Westering (2)

Cal­gary

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?”

Pho­tos:
Mountain and lake

Yours truly

Mountain, tree, and clouds

End of the road

Mountain

Susie and Jeff

Monty and Pat

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.

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