Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yanksgiving Weekend

Our oldest friends in Banff - the very giving and welcoming Dave and Brenda - have an unusual tradition. They host a huge Thanksgiving dinner and party between Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving. It's called Yanksgiving.

They started it because everyone was always working on Thanksgiving Day and also to offer a venue to all of the friends in Banff who are away from their friends and family. Which is basically everybody. Banff is a place which attracts people from all over the world and that rule applies to the local population as well. Many locals share in a common story. The typical story is that a person arrives in Banff as a young person from somewhere else in Canada or the world and they stay. First they stay for a season - maybe a summer and a winter. Then a year. And then another year. Frequently, they stay for a lifetime. People also come and go from our lives with surprising frequency. Everybody wants to stay and build a home and life, but frequently are challenged with how to make this equation work. So they leave. But they always dream of a return to paradise. Those of us who continue to live here, give Yanks daily - Life is Good in Banff.
This year, we decided to have a Yanksgiving of our own. Dave and Brenda were having a huge party this past weekend to celebrate a lifetime of good livin' in Banff and as a result, we had some American friends visiting for American Thanksgiving Weekend. We had the full traditional dinner on Friday and pigged out. Naturally, the turkey was out of the oven late and the crowd was getting semi-drunk by the time dinner was served. It was a weekend of lots of activity, food, fun, good friends and good times.

Fortunately, our friends are as active like us - so there was plenty of time spent outside enjoying the trails. It was awesome to have Jill and Beat in town - and it was Beat's first time in Canada. Danni and Ted came from Kalispell as well, to enjoy an awesome weekend in Banff. Danni and Beat are also friends who share in my passion in running ultra-marathons on the trail. Danni, Beat and Jill have signed up for their first "winter Ultra" in Alaska. They are going to attempt to run/walk/crawl 100 miles on the snowy trails of Alaska, dragging a sled with all of their provisions across the frozen earth. No doubt, the Susitna 100 is going to be a heckuva' adventure for my friends!

The friends were keen to slog through the snow and get in some training, so we headed out on the Spray River Trail for a run. It was awesome. I enjoy the Spray River trail far more in winter, than in summer. Winter transforms this rather "average" trail into a white, snowy paradise with a river running through it. Our run was only 2.5 hours, but it was enough to earn our "Yanksgiving" dinner feast. That evening, we filled our home with good people and good food.

The next day, we lounged the morning away before heading out on my "backyard trail". This trail which literally starts in my backyard, joins with the Sulphur Mountain trail for a rather kick-ass 1000 metres of climbing. It was a beautiful day to be on Sulphur Mountain with clear skies, perfect packed snow and people who appreciate the mountains. Yanks, friends!

After our trip up Sulphur Mountain, we headed across town and hit the Tunnel Mountain trail for a bonus. It was a perfect wintery day to be out enjoying the trails and some fresh air.

Our Yanksgiving leftovers tasted great after the days efforts - and finally it was time for the main event of the weekend: Dave and Brenda's party. It was a 70's dress-up party and dress-up we did.

The party was a reunion of sort - packed full of friends of old and new. Many Yanks to Dave and Brenda for hosting a kick-ass Partay. This girl socialized and danced for about 3 hours non-stop in Go-Go boots and a micro-mini. Now THAT was a solid work-out.

For one final weekend run, Iris and I enjoyed a sunny run around Tunnel Mountain and up to the Hoodoos trail. By late Sunday afternoon, I thought I had earned a hot-tub and a nap. I was givin' Yanks to all of the good people who made my weekend so much fun - but Yanksgiving weekend was hard work! The hot-tub and nap were the perfect way to wind down a most excellent Yanksgiving Weekend.


Jill Homer said...

Yanks to you, Leslie, Keith, Dave and Brenda. We Americans (and Swiss) and an awesome time. I can't think of a more perfect combination than heavy winter outdoor activity, copious amounts of comfort food and disco. :)

Kaz said...

Sounds the perfect way to spend a holiday weekend - especially liking the hot tub part at the end!
Running, food, dancing, hot tub - as we say in Scotland - you cannae beat it with a big stick!

Only an ultra runner would say: our run was only 2.5 hours! LOVE IT!

JeffO said...

OMG where did you dig up those threads?! That is so funny. Looks like a great time. No doubt you had to have plenty of Abba, Beegees, and Village People.

Leslie said...

Aaaaah, good-times-good-times. I was a child of the '70s and remember my dad's favorite T-shirt: It was a baby blue number with sparkly lettering that read "DISCO SUCKS!". He frequently paired it with too short cut-offs and a Pabst Blue Ribbon white polyster peaked hat. :)

Danni said...

Thanks again!!!

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