A Travellerspoint blog

Kelowna and Calgary.

Oily rags and riches.

all seasons in one day 12 °C

Hello. How you? Have you ever noticed that as a town grows larger the less friendly it becomes. I was wondering whether it is because of the new inflow of johnny come latelys with a chip on their shoulder or the fact that the people who have been there a while doing not much are suddenly property millionaires. Bit of both I am sure.

Kelowna. Cute, small, fun. Went primarily to see Dallace and Kara.

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Who took me winetasting, out on the town and also to a large and interesting big iron auction. First timer that I was I drank the free booze and tried to chat. Someone's Grandad took my hand and asked me if I was a nice guy. Didn't say anything smart as I was wondering why he would give a monkey's. Random. Bought a large yellow thing with lots of bells and whistles.

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Was only scratching my ear at the time but auctions can be dangerous places for the itchy. All the stuff is being sold off dirt cheap though as the Pine Beetle has destroyed the quality of the timber in most of the trees. Needs winter cold spells of -40 for 48 hours to stop their spread and its been too warm. relative term I think you will agree.

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Country band were most excellent. No clue myself but they hummed and they hawwed and they twanged sufficiently to make a show of it.

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Jump high 5 and off on the road. Thanks for the kindness and entertainment D&K. Next time on another continent I imagine.

So Calgary. Oil boom and bust town for a while and now spreading daily. A few cowboy hats and a few flash cars but people are homely enough. Megan put me up for a few days, let me wash my clothes etc. Very kind. Megan and Heather told me the funniest story I heard during my travels and I have received a few free drinks as a result - as such Calgary - or bits of. If you want to hear the story then you'll be buying a round.

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Went out to the Badlands as they are known. Quite scary all told.

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A local site are the Hoodoos. Hard rocks laid upon softer sandstone and as the rain and wind wash away the softer stone they become, well, rather phallic piles of sediment.

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Megan invited me along for her Birthday party with 6 girls. Sounded like a decent night out.

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And it was too. This fella was clearly looking long term.

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And he almost did. At least for the night.

Apologies for the brevity (not that I get a lot of feedback either way) but if I don't catch up fast I'll be back in a job before I get through with this damn infernal blogthing. Its becoming a monster - consider yourselves lucky you only have to look at the pictures.

Going to hold a .22 aloft in the street and see if I get arrested. One blog only from jail. Would call the folks but they are in the south of france apparently. Super.

Vancouver and Montreal to follow and wrap up. Not much further now. You may be tired but its always the last mile that is most rewarding. Not sure how I would be in a position to opine on such things but it sounded about right.

Oh, and start making sandbags. If the States is anything to go by the deluge has started already. May be worthwhile building a big boat and start collecting some local animals. You never know. Tough times may be ahead.
Lid

Posted by lidster 23:59 Archived in Canada Comments (2)

Canada

O, Canada..... Eh? (West Coast so a bit more Hey? in fact)

Multi-lingual issues over devolution aside I arrived in the refreshingly chilly and wet middle-upper class section of North America. The US was fun but cannot see myself living there, outside of the usual metropoli. Canada on previous visits had been friendly, fun and engaging. This was however my first time to the West Coast. The 2 most Western territories in the South are Alberta (lots of oil - Albert if you are French speaking) and British Columbia (lots of flora and fauna and BC Bud from what they tell me). Nelson and the Kootenay lake to start, decided I should read Into the Wild while I was bussing around and aboot. Good call as it's a decent read but it does undermine your own wilderness exploits by comparison. That said, latte in hand, I followed some paths and tracks looking for no more than the eternal wanderer in me.

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Last one was my favourite. Figured it must be the centre of the solar system so quaffed the rest of my frothy lactose enriched double shot and headed forth with reckless abandon. Found some animal tracks, recent, large, scary. Got lost. Cried. Had a sit down.

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Gathered myself and sallied forth. Great story about a British Admiral in "Into the Wild" where the bloke feels that learning bushcraft was a waste of time and as such had over 300 men in his command die over the course of 2 missions. He was promoted the first time round (survival being a key qualification I presume) and died on the second attempt. Made a hero nonetheless. Story in that somewhere but I found it quite funny. Save the 300 dead of course.

More leisurely time spent the following day in Balfour and the North shore of the lake. Photographs for your squinting pleasure.
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All quite breathtaking. Certainly on a pack a day and with aching limbs from the previous hike.

If you look at a map of Canada it is truly enormous. Second largest country in the world by all accounts. Bigger than China and the US. The fact that only 32 million or so live here is largely because the majority of the country is uninhabitable or as good as. Unless you are a lunatic. Some are. Well thats the wilderness shots done for a while. To follow are Kelowna, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal. City stuff.

Quick Hi to Andrew, Jess and friends who bbq'd some local specialities for me. Kebobs they call them. Most exotic they were too.

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One local told me she didn't believe in global warming as she just didn't fancy the idea. Ignorance may well be bliss these days. Hope she sleeps well at night.

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Lid

Posted by lidster 14:29 Archived in Canada Comments (2)

Sin City

Vegas baby!!!!

sunny 27 °C

Before you go jumping to any conclusions I must point out that I was pretty sick in Vegas. And I don`t mean that I acted like a baby and was fed milk by a woman dressed as an evil goth. I mean I had a cold and was very congested. As such the raw and rotting underbelly of Las Vegas was unfortunately past my bedtime and as such you will have to do your own research on the subject. From what I saw before midnight though it looked promising if debauchery is your weekend plaything.

I originally thought it was the cold symptoms but finally realised that it was actually Las Vegas that was making me feel slightly nauseous and dizzy. It is an outstandingly weird place. Met a bloke from Poole and he does all sorts in Vegas but his main business is:

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Which is not really a job anywhere else on the planet but here it works out fine. And with that sort of attitude to spelling and punctuation who can blame him - although I appreciate that I am not in much of a position to criticise. All ended well though as his mate was a Scummer and since Pompey won the Cup Final I had no end of fun taunting him. Blue Army etc. So what did I see? The strip is always a good place to start:

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Which is completely insane. That is until your definition of insanity is forever redesigned by walking inside the casino's. Here is the lazy texans best bet of seeing St Mark's Square.

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15 minute walk past the canals to get to it. Should it ever rain in Vegas (about twice a year) there is no need to interrupt the shopping. As Martin pointed out, when the end of the world comes then the rich will all live underground in places like that. The rest of us will of course perish on the desolate tundra of the surface.... which you can also see jut a short ride from the main strip:

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Well a short ride in a helicopter. Buses are so developing world.

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Grand Canyon is quite impressive if you like canyons. Hoover dam heralded as a "spectacular financial success" has actually destroyed 80% of the wildlife downstream but who cares about such trivia. No-one around here. Anyway all thoughts of the environment are ludicrous when the backdrop is a glittering city of excess in the middle of the desert. Vegas makes no sense at all but is astonishing in every way. It's a bit like the Elvis sandwich. Peanut butter, honey and banana deep fried in a sandwich containing 4,000 calories. It will kill you if you become a repeat abuser but once just leaves you feeling sick but strangely elated.

Went to a show too, Celine Dion was sold out so got some tickets for O at the Bellagio. Quite amazing and beyond explanation. Which keeps the blog shorter.

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On the road once more. Heading to Yankie doodle dandy's northern neighbours. Always found them most hospitable previously. Alaska looking increasingly unlikely due to time constraints and lack of organisation but there may well be another opportunity a few spins from now.

Take care. Be well.

Lid

Wow, leaving the states and I almost forgot to put this picture on. Must be losing my marbles. A wave ciao in the general direction of freedom.

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Posted by lidster 16:43 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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