Calgary, July 7 and 8
July 7, Sunday, was our travel day. We left Canmore after Church and took the Bow Valley Trail to Calgary. This road had been closed until a few days ago. It follows the Bow River and we saw numerous locations where the road had been repaired. It is considered an alternate, scenic route to Calgary.
We made one stop along the way in Cochrane for a bite to eat. Lunch was in a small establishment where we could have had home-made pies for desert. We opted instead to have desert three doors down for the locally made ice cream.
Our first stop in Calgary was at Olympic Park. Calgary was the host of the 1988 Winter Olympics and at the ski area they now have the Canada Sports Hall of Fame. The ski jump area has been converted into a playground with luge runs, sports camps, etc. We spent two hours going through the Hall of Fame. Curling and hockey were my favorites.
Our second stop was at a park along he Bow River where we went walking. Pleasant, even with the numerous dogs out and about.
After dinner, we met our Evergreen hosts for the next three nights. They have just retired but have managed a number of trips, many in the U.S. so we compared notes.
Monday July 8
Luckily we had planned to make Monday a downtown Calgary, museum day. The day was cool and rainy; we had a light drizzle on our walk to the LRT stop by our host’s home but it poured around lunch time.
Our first stop was the Glenbow Museum. As it turned out, we spent almost all day there. The museum was founded, funded, and initially stocked by Eric Harvie, a rancher who owned the land where Alberta’s big oil strike occurred. He ended up supporting numerous charitable organizations-without having his name attached to them.
The museum is spread across three floors with extensive displays. There was art: from contemporary times, from Asia, from Africa, and from Calgary in the 1970s. There was a special exhibit about M.C. Escher and his fascination with mathematics in his art.
One exhibit focused on “Mavericks” from Alberta; in politics, art, business, sports, etc. It was a fascinating, informative exhibit. Another section was devoted to the First Nations-the term used to encompass Native Americans.
One collection focused on Treasures from the Mineral World, we thought of Lucian often here. The art of the Northwest was in another gallery but after the Whyte museum in Banff, there was not much new on display. The final exhibit discussed the role of warriors and warrior classes throughout the ages. This is the largest museum in western Canada and worth the time we spent here.
Downtown Calgary has skyways, The skyways are called Plus 15s. Evidently when first constructed, they had to be fifteen feet about street level. Even though Canada has adopted the metric system, the term has stuck. We did some exploration of the downtown, mainly on the skyways but some at street level.
There was en interesting spot in one skyway near the cultural venues where 6 seats were in a corner of the hallway so you could view a TV type monitor where short vignettes by local artists played in rotation. In another section, they had an indoor garden which reminded me of the one in Town Center in St. Paul-which was removed a number of years ago.
Since this is Stampede time, many people are wearing cowboy hats. It seems most offices have designated this week as jeans week as they were everywhere. At one downtown park, several Stampede activities are scheduled every morning. Due to the weather today, they were canceled so we missed that.
We did run in to two local people that we spent some time talking to. One woman stopped us by the park where the activities had been canceled to encourage us to come back on Wednesday. We spent 20 minutes talking about Calgary and life in general with her. A man on the LRT on the way home had a Hawaii ranch shirt on so we discussed Hawaii and Calgary with him.
We returned to our Evergreen hosts and finished the evening with some further conversation. All of us will be taking the LRT to the Calgary Stampede grounds tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how the grounds look. They were under water two weeks ago.
Ed and Chris July 8 10:45 pm