I lazily stretch and turn over, then jolt away as I nearly tumble off my cot. I have a habit of spreading out in precarious positions while sleeping and have more than once woken up to find myself hanging off the edge of the bed. I catch myself just in time and recover before I end up on the floor of the tent, but by now I am fully awake and slumber a distant thought.
Today is going to be extra fun for me. Today is town day! We plan to spend most of our time in Canmore stock up at the grocery store and outdoor shops for the remainder of the trip. Beyond acquiring the essentials of food and a rock climbing guide book to the area, we’re also excited to go back to some of our favorite ships from last year.
Our first stop is to the Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. for quick breakfast and coffee. West gets a lox on a multigrain bagel and I stick to “The Works” on a cheddar bagel. Vacation calories don’t count right?
We walk the downtown strip finding fun little shops to duck into along the way. Today is also eclipse day and even though we will only get an 81% coverage here in the Bow Valley it’s enough for everyone to be out in force with their telescopes and telephoto lenses. We notice a distinctive dimming and an eerie, reverent hush as all of nature bows before the might of our celestial masters colliding in the heavens.
Minutes later, the planet has resumed its self imposed, hedonistic bustle and the momentary solidarity is broken. The brief reminder of our own insignificance is quickly forgotten and goes to show that it is humanity’s collective ego and narcissistic tendancies which eclipses all else.
Canmore itself isn’t as tourism-driven as Banff is, but there are still several teeshirt/mug/sticker shops we avoid. We go to a book store, Valhalla Pure Outfitters, an art gallery, a tea shop, and a pub to round out the day. Before heading back to camp for the night, West finds a liquor store that stocks a beer he hasn’t been able to find stateside yet, the Jerkface 9000. We stock up and leave Canmore for camp.
With how difficult it is to import beer across the borders we are trying to sample as much variety as we can while we are here. Beer will never achieve the credentials and top shelf statues that wine enjoys, but with the advent of the microbrew, beer brewing has developed into an art form with just as many subtleties and complexities and a more approachable culture as well. Not to say that there aren’t beer snobs just as there are wine snobs, but it doesn’t take as refined or pretentious a palette to enjoy a beer for what it is as it does with wine.
We relax at camp, West planning out his routes for the next day and I work on marking all our gear with some paint pens we picked up; I even go a little nuts on one of our tote lids, enjoying the mini arts&crafts session.
I have trouble getting to sleep tonight as one of our new campsite neighbors has what can only be described as a Seth Rogen laugh with the decibel level of a wailing banshee. Finally I start to drift off only to be abruptly awoken by the blare of a train horn as it thunders past the campground. I am restless and sleep fitfully, but eventually sink into a deep slumber, lulled into the darkness by the steady ebb and flow of West’s breathing next to me.
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