Upon leaving Banff, the scenery dramatically changes to flat, yellow plains. I can see why Alberta is called the Texas of Canada, as I felt like I was back at home driving from Dallas to Austin. It is hard to believe Calgary is only about 80 miles east of Banff, as it feels like another place entirely. I only took a few pictures in Calgary, which include beers and bikes, our main Calgary activities. We went to two breweries and on two bike rides and enjoyed all. We spent the night in the RV parking section of Grey Eagle Casino, where we saw a deer, rabbit, and number of birds. This was definitely the most scenic casino spot yet, and we were actually able to bike from here to Glenmore Reservoir, which has a lovely bike trail around its edges.
Of the two breweries we went to, High Line Brewing was our favorite. It is located in Inglewood, which is a hipster, trendy neighborhood with lots of breweries. We learned that Calgary only started allowing microbreweries a few years ago, and in that time 35 breweries have popped up around the city. We loved that tasters were served in a cupcake tin and appreciated the wide range of brews. We left with a few different types, including the Wabi-Sabi, a yuzu sour. I only learned the term wabi-sabi recently from my mom and love the intention behind it. Wikipedia provides the following information:
In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō), suffering (苦 ku) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū).Wikipedia
As a perfectionist who has a hard time accepting anything less, I strive to embrace the wabi-sabi attitude. We have spent so long dreaming about this van year, I think I feel a need to maximize every minute and make sure we see all the best parts of the United States and Canada. I don’t want us to feel like we’ve wasted this opportunity that we are lucky to have. However, I have to remember to just appreciate the trip, including the imperfect parts (like full campgrounds, rainy days, disagreements, bad meals, sore knees, missing home). In reality, my main goal of this trip is to learn, about myself, David, others, life, meaning, and happiness.
We also biked on the Bow River Pathway, which provides a lot of variety, from the busy, manicured parks downtown to the less used bumpy sections south of the City that kept us on our toes, literally. One part of the path had a bridge so low you had to get off the bike and walk. The green tinge to the river and rusted bridge provided a great photo opp.