My dad grew up watching a 60’s sitcom called F-Troop. Set in the wild west America in the late 1860’s, the outpost ran a tight ship while they kept guard against the savage indians. Only thing being, the outpost guard was blind, the Indians were scared of the dark, the NCO’s were in the black market for Indian goods, and the captain, well, he was sweet as anything but not exactly the brightest guy on the block (this worked out for the corporal and sargent…). Of course, I watched it too. We owned all two seasons and spent many a Sunday afternoon viewing a new episode or four. It was stupid, funny, and one episode featured a singing Canadian Mountie from Banff. f. That’s how they said it every single time. Of course, the only unmarried girl and the captain’s sweetheart was smitten, but don’t worry, the Mountie from Banff. F. was the baddie in the end.
So I was quite excited to actually get to go to Banff. F. Myself!
It really is a charming town. Signposts and shops and X-shaped pedestrian road crossings and gorgeous mountains in the background, and gardens and old churches and wooden buildings and flower pots and a beautiful lake running across the city and its wooden and stone bridge. It’s sweet! I only spent two nights/one and a half full days here and I could understand why tourists come to work the year here.
In between seeing lakes around Banff, I went horseriding!
I was a horse teenager. Dad made it explicitly clear I would not be getting one of my own, which I was resigned/okay about, especially when I considered how much work it takes to look after one! #indadsgoodbooks But despite the novels I read, the stories I wrote, the pictures on my wall, and the jeans + tshirt look I adored, I never really rode horses much, bare my friend’s ponies a couple of times or a quick sit on a horse at a station or after a checkup with dad. So I wanted to give it a proper go as much as a trail ride could offer, and a trail ride through Canada was a beautiful way to spend the afternoon!
Of course, there was the horse himself…. Sweet enough, very good looking, but he had a mind of his own! I can’t remember his name… Buster or Spanner or something like that. He was constantly trying to eat the grass – we were warned beforehand to not let them eat the grass or they will be trying to eat the grass for the whole trip. Well I was halfway down the driveway when Buster here decided to stop for a snack before I could realise what was happening! Also he liked to be a little too close to the back of the horse in front of me; I guess so his tail could keep Buster’s head fly-free. So he was a bit of a struggle throughout the hour’s ride, but it added another challenge to learn how to control the horse! 😊
The landscape was pretty. I decided to just enjoy the experience rather than take photos the whole time, so I don’t have any to show save the ones of flowers from my walk back to town from the stables. We walked through a scrubby wooded area, up and down gentle slopes, beside a bright turquoise-blue lake, with the steep mountains as a backdrop. Muddy ground, greenery and shrubs to the left and right, grass to tempt the equine… 😉 Blue sky, beautiful weather. Gentle plodding pace, clopping (or sloshing, depending on the mud) sounds, rolling slightly from side to side, back up straight, one hand on the saddle, other on the reins…
I was sore and ready for it to be over come the end of the hour (I had planned a 3-hour ride but was booked on the hour ride which worked out lovely for my thighs and backside! 😂) BUT I had so much fun and loved the experience.