boardwalk, and struck up a conversation with a Canadian couple, Ron and Connie. They were lovely and told me a lot about the history of the place. I walked up to the pinnacle viewing tower with them, stopping and taking shots along the way (you have them to thank for the photos with me in them!), and chatted to them about menial crap, which was actually nice! I was also pleased to find that Connie doesn’t cope with the gondola either, so we both chatted furiously whilst Ron shook his head and laughed. We made it down okay, it’s not like I could sing that I was okay. Or could I?

The next day, Snuffy Pig and I (he turned up later that night) went dogsledding. It was a lot of fun. The day was positively balmy (-4ºC) and the dogs were ready and raring to go. They were very friendly and excited to get going, barking and whining and wanting to go, go, go!

The dogs were Alaskan racing huskies, which are a cross between huskies and greyhounds. Funny looking, but fast. Our team consisted of Happy, Whitney, Vanilla, Dakota, Curry and Pom.

It was quite a fun day, both Andrew and I got to drive at points. It took about 2 hours, including a 20 minute stop to walk out onto a frozen lake and actually get a photograph of the two of us! Crazy. It was a great day though our guide didn't know what to think. As you may all be aware, Andrew and I, well, let's just say I stick to my philosphy that the best relationships are built on abuse. So as we amused ourselves bickering, picking on one another, belting each other (well, I belt him), our guide was left a little bewildered. "Are you brother and sister?" Bahahahahaha!!!! Coz apparently we act like it. She was nice enough, but she had NO idea of what we are about. Every time I picked on him, she'd come up with facts and logic like, "Didn't you do that to him before?" Mind you, Andrew enjoyed that part - "Yes, she's a big fat hypocrite". Well duh, Captain Obvious. That's what relationships are about. Hypocrisy. Ah, sweet irony...

After we got back, we had a shower and headed into Banff (from our hotel on the outskirts of Banff), got some more fudge from the cool fudge place, and then went out for dinner at a really nice Japanese restaurant. Wait for this…….

Andrew took me out for dinner, to the movies, then out for a drink! It was almost like a date. It was actually a lovely end to a great day. But the next day? Now that deserves a post of its own…..

Tags: The Great Outdoors



Thanks for the laugh Wee Mel
Sally the Munchkin

  Sally Jan 28, 2008 4:16 PM

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