Montreal / Guelph
Highlights of my month include celebrating NYE in New City Gas, urban snowshoeing around the Plateau in Montreal (via snowbanks and buried cars), being delighted by the Montreal culinary and street food experience (though I wish I documented all my delicious and hedonistic consumptions), snowboarding in Saint-Saveur. And of course, starting the new semester at UofG right.
Also, if poetry is kind of your thing, I just finished Susan Musgrave’s “Origami Dove.” However, I could not get through all the poems in the section called “Heriones.” Because of its content and depth. I do recommend it even though it’s a bit morose. But there is that seepage of hope! It may be a good read for the new year for some of you.
Yes, it is still a new year for me.
Reisling and gewürztraminer. Sometimes dry sherry.
During an afternoon with a lax itinerary (i.e., too hungover to do anything) in St Urbain and Mont Royal, Molly and I decided to stay in. We craved sushi and one of the best spots (in my opinion and many can argue otherwise) was just around the corner. Though it is really a myth to cure the peril with a hair of the dog, we just couldn’t resist rolling sushi with a little gewürztraminer to pair.
The simple three hour hike to Helen Lake is said to be one of the best in the Icefields Parkway. And of course these guys and I can verily attest. As we pursued further towards Cirque’s Peak, three hours turned to a full day hike — from the sunny morning to the evening tempest.
How refreshing it was to venture out from the Parkway to the wooded hills, towards creeks and rivers, meadows and waterfalls.The steep first hour would leave anyone in sweats and perhaps wanting a quick granola break on a cliff overlooking the glimmering Bow Lake and and its neighbour the Crowfoot Glacier. The breeze cooling our necks felt fucking heavenly.
Trekking on, we reached a meadow and enjoyed its flat and shrubby stretch with a view that made me feel like Frodo. Aiming towards the slopes at the horizon, we continued to meet higher peaks and cliffs.
We took another break on a creek that led to a waterfall. A sip from the natural spring made me feel one with the earth and had me convinced, with the water cupped in my hands, that life could be that simple all the time.
A few more hours of scrambling with sweat and pressure, I found myself clinging on to an edge. Still I scrambled higher — with my bulky camera contesting gravity.
Before hiking to Cirque’s Peak / Helen Lake, Oliver had to put some contacts on before starting the expedition. Some fun by the Num Ti-Jah Lodge on the Bow River (half a mile from the Crowfoot Glacier in the Banff and Jasper National Parks) was a great excuse to kill sometime with the boys.
On Sunday, we celebrated her Jody’s 24th birthday by having the famous Sunday brunch at one of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in the Rockies: The Bison.
Hands down, The Bison has the best egg benny selection. However, I ordered my favourite: their french toast. Stuffed with shredded gouda, apple slaw, double smoked bacon, and topped with freshly whipped cream. Happiness in every bite. Clearly the meal with the girls was perfect before Jody’s flight to Hamilton, Ontario.
For Molly last night in town, we had dinner at the Waldhaus restaurant (to not be mixed up with the pub located below ). Smartly siituated behind the Banff Springs Hotel and the golf course, we had the splendour to see the sun set beautifully between the mountains and watch the Spray River glimmer to black from our seats. Having had cheese fondue a couple days before, I just stuck to my Bavarian Plate and had a few stolen bites of Mat’s rabbit.
Regarding wine, I had a glass of St. Urbans-Hof’s reisling for the first time. Very sweet and complex – just how I like my riesling. And German.