Saturday, 16 June 2012

On gophers and other thoughts

 The Calgary Hostel has a very friendly vibe to it. I have been chatting with people from all over. Ireland, France, Austria. As I was coming in the back with Leonardo yesterday evening, I happened to see a staff member walking past, so I asked her what the small rodents that were scampering around were? She said they were gophers, something I had suspected. She then asked me if I knew anything about repairing bikes as the brakes on her elderly ten speed weren't working. I took my jacket off to show her my Tour de l'île bénévelo méchano t-shirt! I then looked over the bike and decided there was too much slack in the brake cables. I set about to tighten then. Fortunately, I had neglected to remove my second wrench from my tool bag after the Tour de l'île so I was able to do the job. The woman said that the brakes had never worked so well since she'd had the bike.

The downside of the hostel is that it is located too near the C-train and a construction site. To add insult to injury, part of the C-train isn't working tomorrow morning so I will be forced to ride a shade farther in the city with a loaded bike.

Not that Calgary is particularly hard to bike in. Yesterday was spent in a preparatory mode: reassembling Leonardo, getting bits at the MEC and mailing my duffle bag, duct tape and my pedal wrench to the hostel in Winnipeg. I also got in a much desired snooze. I should have gone to see the Tsuu T'ina Culture Museum as I only found today that it is closed on weekends. As well, I had planned to stop at the Blackfoot Crossing historic site tomorrow, but it isn't open on Sundays!

On the plus side, I found out before I went anywhere. I went Fort Calgary this morning and the Glenbow Museum in the afternoon. At the former, there was a staff member or docent who was reading some of information about the destruction of the bison and then said she wished she'd hadn't as it made her feel awful. I put forth the classic statement that those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it.

 On the subject of history, the Austrian guy who is sharing my room didn't appreciate until I told him that Calgary was only founded in 1888 or thereabouts. Spanking new in European terms. Time rustle up some grub. Big day tomorrow. The Austrian asked if I planned to leave early. I replied that I might plan to but I knew that I would end up doing a certain amount of fussing around so I end up leaving like a herd of tortoises to borrow a phrase from Alice.

Gophers are lots of fun to watch.

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