Thursday, October 04, 2007

It's Time To Party...In Canada

In late August I got a phone call from Derek Conti. He is a good friend of my buddy Greg Ross, and consequently, the best man in his wedding (this weekend actually). He was telling me about plans for a white water rafting trip to Golden, British Columbia. The catch was the event was taking place about 10 days after the call.

It didn't take me too long to decide to go. The day before the event was my final day of work, and had some bucks in the bank, and it would be great to meet some of Greg's other friends. I ended up booking a flight using my miles and I was soon off for some great fun.

I arrived at the Calgary Airport to meet the guys. They were a little behind me driving up from Lethbridge. Well, Canadian airports are the places to browse. There are lots of nice stores, and they always have rocks, mountee hats, and lots of maple leaves. It was rather inviting.

Once Greg arrived, it was time to head off to Golden. The drive was another three hours or so, but it was gorgeous. There were amazing mountains, clear rivers, and plenty of wildlife.

We arrived at the Golden Gate Motel. When Derek booked the trip, he thought it would be the Golden Palace Hotel - with a hot tub, pool, etc. Instead we had a flushable toilet, semi-warm shower, and a perfect view of the better hotel.

We had a good time hanging out at the hotel despite the not-so-nice conditions. We resorted to consuming some beverages, including 40oz versions of Olde English Beer and Big Bear, which apparently also sells as the same logo as Irvin's pants. Weird.

Following a morning hangover we headed across the street to meet the guides on our white water rafting trip. The river we were traveling down was the Kicking Horse River. It is a classic glacier fed river originating in the ice fields near the continental divide. The Kicking Horse drops 800 M in 49 KM rafting. Most of the rapids that we conquered were level 3 and 4. Earlier this year after flooding the river was much higher, and much more difficult. Words can't express how awesome the experience is. (Expect more pictures soon!)

After another night of party, the group headed back home. We took our time stopping in Banff and other spots. It was fascinating.

Greg, Aaron, and Derek dropped me off at the Marriott in Calgary. It was a perfect spot. Across the street from a large sky tower, down the road from Prince's Island Park, and in the center of everything.

It was a beautiful day, so I thought a good run might be due. I headed towards the beautiful park. I was jamming with my iPod. It was good. Then CRASH. I hit some tree roots, fell down a hill, and felt instant pain. I started to get up and a guy walking his dog thought a tree branch had fallen, nope it was just an idiot running. He helped me by giving some tissues to clean up the hand, leg, and back wounds. It hit it hard. I was 2 miles from the hotel, no money for a cab and started running with blood running down my legs. I was quite the site.

The Marriott was amazing to provide some first aid to me. It was painful, but they made me feel so much better. I wasn't feeling good, but I had to see more of the city, so I headed out again.

I even had another good run the next day. It was cold but such a beautiful downtown.

Check out Calgary. It is worth it!

Alpine Rafting Company
Golden Gate Motel
Marriott - Calgary
Prince's Island Park
United Airlines

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