My day off yesterday was dedicated to attaining a long-saught-after collectable. It necessitated a day trip to Golden, British Columbia - about two and a half hours west of Calgary. The collectable in question is photographed at the end of this blog post, but the story and the process is far more interesting than the picture of the item.
As you know, I collect vintage audio: radios, tape recorders, phonographs and so forth. I finally found the matching set of speakers to the Yamaha EM 200 mixer; a photo of which resides currently on the sidebar. The only challenge is that I found the speakers in Victoria, British Columbia - a fair jaunt from home. The good news is that my friend Dave's friend Ian lives in Victoria these days. He also happens to travel regularly between Victoria and Golden.
Get the picture? ;) <---I think that's the first time in the history of the Armchair that I've used a sideways smiley in a post.
It's been several months setting up the deal. I was excited to hear from Ian when he'd made plans at the end of May to come out in June. It's a bit of a double celebration actually, since I haven't really travelled anywhere recreationally since my 40th a year ago January. The prospect of a day away with no set schedule was exciting.
I was to meet Ian at 1:30 since his plan was to have lunch with his daughter until around 1:00. So, I left at around 8:00 AM and took my time, stopping along the way to smell the roses.
FIRST STOP WAS LAC DES ARC SINCE I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE VIEW ACROSS THE WATER TO THE PLANT AT EXSHAW.
WITH NO PLANS TO STOP OVER TO USE FACILITIES IN THE NATIONAL PARK, I BYPASSED THE CHECK STAND AT THE BANFF GATES.
My plan was to take the Bow Valley Parkway - the old highway between Banff and Lake Louise. It adds another 40 minutes to the 55 KM run, but is well worth the drive if you have the time. My friend Mike in Ontario used to say there are two seasons: Winter and Road Repair. He wasn't kidding. Just east of the Bow Valley Parkway turnoff, construction! What I didn't notice in time was that there was a break in the temporary barricade to access the turnoff. I continued on to the exit for Sunshine Ski Village, then looped around and back to catch the Parkway exit heading eastbound.
I'd noticed that many of the familiar signs had been replaced by a new style. I've decided I don't really like them. I prefer the vintage-style yellow-on-brown to the new white-on-navey.
COMPARING NEW TO OLD. NEW IS EASIER TO READ, BUT OLD IS MORE... RUSTIC IMHO.
I LOVE HOW THE PARKWAY ROAD SPLITS INTO SINGLE LANES AROUND PIECES OF ROCK.
NEARING LAKE LOUISE, THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE STRETCHES. THE SPEED LIMIT HAS BEEN REDUCED SINCE MY LAST RUN, FROM 80 KM/H DOWN TO 60 KM/H ON THE STRAIGHTAWAYS AND TO AS LOW AS 30 KM/H ON SOME OF THE SINGLE-LANE STRETCHES. I ALSO NOTICED A SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN THE VOLUME OF CYCLISTS. COINCIDENCE? I THINK NOT. THE UPSIDE? YOU GET TO SAVOUR THE SCENERY. :) <---Sideways Smiley #2
BEING THE TRAIN BUFF I AM, I WOULD BE REMISS IF I DIDN'T PHOTOGRAPH THE RAIL SIGHTS IN B.C. MY NEXT STOP WAS THE SPIRAL TUNNELS.
NEARING GOLDEN, THE FAMILIAR GREEN OF THE FRASER RIVER WITH - SURPRISE, SURPRISE - A TRAIN TRACK!
AT THE KICKING HORSE REST STOP PART WAY DOWN THE HILL TOWARD GOLDEN - LOOKING EAST UP THE HILL.
LOOKING WEST, DOWN THE HILL
I had about an hour for lunch before meeting Ian, so remembering this little cottage-style restaurant near the Husky, I pulled in... only to discover it was no longer cottage-y. It was now the Golden Grizzly - a BBQ style cookhouse. No worries! After a sizeable Greek-chicken salad I met up with Ian who didn't have a whole lot of time to visit, so we had a brief chat and I was on my way.
If you know me, even in the least, you know I'm always on the lookout for coconut cream pie. Of course, anywhere there's a truck stop or a diner chances are there's coconut cream pie. I stopped at the Husky on the highway, and sure enough...
COCONUT CREAM PIE AND COFFEE! THE COFFEE WAS A DISAPPOINTMENT, BUT THE PIE - NOT BAD. :D <---a pie-smiley
Golden has rail yards, so I simply had to go in search of interesting track shots. Sadly, but not surprisingly, there was construction on the bridge that leads to downtown Golden, else I would have captured some fabulous overhead shots of the rails. In lieu, I drove over the bridge and followed the road around to the same tracks, but on ground level. There was a convenient place for me to park the van, then hop on to the road bed.
AFTER I SHOT THIS ONE...
...I LUCKED OUT - A TRAIN!!
ON THE TRANS CANADA FOR THE JOURNEY HOME, I SNAPPED THIS: AN OVERPASS FOR WILDLIFE. THERE ARE SEVERAL OF THESE BUILT UP TO ALLOW ANIMALS TO CROSS THE HIGHWAY SAFELY.
HOME SWEET HOME - THE YAMAHA S4115H SPEAKERS SET IN PLACE.
These seemingly oversized-for-the-space speakers remind me of this ad from around the same time the speakers were built:
THE SLOGAN WAS: "IS IT LIVE, OR IS IT MEMOREX?"
Yup, that'll be me watching a good action flick... something to do the speakers justice: Top Gun, methinks!