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Trip Report Songdoc’s Canadian Rockies Trip Report -- OMG WOW!!!

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The Canadian Rockies had been high on my list for years, and I could hardly believe my good luck when I was invited to present a workshop there in conjunction with the Canmore Folk Festival. But my luck did not hold out …

Thirty-six hours prior to my flight, completely out of the blue, I developed searing urinary tract pain, intense aching, and high fever. By the middle of the night my fever was raging so high that my limbs were convulsing. I have never been sicker in my life and my guess was that I was more likely to be heading to the hospital than the Canadian Rockies.

I’ve been teaching workshops for more than twenty years and had never canceled a class. Canceling would be a nightmare, as students were flying and driving in from all over Canada and had paid for their accommodations. I wasn’t “part” of the workshop—I was “it.” AGGHH!!!

My doctor pumped me full of antibiotics and steroids, and said the good news was that he expected the meds to act very quickly. It was hard to believe I’d be able to teach in two days when my teeth were chattering and I was shaking so badly from the fever I couldn’t write my name. But the show must go on, and DP and I boarded the plane to Calgary. Oh, and I forgot to mention that DP had a nasty stomach bug and felt horrible, as well. He’d barely eaten for several days.

We dragged ourselves through and checked into the Royal Executive Inn at the Calgary airport after midnight Tuesday night. I’d booked it through Priceline for $82/nt. The plan was to meet a friend’s family (who lives in Calgary) and have them show us around the next day. I couldn’t imagine that happening, but my fever was already coming down and the pain had downgraded from excruciating to simply “miserable.”

Wednesday morning, there’d been enormous improvement. I was well enough to enjoy the surprisingly excellent breakfast buffet ($12) at the hotel. It included a made-to-order omelet and waffle bar and eggs benedict. DP ate a piece of toast!

We decided to embark on our tour with the caveat that we weren’t feeling well and wouldn’t be able to do very much. They picked us up at the hotel and drove us to Kananaskis—about an hour from Calgary. En route, we saw a black bear with two cubs on the embankment off a major highway!!! Our friends said they’ve never seen that in all their years of traveling that area. Maybe my luck was changing!

Our friends had packed a gourmet lunch and we sat at a picnic table overlooking a beautiful lake with a spectacular mountain backdrop. DP had zero appetite, but my condition had been upgraded to merely “lousy”—which was a huge improvement. We did a gentle walk around the lake and I gave my brand new Nikon P510 quite a workout. I could hardly believe the views. This was my first glimpse of the beauty of this area—and I was blown away. I couldn’t imagine it getting much better--but it had only just begun. The only negative—the mosquitoes were INTENSE—and I was about to learn that they would be everywhere we went. Putting on “Off” became a necessity.

Dinner was back in downtown Calgary at one of their favorite restaurants: Boxwood. It was a lovely evening and we ate outdoors with pretty views of a park and the Sky Tower. The food was excellent—as was the company. Back at the hotel I checked my temperature and it was only slightly elevated. It was hard to believe, but I was going to survive!

To be continued …

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