Rocky Mountains Wedding Crasher

I had booked on to a tour from Jasper down to Lake Louise. The pick up was at 8:30. I did not make the pick up. Possibly $100 wasted.

Packed up my tent and strolled back to town to see if I could still get to Lake Louise that day. Made up an excuse about my watch being in another time-zone. I even wound my watch back an hour and showed the woman I was begging to. She may or may not have bought my lie. Either way I was able to swap my tour for the direct bus. Missed out on some apparently special sights but the drive was still spectacular, past a glacier and a black bear.

Tried some root beer. Didn't like it.

Lake Louise (gorgeous) was followed by Banff (also gorgeous), things were good and met good people and saw more great views but let's spin on to the fun of Canmore.

Had a two hour wait for the bus to Canmore so I decided I'd try to hitch-hike. Was picked up after ten minutes by a hungover girl who took me to McDonalds in her beaten up old pick up. Thanked her for the lift then tried to find a bed. Four hours later, having walked out to the hostel 5km out of town and back and around town I managed to find a motel with a bit of space. Even though it was the cheapest motel in town, at $100 it was still three times my daily accomodation budget. As the Canmore Highland Games were in town it was my only choice. Why the Canmore Highland Games are a thing I have no idea but they've been running for twenty two years.

If I was used to hotels the first things I would have noticed about my motel room would have been the badly stained carpet and odd smell. As I'm not, I was excited by the fridge, hob and little bottles of shampoo. Having a room to myself I did as any self respecting man would have done: Got naked and had a wee with the door open.

Met up with Pete and Shauna and their friends Kristy, Clayton and Megan. They were in town for their friends wedding so were squeezing in to one hotel room where we played drinking games and had a fun evening. Clayton was asking Kristy about her heated mattress
Clayton: 'What temperature does yours go up to?'
Kristy: 'Max'

We joked that I should be a wedding crasher the following night but I said that wasn't cool on someone's big day so I couldn't. Popped back to their hotel the next morning to steal breakfast and thank them for having me. Next up I figured I should check out the highland games.

Briefly strolled the park and watched some people throw heavy stuff then found my way to the beer and music tent. The music was all Irish but it was excellent. Watched the official opening ceremony which was a load of ridiculous pomp and ceremony. I loved it. Found myself smiling like a special child all day. Bagpipes though, what a cack instrument. There were three hundred pipers and most seemed like normal people. I don't understand that.

Over some Irish dancing I befriended a girl who had had a very full and troubled life. She had been given the all clear two days earlier after suffering from ovarian cancer, her ex boyfriend was murdered and she was fairly well off thanks to her talents as a cocaine dealer in Vancouver. She'd left the city to escape that life and was working in a restaurant for a bit before moving on to Spain. We drank for several hours and then she went to work half cut.

With the sunshine, bagpipes, drinking and new friend I was feeling very good and decided that crashing a wedding might be okay after all. To do this I needed a suit and luckily the taxi driver was happy to help out. The only issue was that his waist size was 40 inches and he had definitely given me the shirt and tie he cared least about. I looked idiotic, but at least I'd made an effort. I'm not sure how acceptable my presence was at the reception but I certainly felt welcomed and I think I behaved myself, not taking advantage of the free bar. I did take advantage of the limo that was provided to ferry guests back to their hotels though and I joined Pete, Shauna, Clayton, Megan, Kristy and two others at their swanky hotel room to conclude the night with some Royal Reserve (dreadful rye whisky).

Canmore and everyone in it had been good to me. I recommend it.