Around the Canmore

Thursday, August 1


Dudley Do -Right, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police lives next to the Condo where we stayed . Actually I don’t recall his real name and nobody remembered my reference to Dudley Do-Right from the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon of my childhood, but the neighbor told us on Tuesday that he would be dressed in his full dress uniform on Thursday and we could take pictures.

The neighbor, had been a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for twenty years before retiring and now had a gig in his retirement, where he dresses up and gives talks to various tourist groups. He was off to one such job Thursday morning but allowed us the opportunity for photos. He didn’t have time for his whole shpiel but he did tell us that there are at any given time 17,000 Royal Canadian Mounted Police and 33 of them ride horses. He was one of the other 16,967 – he rode a Lexus.

Wendy, luckily was too tired for another hike, but had a full day planned nonetheless. We spent the morning at the local market, then took a walk (as opposed to a hike around the local park (I thought sitting on the bench and watching the river flow by would be a fine idea, but as always- I was encouraged onward.

Hundred year old railroad bridge in the park in town

Hundred year old railroad bridge in the park in town

It looks gentle now but this is the river that caused all the flooding

It looks gentle now but this is the river that caused all the flooding

I would have called it a day and perched myself on the inside side of the glass doors as the Three Sisters shifted in and out of the clouds. Weather is funny in Alberta, one peak can be in full sunshine while the next is cloaked under dark gray clouds.

Storm clouds gather as we picnic at Quarry Lake

Storm clouds gather as we picnic at Quarry Lake

But resting is not an option. I convinced Wendy that putting on a bathing suit was just a state a mind-so we did and we were off to the Hot Springs in Banff. No pictures of that experience since I was either afraid to get my camera wet or not willing to document it.

But it felt great. parts of my body I didn’t know I had hurt. But the healing, rotten egg- smelling waters of the hot springs were just the right remedy
And so concluded my outdoor experience in the Canadin Rockies.

Little stories I want to include

Yeah yeah I booked these tickets late and without professional help  but I was willing to spend the money I earned pouring over curriculum all year and sit on planes until steamy New York City became chilly Canada.  I went to bed early before the first flight only to be awakened by Delta who had moved back the first of three flights one hour therefore ensuring I would miss the next two. Somehow they got me on American flight to Las Vegas, with only enough time in the airport to show my passport and reschedule a  conference call with work so the slot machines called my name, but I could not answer their beckoning.

On the Westjet flight to Calgary I met Marcy who was returning to Edmonton. She had been in Las Vegas for a basketball tournament (her son’s not her’s).  She told me to watch out for bears on the hiking paths, I told her not to pay full price in the Museum of Natural History on her upcoming trip to NY,

I am an early riser, so I would listen to the eclectic morning radio station in Canmore.  The deejay explained that he was very tired one morning.  I figured the excuse would be that he was up late listening to a local band, but no, he told in detail the story of his speech delayed son who had woken in the middle of the night screaming. He explained how difficult it was to comfort someone who could not explain what was wrong.  He apologized to the half of Canmore who were  woken by the screams.  And then he returned to dejaying and played some hip hop.

The airport bus back to Calgary airport transported several people returning from a conference in Banff, among other interesting topics was conundrum Mahler had written about concerning the relationship of the volume of spheres.  (And Mahler never had to concern himself with Common Core standards).  The man explaining it had found it in old leather bound book a mathematician at his university had bequeathed to him when he died.  I told him I enjoyed listening to the conversation.  He asked me if I was a mathematician.  No- just a high school math teacher.

Close enough- he replied.  (Little does he know that turn to page 545 challenge enough for many of my students.

A pilot sat across from me on the plane ride back to LaGuardia.  He was taking a ride home, I assume there were two additional ones in the flight deck.  The joy of returning to NYC on clear night was not lost on him.  He wondered out loud what the facility surrounded by triple rings of barb wire, we flew right over, could be.

It’s Rikers Island – our jail.  I told him.  Its good to be home and back in the know.

As I waited for the last flight in Minneapolis, a man sat down next to me and asked me if I was going to Albany.  No – LaGuardia I told him.  We chatted.  I told him I was a teacher.  He told me he ran a charity for wounded soldiers.

I thanked him for his service.

No- he told me, thank you. without teachers none of this is possible.

Cue the God Bless America music

Good to travel- good to be back home.


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