HELICOPTER IN THE ROCKIES...ALBERTA CUISINE...AND BOOB SHIRT
group of writers were taken on a helicopter tour of the Rockies near Kananaskis last week. I kinda thought we might go up a few hundred feet and just buzz around the valleys. But, no. Instead, we lifted off from outside a native Canadian casino and soon found ourselves some 4,000 feet above the valley floor and at an elevation of nearly 9,000 feet. Mt. Kidd was almost below us as we whirred our way over the rocks and forests and towering spires of the Rockies.
I gotta admit I had a case of the sweaty palms, but I managed to snap some photos out the window. It was quite something. So thanks to the folks at Kananaskis Heli Tours for a job well done. It was wonderful and extremely exciting...and I don' t plan to do it again any time soon.
WHERE'S THE BEEF?
Actually, there was no shortage of steer on my trip out west last week. I think we were served beef three or four times in five dinners. But it's generally great stuff, and I've seldom met a steak I didn't like.
It was interesting, however, to see the range of food offerings in the Banff area. We had a great buffalo and wild boar tourtiere at the Canmore Golf Club one night, and the venison at the Waldhaus restaurant at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel was out of this world. Stewart Creek Golf Club has a chef who does wonders with mushroom soup. And the chef at Grappa, a restaurant at the Delta Kananaskis Resort, did himself proud with a pheasant rillette (kind of a pate) that was topped with cherries, an incredible lake trout from Great Slave Lake, a beef tenderloin and a series of great desserts.
At Coyotes in Banff, I had a great shrimp appetizer with chipotle and orange sauce and a zippy penne with chicken and mushrooms.
Great steak? Sure. But lots more on offer out west.
NICE RACK - I MEAN THE DEER ANTLERS, OF COURSE
Had time for a brief hike around Banff last Friday. Took the gondola up to Sulphur Mountain for some incredible views of the vast wilderness in the region and the towering mountains.
It's amazing how it can be 22 or 25 degrees in the sun, then, when the clouds come, it seems to drop 10 degrees in seconds.
Anyway, it's a great place for a walk and to check out the tourists. I saw license plates from every province except Newfoundland and saw people with some pretty interesting t-shirts. One guy, probably about 40, was wearing a shirt with the words "All Grown Up and Still Fascinated by Boobs."