Banff Day 2: The Keith and Leslie experience

Keith and Leslie are some of the most incredible humans beings on the planet, on so many levels. If I can attain their level of amazingness in my lifetime, I will be a very fortunate individual.

When I thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (www.kealapct2012.blogspot.com) in 2012, if I had to summarize that entire trip in one word it would be “gratitude”. One of the main reasons I did that hike was because I was in one of those “I hate people, we have ran this world to shit, and humanity is on a permanent downhill spiral” funks, and needed to disappear from civilization for 6 months. Ironically, in trying to do so, I found some of the most incredible people who showed me the most beautiful aspects of what it means to be human. These “Trail Angels” as they are called, had so much generosity, kindness, and pure Aloha that it was almost overwhelming. These are people who literally put their own life on hold temporarily, to make sure I (a total stranger they have never met) was ok and had what I needed to keep going. And it wasn’t just once or twice I encountered these Trail Angels, it was throughout the entire 2,668 miles of the PCT I walked. Keith and Leslie are definitely amongst the greatest of the Trail Angel pantheon. ❤

The weather out here is ridiculously phenomenal. It's been around 27-30*C here, which is high 70s-mid 80s Farenheit. We took a chairlift up the local ski hill to have lunch at the cafe up top.

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The view from our table was phenomenal.

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The view from outside was even *more* incredible.

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I rolled around Banff for a bit to get some last minute items for my ride (like bear mace, and food). The main strip in Banff reminds me a lot of Waikiki, as far as volume of tourists, but with a much larger land formation for a backdrop, and way cooler looking buildings.

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If only Oahu would adopt a same movement:

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Huge mahalo to Soul Ski and Bike shop for giving me a can of bear mace! Another Tour Divide rider finished and donated it to the bike shop, and they in turn gave it to me. Awesome!!

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When I am finished riding through bear country (which won’t be til much, much later), hopefully it will remain unused, and I will in turn leave it with the local bike shop. Pay it forward!

Tomorrow we’re all going hiking somewhere around Lake Louise. I’m so stoked!! It’ll be the first time I think I’ve gone on a real hike in a very long time. Yay! We are going with a random friend we just met, our server at the cafe we went to for coffee this afternoon. Double yay!

So this place we got coffee at. It is at the Banff Centre (www.banffcentre.ca) which is a world class performing arts, theater, music, visual arts and media center the size of a small university, located right above town. WOW. They also do artist residencies. Cool!! Anyhow, the cafe we were at was right next to an open air amphitheater, and they were doing a sound check for a concert happening that night. It was an orchestral band concert playing covers of Beatles songs, with famous Canadian vocalists including former lead singer of Bare Naked Ladies. It was awesome listening to them play. What a cool afternoon 🙂

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The weather is so incredible here, hence I am ridiculously restless and chomping at the bit, as I really, really should start riding south. Because when the weather is good, you ride as far as you can, and when the weather is bad, you hide or keeping riding until there is somewhere to hide, and hope you don’t get hit by lightning. Currently it is neither raining nor electrical storming, so a huge part of me feels like I NEED to be riding RIGHT NOW. The week and a half before I left Hawaii, my entire focus, energy and being was directed entirely toward the trip: making my frame bags, figuring out what I was and was not going to take, and figuring out exactly what the hell I was about to get myself into. Lol. (On that note, I still have no idea). Since I’ve been in Banff, it’s like someone has slammed on the brakes and my life went from 60 to zero overnight. It is somewhat of a shock to my system, and I’m honestly kind of freaking out.

However, I have learned that sometimes, you just have to roll with whatever situation you’re in and soak in all the wonderful aspects of the present moment. I am in a new and exciting place, with absolutely incredible people, having awesomely incredible experiences. Even though I’m completely jonesing to start riding, the purpose of the ride isn’t to get to Mexico, it’s about the experiences I have whilst getting there. And I am starting my journey with a more awesome experience than I ever could have hoped for. 🙂

In the end, all will be as it should be, and how you process it all determines the type of experience you have.

So tomorrow I will go hiking, and it will be epic. :). Then I will pack my frame bags so I can start riding the next day. Whoop whoop!

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2 thoughts on “Banff Day 2: The Keith and Leslie experience

    • Phone decided to post before I was done. Anyway I have great memories of the rooftop jacuzzi, the much too gamey meat, the beautiful flowers along a stream (possibly the Lake Louise outflow) and the magnificent color of the Lake backdropped by stunning peaks.

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