Monday, August 24.

This morning we’re going to Banff. One moment we are in the plains around Calgary, and the next we’re in the Rockies – mammoth outcrops of rocks. The craggy faces of these mountains encircle us. Evergreens march up the mountain side like an army. Suddenly the soldiers stop, giving way to barren rock. It looks as if some unseen hand has taken a razor and shaved the tops clean. The sharp points make a picket fence around us. This is Canmore and it is beautiful.

We take the cutoff into town, searching for the inevitable bookstore. The main street is lined with boutiques, their architecture resembling that of the Swiss Alps. The book store owner won’t be back til after three. We stop at an old school bus for ice cream – heavenly hash in this heavenly place.

Munching contentedly on my ice cream cone, we return to the highway. Banff, and the legendary hot springs are just twenty-five minutes away. Like Canmore, only larger Banff is an Alpine town. Every other store is a gift shop. We have a relaxing swim in the hot springs pool, as we gaze at the mountains. Of course, my bathing suit wasn’t in the bag as we had thought. So I rented one – only $1.90 – mighty cheap. It’s a 1920’s flapper style – not particularly flattering.

“We should have brought the camera in,” I say to Tom.

He just shakes his head, “I’ll go up on the balcony later and get a picture.”

We paddle about and sit on the side of the pool. As usual Tom begins a conversation with two women in similar bathing suits to my rented one. Their husbands take a picture of them. They offer to take one of us and email it to us. We talk some more. Eventually I tell them about my books and we sell one.
“I didn’t bring any money with me,” she says. So once again, I trade on trust and sign a copy of Stella. “I’ll mail the check,” she assures me.

We planned to take a cable car to the top of a mountain. When we check it out, we discover a ticket is $29.50. Ouch! I decide that I have already climbed a mountain a number of years ago. Tom has ridden in this cable car before, so we’ll spend our money elsewhere.

We gather up our stuff, take some pictures, and return to Canmore. The owner of Cafe books on Main Street buys three copies of each book.

“When I sell them,” she says, “I’ll order more.”

I smile and fill out the invoice.

“My accountant will mail the check tomorrow,” she says.

“That’s fine,” I reply.

Tom asks, “Where’s a good place for supper.

“Right next door. You can sit on the patio and look at the mountains while you eat.”

We eat our fill, and head back to Calgary. Once again it has been a good day.

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