Little Victories

Today’s assignment was to get halfway to Whistler (which was over 600 miles and we aren’t doing that again). As we cruised by Calgary we saw both an incredible number of cookie-cutter developments that made South San Francisco look like an architectural design contest, and the first hint of the Rocky Mountains.

We made a slight detour for fuel (once again the GPS could not find a Shell station, sending us to places where there has never been a gas station) and found ourselves on highway 1-A, running parallel to the Trans-Canada #1. It was very nice – rural, lots of river views, and the mountains coming slowly into view. We remembered Alice’s mother, having received our slides from our Alaska trip, asking us to stop taking pictures of mountains. Good advice, but one has to take a few.

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Approaching from the west on the Trans-Canada Highway. Although it did not rain much, clouds were with us until we crossed the divide, and even a bit after that.

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From one of the few scenic overlooks.

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Lake Louise.

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Alice and the renovated Chateau Lake Louise. Lots of Clark’s Nutcrackers. We stopped for lunch here. The public parking was full and the shuttle started several miles down the road, so we took a chance on hotel parking. Our lunch was very good but plebian. Alice had a Lamburger, and I had a house special Hamburger. The portions were large and we left most of the buns behind. With a glass of prosecco and a glass of fruit juice the bill came to $60, but we got Free Parking!!!!! Life’s little victories are precious.

We had a pleasant day with great scenery that you really have to experience personally. Now we’re halfway to Whistler, in Revelstoke, and once again half the motel customers are bikers. But nice bikers. They’re Canadian.

PS: almost forgot. As we walked in the village center, we passed a massage/spa/pachinko parlor with this advert:

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I’d like Sarah’s opinion on Body Sugaring. Is it done like waxing, pouring a hot sugar solution on to sensitive parts of your body? Or is it like maple sugaring, where you stick a pipe in the tree and let the sap (sugar) drip out? Or do you ingest so much sugar that unwanted body hair simply falls off?

Revelstoke may be a more interesting town than we supposed.

Asleep in the King’s Arms

Monday, September 1, 2014

We were sad to leave our Castlecroft B&B, its luxurious showers, heated towel racks and high-calorie breakfasts, but it was time to go to the Isle of Skye. Only 15 minutes up the road we came to Castle Doune and decided to stop long enough to see the outside. This castle was used in Monty Python’s Holy Grail.

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It’s not bad looking, but in spite of the lure of an audio-guide by Terry Palin, we stayed outside. I believe John Cleese hurled his insults from the ramparts on the left.

Not too many photos today. We spent the first part of our trip from Stirling to the Isle of Skye behind a truck carrying a large piece of excavating equipment. When even the motorcyclists did not pass, we figured it was against the law to pass an ultra-wide load. It was also dangerous on these roads.

After a cracker and cheese stop we came to the Glencoe district and here the scenery got pretty exciting. You are enclosed by sometimes steeply-sloped mountains on both sides. The mountains are covered with greenery (but not trees) and waterfalls. They average about 4,000 feet in height.

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It was difficult to capture the size of the mountains in our photos, but there were lots of wildflowers too.

In case that mountain looks a bit sinister to you, consider this slightly different angle:

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bothan Jabba*

 

When we reached Skye we found that our B&B host had messed up our dates and we ended up at the King’s Arms in Kyleakin. It’s a hotel a lot like an old Motel 6, but the sheets are clean and it comes with breakfast. After our first three B&B successes I guess we were due for a change. Dinner was another matter. We went a few miles up the road to the Red Skye restaurant and had a very good dinner – so good we reserved for tomorrow night as well.

And so to sleep, dreaming of good weather.

* Jabba the Hut