I've been here a week now & it's gotten a little colder than the first few days. I did manage to get my bike assembled last Sunday & pop over to the Nordic Center. Chatted with Megan for a while & took a look around the event stalls before heading out on the Orange Trail. It was quite a shock to start with, a good climb that was really tight & twisty - it may have been my state of fitness or the jetlag or both, but that was a tough climb & I spent a lot more time in the easy gears. The trail was generally quite tight even when it did flatten out & there were plenty of tree roots to negotiate & keep me on my toes - so to speak. At the furtherest point from the day lodge, the trail went out in to a meadow that I remember approaching from the other side on XC skis a few months ago. Away from the trees the trail opened up a lot & flowed very nicely across the meadow. The view wasn't too bad either.As most of the climbing had been done at the start of the loop, the return was quite fun & the last little climb back to the day lodge was past a skills area that I must return to one day at the start of a ride.
I had a few little chores to complete on Monday & after a bit of waiting I got my Social Insurance Number & opened a bank account. Curiously, the woman at the bank that set up my account for me had once spent a year in NZ - it turns out in Onewhero (a small village really near Pukekohe) - and when I wrote my address down (the house that Megan & Alex were moving to in two days' time) she realised that it was the very place where she first lived when she came to Canmore. Those things & a little shopping completed, I climbed back up the hill & then headed back to hit the orange trail. It must have been the jetlag affecting my riding the day before as I was pleased to make it the whole way around in the middle ring - the next goal is to get around without dabbing. It was either Monday or Tuesday that it got ridiculously warm - up in the high twenties for a time; it must have been Tuesday as Alex & I were going to head out for a ride that evening, but a lot of rain in the evening somewhat discouraged us.
Tuesday & Wednesday were mostly spent looking for jobs, catching up with Neil from Gear Up, hanging out at the new place to let various tradies in to fix a couple of odd things, rehashing my CV & riding around town. Wednesday evening was the big move from up the hill to the centre of town - we managed it all OK in a few car loads & now Megan & Alex reside in what looks like a sparsely furnished place, it's so much better & so close to town (about one minute to walk to the main street). Craig also called in on Wednesday night after a night-bus from Vancouver & picking up the second 650cc Kawasaki that he & Josh are planning on riding from Alaska south all the way to the bottom of the Americas. It was good to see a familiar NZ face & catch up with a lot of his news.
The last two days of the working week were, just for a change, spent working. A temping agency I signed up with had a couple of days work at a construction site in Banff. It was pretty easy work, just tidying up after all the contractors on a new building that is nearing completion at the Banff Center. A bit of lifting & not all that exciting work, but good people to be working with, a good supervisor & some money coming in for a change. I'm working again tomorrow & have four days' work on the same site next week - all that should pay for a month's rent & food. Alex, Megan & I went for a little walk around town Friday night in an attempt to feed the bunnies - which proved largely unsuccessful; there must have been at least forty wild domestic bunnies around on people's lawns, the school grounds & only one was game enough to eat a hand fed carrot.
I decided not to work Saturday as well (two days in a row was enough for me!). A group of seven of us went hiking up Eeor (East end of [Mt] Rundle) which is just behind Canmore - pretty much right next to Ha Ling, which I hiked up with Megan in February. The day dawned wonderfully sunny & I was glad that I opted out of another day working. It wasn't overly warm, but by the time we were walking at 1015 up the hill it started to get a bit warmer (but not quite enough to take my fleece off). As we started to get near the tree line we could see the clouds starting to close in over Spray Lakes & the wind started to get a little chillier. The path through the trees was a steady climb with plenty of rock & roots to clamber over & around. Above the trees it was mostly just a lot of rocks & it started to border on scree. It started to snow a little as we began to make the last ascent to the ridge & summit, but on the top ridge it turned out to be warmer & a lot calmer. The view down to Canmore was pretty good, there was an neat amphitheatre on the Canmore side of the ridge & I was impressed Megan, six months pregnant, made it to the summit (it was about three hours to the top I think) - but then she has been doing a lot of hiking recently, so I wasn't too surprised. As it was such a nice day, there were so many people up there - we must have seen at least twenty others. On the way down we detoured a little to the east so that we could get a good look off the top of a big cliff (I think I heard "it must be 4000 ft" come from Geoff's mouth - it was a long way down, but not quite that far) down to Grassi Lakes & across to Ha Ling. We took it pretty easy on the way down & I was pleased that my legs stood up so well & my knees didn't hurt a bit - but that was probably because I was only carrying my Camelbak. By the time we had got in to the trees properly, the snow had stopped but it never really warmed up a whole lot more. Back to the car after four & three-quarter hours - a good little outing; looking forward to mixing in a few more hikes with the riding.
16 hours ago