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Published: February 21st 2007
So this blog isn't located anywhere exotic but I thought I would divulge more on the fine aspects of Alberta including its winter and well, Burger Baron.
One of the great past times of a childhood winter is building snowmen. Usually, they're of the scrawny variety as 7 year olds can't really lift giant balls of snow well. Some poor kid's scarf is stolen to adorn the snowman and a thin tree is stripped of its branches to give the snowman some stick arms. On my way down the street from my house, someone has taken it upon him/herself to create a gigantic snowman so large, I wouldn't believe it if I didn't have the photographic evidence. See for yourself! This one clearly takes the cake and would crush any little child that got in its path. Well done to whoever brought on this undertaking!
As for Burger Baron.. why ramble on about this ramshackle old building? Well, it does by far, make the best greasy mushroom bacon burgers in Edmonton, bar none, despite its deceptive exterior. This great joint has locations on 99st, somewhere on the West End and on Fort Road. There is a reason it was
rated top 3 burger joints of Edmonton by See Magazine in 1994. It may look like its on the verge of closing, but the mushroom burgers keep it alive!
This is what Vue Weekly had to say about its history:
"A Belgian mercenary crossed the Channel with his troops to support the Yorkists during the War of the Roses. Klaus von Burgher soon fell in love with Britain and eventually spared the life of Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI. In an act of clemency, the king awarded von Burgher a baronetcy and coat of arms.
Baron von Burgher was renowned for his skills in castle defense, especially with preparing the vats of boiling oil that crisped attackers nicely. The Baron’s heirs preserved the secrets of his boiling oil and began offering a variety of snacks dipped in the oil as war memorabilia—it was only a matter of time before people started devouring the tasty treats. A stylized image of the Baron von Burgher was used on their signs, and when the Baron’s descendants began fortifying outposts in Edmonton, they shortened the name to Burger Baron"
And now, to the good stuff. The main purpose of
this blog is actually to write about Banff! Banff, mountain mecca of the snowboarding junkies, busloads of Japanese tourists and chocolate fudge lovers. It is an amusing sight to see many people standing on the side of the road hoping to hitchhike a ride up to Sunshine Ski Resort decked out in expensive snowboarding gear. For those a bit more affluent, there's Louis Vuitton to suit their needs.
I went about a month ago with my friend Andrew, who was volunteering in Banff with Student Legal Assistance and decided to see what the legal system in Banff is all about. Well, its a one-courtroom show located in a shopping mall across the hallway from a plastic surgery clinic and two floors up from the coin-operated laundrymat. The clientele the Banff court serves are mostly transient in nature and involve intoxication and/or illicit drugs. One poor chap was charged with resisting arrest after a riot broke out in Australia day and was frantically attempting to pay off his fine and recover his passport within one week before his plane headed out to England. I didn't think he was going to get his bail money back anytime soon before he left our
For some reason, there are chocolate shops that spring up with any quaint tourist town. Banff, is no exception... not that I'm complaining. There are at least 6 candy and fudge shops along the main section of town to suit your sweet tooth needs. I do highly recommend the homemade butter caramel bars that are similar but vastly superior to the Skor bar.
Snowshoeing is yet another great canadian past time. Apparently the old fashioned ones used to be made with wood and cat gut (or was the cat intestines merely a tall tale?). Things have evolved, and the new ones involve quite the contraptions involving aluminum and plastic bits. I didn't really experience snowshoeing properly until this year as well, snowshoeing in the yard of your elementary school on 1 foot of packed snow doesn't really give the proper effect to these things. You quickly sink into 5 feet of snow in the mountains without them. There are some fantastic snowshoe trails in the Kananaskis region, just outside of Banff.
Apparently people love snowshoeing so much there is even competitive snowshoeing. Fact: The United States Snowshoe Association was founded in 1977 to serve as a governing
body for competitive snowshoeing. It is headquartered in Corinth, New York, which considers itself the "Snowshoe Capital of the World".
random fact: the streets in Banff seemed to be named after local mountain animal varieties. Do you have any desire to live on Badger, Antelope or Marmot Street? It is entirely possible to take Lynx Street, then a left onto Cougar and then a right onto Rabbit Street to get to a certain destination.
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