We’re leaving Canmore today to drive through the Rockies to a campground outside of Kamloops, British Columbia. First stop Banff. Second stop Lake Louise. Third stop camp. At least that is the plan. We are trying to fix the bike (‘we’ in the Drew doing everything and me handing him tools, occasionally lifting a part and being moral support) this morning so Drew can ride it through the mountains. I have internet now, so thought it best to post while I have it and tell stories of today in tomorrow’s post.
Entering Alberta with the bike on the back of the truck. Hopefully entering BC with it driving beside.
My final interview from Canmore comes from Lauren, a twenty-seven-year-old hairdresser and stylist originally from Calgary. Her first comment when I asked her about her first kiss was: “It was going to be special, then it just sucked!” She was fifteen years old. “His name was Tommy Haywood. We used to innocently flirt on MSN Messenger. He came over to my house on an early dismissal Friday from school. The kiss sucked. We banged teeth and foreheads!”
Staying in Canmore, Alberta for another night. We hiked to the top of Ha Ling Peak (2408m/7900ft.) today. A three-hour round trip to the top from where we parked, the hike had us climbing up above the tree line and onto the mountain face. Scary, but so worth it! The view was incredible! Although I’m pretty sore now.
My aunty Lyn shared her story of her first kiss with me while we were enjoying a few beers yesterday:
“His name was John Lavery. He came into our class mid-year grade six. He was tall and dark and walked with a bounce because he was so tall.” Lyn proceeded to show me his walk, bouncing across the room. “I snuck out of my parent’s house to his house one night. We were in grade seven. I remember the bedroom had no windows in it. So strange, very dark. Not only did he kiss me, he put his hand on my boob! I can’t remember if it was the right or the left boob. I was so upset I left! Years and years and years later, I ended up having a brief fling with his older brother. I would have been twenty or twenty-one.”
I am in paradise! Canmore, Alberta. The mountains surround the alpine-style houses, cute main street of shops and restaurants, and beautiful green waters of the flowing Bow River. And of course the hospitality of my aunt Lyn and uncle Ronnie who have welcomed us into their home! (And it’s AMAZING to be in a warm, soft bed!!!)
We were invited to a bbq of gourmet steak tacos at their son’s house last night. A group of about eleven young and old hung around the fire, threw knives and axes at a chunk of wood (I wasn’t very goood – there’s not too much axe-throwing happening in Toronto to practice), drank and chatted. The word got out that I was writing about first kisses and soon everyone was sharing their story (or trying to remember). The more the wine flowed, the more the tales came out. Here are some of the stories that came from this group of friends that live in Canmore and work on the Sunshine Village ski slopes:
“Katrina Malcolmson. I was five or six. Something like that. It was in the basement of our day care. She was my friend’s older sister. Probably around eight. It was next to a sump pump in the basement. I was a play-a! ‘Man, I beat up your brother!’ I thought after it happened!” – Gibby
“I was in high school. We were a group of friends at school.” I asked her if it was with the whole group of friends. She blushed. “No! His name was Jacob and we were at his house.” – Nicola from Auckland, New Zealand.
“Lisa Phalen. I was drunk out of my tree. In a field.” – Jasper
It’s warmer. And I actually slept last night. Today is a great day! And I made it to day two hundred. We entered Alberta slightly cranky, tired and ready for some new scenery. I now get why people say the straight line of the prairies feels like it goes on forever and can get a bit tedious. We stayed in Tillebrook Provincial Park campground. A nature walk, our new friend the stray cat (we also made friends with a fox yesterday), and the hawk soaring overhead was amazing. I realized I do love it out here.
We just stopped in the land of cowboys and rodeos – Calgary – and on our way to stay with my aunt and uncle in Canmore. The bike is still strapped to the back of the pickup truck.
My next first kiss story comes from the server at Humpty’s in Swift Current, Saskatchewan – a town surrounding the highway. A pretty woman in her twenties with a nice smile and a worried look in her eyes, working at a diner that looks a bit like a hotel room and had a mom walk by us in a grey tracksuit, missing her front tooth, and calling her three-year old son “a little sh_t hump”. “My first real kiss? I was in grade five. He was my boyfriend. We were at a school dance. It was quick and sort of a half kiss.” She gestures to the left side of her lips and her cheek. “He kiss me, was embarassed and ran off.” I asked her if she remembered it being good as she went to the cash register at the front of the diner. “It was nice. Not movie nice, but nice.”