We arrived in Calgary about suppertime, and found S & J’s house without too much difficulty. They live in a relatively new part of town, and there are a lot (a lot) of streets in the area that start with “Valley”.
Both of them had taken Monday off, and so we would have two full days of hangin’ out all together. And that’s what we did.
S & J have quite the house. It’s a two-story job, with a mezzanine level that has vaulted ceilings and a fireplace. Four bathrooms in the place, which is one more than the number of bedrooms. When we were there, they had almost all the rooms re-painted. (I chatted with S recently; they’ve now completed the painting.)
I’d love to say that we did astonishing feats of derring-do and haberdashery while we were out in Calgary, but in truth, we had a nice, quiet time. We hung around the house, played cards, and ate more than we should have. (In some cases, much, much more.) We accompanied S & J on a tour of one of the little shopping districts, where they bought a couple of vases, and then we gorged on chocolate at a little chocolatier. We played cards–did I mention the cards? We entertained Monty, the cat.
Monday we hopped in the car and went to the mountains. Having grown up on the prairie, having spent most of my life on the flatlands, I’m always impressed when I see the Rocky Mountains up close and personal. There’s something so–sharp–about them. They always give me the impression that you could reach out, chip off a piece of stone, and very carefully shave with it. But be careful not to drop it on your foot, because it’ll slice a toe clean off. You wouldn’t even notice till someone said, “Hey, is that your toe?”
And then on Tuesday, while our hosts were at work, we packed up our rental car, bade the house adieu, and headed north, back up to Edmonton.
I didn’t get any photos of it, but on the way back up, somewhere just before Red Deer (IIRC), there was a semi truck on fire. Seriously. Fully engulfed in flames. He was on the far side of the southbound highway, and I was in the right lane of the northbound highway. There was a wide ditch between us. I was probably no closer than sixty feet from the truck at any one time.
But I felt the heat from the fire through my closed window. It spooked me somewhat.
When we passed, there were no fire trucks or ambulances on the scene as yet. A few people had stopped and had their cell phones out, though. I kept driving. As we neared Red Deer, there were a couple police cars screamed by, headed south.
Thankfully, my adventure was far less interesting than that truck driver’s was.