Thursday, August 18, 2011

So long, Canada

With a long delay on the cards, I could be sitting here in Calgary Airport for some time.  Air Canada slides from their position of decidedly average in my mind to somewhere worse.  But never mind, I have no pressing engagements in London.  The last week has been spent enjoying summer, riding, entertaining the resident child, cleaning, packing & snatching the last few moments with various friends.

Wednesday last we had an early first birthday celebration for Finn. I remember eating a lot of cheese, sliced meat & chocolate (fondue will do that) before Megan served up a delicious spiced chocolate cake - in true Australian Women's Weekly, it was shaped as the digit one. Finn particularly enjoyed his first taste of cake - as the photos here show. On Friday we were off to the airport as Megan, Alex & Finn headed in a big metal tube to Iceland for near on three weeks of hiking, being cooked in hot pools & chasing geysers. I wonder, given his fondness for eating dirt & rocks, if Finn will fancy a drink from a mud-pool. So the round of Canada good-byes started there as I farewelled great friends that have been so helpful & the source of many varied adventures (not to mention many games of Settlers). Funny to think it all started well before we, or even our parents, were thought of - as Megan concisely explained.  I hope I see them again soon - Canada, UK, Australia or NZ - any of those will do.

It must have been Thursday that I sold my car, got the cash in my hand & now have just the registration plate as a lasting souvenir of all that driving in the States & a winter of sending the wheels through a lot of snow. Rides for the last week have included the Montane Traverse (which was very boring by myself), Riders of Rohan & the Highline (which may have been a little optimistic to take Joel & Steve on - but we did get nice & close to a big herd of elk along the riverside), & a nice little jaunt with Steve around the Nordic Center's Orange Loop for the last time.

This is definitely the most luggage I've ever taken on a plane with me - in there is my bike, my hiking backpack, my skis (& boots), a suit bag & a small backpack as hand luggage. It only cost me $275 for the privilege too - a bargain compared with shipping skis.

So after final farewells with good friends over (also my last plate of yam fries from the Drake), I'm heading off to London. Checking in all that baggage took a while, just as well the flight was delayed so I could pop off back into Calgary to see Anya & go to Tim Hortons one last time (Timmy's wasn't important). Last week with all that rioting I wasn't overly keen on heading to London - but more unknown adventures await in all manner of places I hope. But I sure will miss the mountains, the riding & the skiing - but it's probably a good thing not to be facing another winter like the one past. Knowing I was only doing one was probably got me through all those days when it was below -20ºC.

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