I left Fernie the night before and spent the night on the bus. We made a brief stop in Calgary for an hour and then it was back on the bus to Banff. I slept the majority of the way but did wake every once and a while to catch a glimpse of the snow capped rockies. When i got to Banff, i walked to the center of town and got in touch with AJ who was cleaning an apartment the boys had been drinking at the night before. Banff reminded me alot of Queenstown in NZ, it had a very tourist feel to it which made me more keen to check out the nightlife here. Everyone back home had told me sunday night was the big night here so i hoped that i could convince the boys to make the trip from the lake for a big night. I met up with aj, it was great to catch up with him again. Our first stop was maccas for his hangover cure and also my first canadian maccas experience. By no means was it good, i was glad to have an apple and banana to cancel out the buritto breakfast wrap i had just inhaled. AJ invited me to come and stay at 'chuck town' for a few nights to catch up with the other boys from school. It was the staff accomadation lodge for all the staff working the season on lake louise and from what i had heard so far they were abit of a loose bunch. We caught the bus from banff up to the mountain at lake louise and had lunch in the staff lounge which was cool. It overlooked a few chairlifts, the terrain park where im sure a few bones had been broken over the winter and the beginners run. This mountain seemed to have the most going on so far out of all the ones i had been too. After lunch we headed back to chuck town and i met up with aj's room mates. We caught up with Mike who was leaving that night on a bus to Vancouver and then back home to Brisbane. Soon after that, Paul got home from work on the mountain and we decided to head out to dinner to send mike off. We went to the local pizza place and got stuck into some pitchers and got our pizzas, well worth it! We ended up getting 50% off the total bill because of a leak in the roof which basicly filled an entire glass at our table which made for a very cheap night. After that we went back to chuck town and chilled out, said goodbye to mikey and watched a couple of movies before calling it a night.
The next day, i enjoyed a nice sleep in while everyone went to work and organised my flights from New York to San Fran. I hitched a ride up to the chateau which overlooked the lake and went for a walk along the frozen lake to the other side which was about 2km. The lake was surrounded by mountains and alot of trees covered in snow which was nice but i had felt i had seen it all before on my trip so far. At the other side was a frozen waterfall, it was hard to believe that a waterfall could actually become frozen in the state that water still looked like it was flowing out of it. On my walk back to the chateau i decided to take a short cut to take a different path back but unfortunately underestimated how much powder had fallen on the lake. Even though the short cut was only 10 meters to get to the path, at about 5 meters i was waist deep in snow and for anyone who knows how tall i am, thats bloody deep! I freaked out alittle and pushed on and eventually pulling myself out and on to the path. What a trap for young players! After that little episode i made my way back to chuck town and caught the last half of the movie i was watching the night before and made some skype calls. Paul had come home by then and was keen to party, it was dance night at the lake so we picked up some beers and kicked off our pre drinks. We headed down to aj's room and pumped the music, no doubt this was a regular friday night for this guys. We kicked on to dance night which was in the basement of the same building we had had pizza the night before. What a night! It was alot of fun hanging out with everyone over a few drinks. It was late when we came home and the boys had to work that morning. We stayed up for abit of a chat with a few of the room mates before going to bed. I did feel sorry for them, it had been a huge night and was i glad i didnt have to get up and go to work that day. I remember paul waking me up from the couch as if he wanted me to feel the pain of getting up but all i could do was just roll over and fall back to sleep. This hangover was bound to hang around if i got up now so i enjoyed the extra few hours. That day was filled with alot of movies and not much else, i just couldnt be bothered so i took the day off. When the boys got home they looked alittle worse for wear. We had an early night with the hope we would make it to banff for a sunday session.
There wasnt much else to do in the lake in the way of sight seeing so i decided to make the most of some overnight snow and head up the mountain. One of pauls roommates organised a half price lift pass and another mate andy scored me free rentals. $40 and a 6 pack of beer to Andy later i was on the mountain, carving up run after run. I was getting better at skiing, it wasnt a hard thing to pick up again and spent most of the day flying down most runs. I went to temple lodge for lunch where AJ worked as a chef and paul worked as a cashier. Paul 'apoglised' for the drop burger as one appeared in front of me. What a great kid. I had lunch with a couple of guys from chuck town and then hit a few runs with tom who had organised my lift pass. A few hours later we returned to the main lodge to drop back my skis and for a pitcher of beer. It was snowing outside now and we sat down next to the window, what a backdrop to be sinking a couple of cold ones! I headed back to the lodge after that and then down to the mall to pick up some more beers for the two going away parties in the common room that night. We didnt have the energy to organise a big night in banff for the sunday session but i wasnt bothered. Im sure id be back over this side of the world one day. It was a good night, half of the people were dressed up in something starting with B which made for some interesting costumes. The drinks were flowing and i met a few more of the chuck town residents. I went outside for with paul to get some air to find 5 guys trying to throw snowballs into some guys room though his open window. Somehow during the night i made friends with Victoria and Sam who had been driving from LA and were heading to Boston, travelling though Canada. They offered me a lift to Banff the next morning as i was spending one night there before get a transfer to Calgary airport and then flying to Montreal. We exchanged numbers and we went back to partying, knowing full well that drunken promises rarely work out. The next morning i awoke to a message on my phone that they would be there soon to pick me up. Wow, my faith was restored! They gave me a call when they got there and we all piled into their red jeep. We got off to a great start with the gearbox being alittle out of shape and unable to reverse out of the parking lot. I got out and gave the jeep alittle push before Victoria found the elusive reverse gear and we were in business. Breakfast was a priority so we headed straight to the local bakery. Sam was feeling alittle worse for wear and out of nowhere shouted me breakfast. What a champion! After fueling up, we hit the road to Banff. It was snowing and the roads were wet. This was the reason i decided not to hire a car while in the Canadian rockies. I was just a tad nervous when 3 semi trailers drove past in the opposite lane but Victoria held it together, her and Sam had been driving since LA so i had to have some faith. We had abit of trouble finding the HI youth hostel but got there eventually. I said goodbye and we made plans to meet on the east side of Canada. I spent most of the day just walking around Banff which was nice but i was more interested to see what the nightlife had to offer. I went to the shop to buy some things for my dinner that night, it was going to be my first attempt at cooking dinner overseas. I wouldnt consider myself to be a good cook so expectations weren't sky high but after my 20 mins slaving away in the kitchen i produced my dinner. Uncle Ben's rice with chopped meat and frozen veggies. Im going to give myself 5/10 as it was presented well but the meat was abit on the tough side. Not bad for my first go. There was a band playing at the hostel that night so i went down and had a beer with my room mates. They werent someone i would normally listen to but ended up been pretty good, afterwards this pommy bloke brought everyone in the bar jugs of beers and started up a seemly harmless drinking game by tossing a coin in your glass which meant you had to skull your beer. Not bad for a monday night in Banff!
I really do hope i have the chance to come back here one day to maybe do a season and learn how to Snowboarding plus get abit more of a taste for the party scene in this part of Canada.
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