We’ve slept in. One minute the morning is barely dawning, and then next, it’s 10:45am. Rock climbing yesterday took it out of us and then the trains passing the campground all night makes for a fitful night.
We shower, eat, drink our morning mint tea then pack up and head back to Sunshine Slabs. The air today is clear and our views are unobstructed for many miles in all directions making for a pretty drive.
There are somehow even fewer people at the slabs today and we have our pick of routes. West starts out back at the crimpy roadside face and bags Slytherine, Hufflepuff, Hogwarts Express, and Griffindore. The Sorting Hat and Ravenclaw routes are brutally slick with hardly any footing or holds to speak of. West makes a good effort on both and makes it part way up before the “shaky-legs” kick in and he has to take. He red points a 5.10a and we break for a snack and to scout out the other faces that are open to us today.
We make our way to the Paddock Wall face and find some routes which start out over the river that curves along the far right end of the wall. The routes here are long making us glad we packed a 70m rope. One route in particular, Seabiscuit 5.9 10 bolts 31m, looks like a good challenge. It starts out as thin slab climbing, moves left onto a big roof, then bears left again on big jugs to the top out. The tricky part is that I am unable to see him for the last 1/4 of the route and have to rely on rope tugs and indistinguishable hollering to communicate.
Several hours later, my hands are black and tender from clutching the rope and his hands and feet are sore so we call it a day. It’s West’s birthday today and so far, we’ve had a near picture perfect day… only one thing could make it better and for that, we head for Canmore.
West has been telling me about this one time he went to a Brazilian grill and how amazing the experience and the food was there. He always gets this glossed over look on his eyes, like someone remembering a loved one they haven’t seen for a long time. Well thanks to Yelp, he has discovered that there is just such a place right here in Canmore and his one birthday wish this year is to go there for dinner.
We are the first patrons of the evening and feeling horribly underdressed for the setting. Having just come from climbing, wearing our camp clothes, and with chalk and dirt smudged everywhere, I feel dirty and out of place as I gingerly settle down on the white leather seat and unfold a crisp white napkin on my soiled lap. To their credit, none of the staff so much as batted an eye at our condition or our presence.
The meal is all you can eat with a buffet and servers who walk around the tables with huge skewers of various types of meat they shave off for you to enjoy. I pair my meal with a full bodied red and West with a on tap reserve beer. We have a hard time keeping up with the continuous circulation of roasted lamb, beef, and chicken and in no time we are stuffed beyond imagination.
I waddle out of the restaurant, completely satisfied with a very content West at my side. We make our way baack to camp and fall into our beds with a complete abandon with happy hearts and full bellies.
– to follow our travels each day visually, head over to @thebozemanite on Instagram