Friday Fun Link – Floating The Bow (June 13, 2008)

Well, we're back from Calgary and it was a great trip!

Pace was an amazing traveler, we saw lots of friends, family and old familiar sights.  In many ways, it felt like we were trying to cram three and a half years of memories from when we lived there into just under a week of visiting. But even with that constraint, we managed to hit many of the spots we wanted to see – the Calgary Zoo, the Wave Pool, Shea's old unit at the Foothills, my old office at the Old Y Centre for Community Organizations plus lots of shopping and good eating.  Oh, and the obligatory pilgrimage to IKEA that all Saskies must make when visiting Cowtown.

I haven't downloaded our pictures or video yet but was looking for something to sum up the trip and found the clip below.

If asked to name my single fondest memory of the three and a half years I spent in Calgary, it was when a dozen people (including the couple we stayed with while visiting on this trip) rented a 10 man dingy (yeah, I know I said it was a dozen people involved – but there were always two or more in the river at pretty much anytime so it wasn't *completely* illegal) spent a beautiful +30 day floating lazily down the Bow River that runs through the centre of Calgary. 

The day had it all – beautiful hot weather, tons of other rafters to visit with, lots of chances to jump in and swim in the swift moving river or just hold on to the edge of the dinghy, a picnic lunch, getting ambushed by kids with water guns at one beach along the ride, a chance to drink directly from the river via one survivalist participant's new water filtration gizmo, a spot check by the river patrol (conveniently happening after our portage spot where we dumped a lot of empty cans!) and even a lost engagement ring swept away by the strength of the current (luckily not Shea's ring!)

We only did this once during the entire 3.5 years we lived in Calgary because I think we realised that doing it again might bring disappointment when it wasn't as magical as that first time. 

I had the same worry going back to visit Calgary after so many years away and with so many good memories of our time living there.  But except for a couple small pangs throughout the week (okay, and one big one when Shea and I spent a couple hours strolling 17th Ave aka “The Red Mile” where we'd spent so much time while we lived in Calgary), I realised I don't miss Calgary as much as I thought I would.  It was a great city to spend a few years in during my 20's but I would argue that Regina's an equally great city to be a young parent in.  (Comparing notes with a cousin who does a 2+-hour round trip to take her daughter to soccer three nights a week is all the proof I needed on this point! )

Anyhow, I found this video which doesn't quite do justice to how peaceful and wonderful and amazing our own day floating the Bow River was.  But it may give you a bit of a taste…

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