Groggy but optimistic about our day off, we shuffled out of Jason’s apartment in Regina and headed to the van. After a quick stop for Gatorade and some sort of McDonald’s thing for Jory, we headed to Moose Jaw to pick up my favourite hot sauce ever from the Tunnels. Unfortunately, the Tunnels were closed. But as I went to walk away, feeling terribly sad and defeated by Google, who told me they were open at eight in the morning, I saw a door. Inside that door were other doors. I tried a few until I found the office for the place, and inside was Kelly, my hot sauce angel, who sold me three of the delicious Gun Fire bottles. If you ever read this Kelly, thanks again.
To try to ensure I got a smoke in before we got back on the road, I walked very slowly back to the van, only to stop at a very creepy looking Pro-Life diorama of fetuses in uterus models. I hopped back in and it was time to pick up gas. To get gas we need to get cash from the cash box. I have the key, which means it’s my job, so I go to the back of the van and…
FUCK. I forgot the cash box in Regina.
This made no one happy, and I just barely survived a long painful silence back to the Queen City. Then we stopped for gas and I got a sad Subway sandwich, and had two feeling-sorry-for-myself smokes, and for the rest of the day endured many, many barbs about how I forgot the cash box. And we just drove, the entire day. It was a long one.
But we dropped our gear off in Calgary and headed straight for Banff to do some camping at Tunnel Mountain. The signs all said not to keep a fire going past 11 p.m., but we had ours going until around 3:30. I melted the plastic on the front of my boot. Many beers were drank, and some members of the band, who will remain unnamed, had a pretty good time with something other than beer, which shall also remain unnamed. Suffice it to say, the stars, while always beautiful in the mountains, held a little extra specialness for a couple people.
Staying up all night drinking in the wilderness is fun, but morning came, as always, and we tore down our stuff and went straight to Canmore to some café where everyone was Australian. Then we headed to the Grassi Lakes hiking trail.
The trail is breathtaking, and it was sunny and white-hot outside. We saw a waterfall, and crazy views of Canmore and the Bow Valley from way up high. There are also two turquoise lakes near the end, and us manly men all jumped into one of them, and found out just how cold mountain lakes are. All your muscles seize up and your legs are hard to move, and it reminds you of the ‘shrinkage’ episode of Seinfeld, but multiplied by 967. About 30 seconds after being out, though, it feels pretty good to be so cool in the hot sun. We also saw what we think were pikas, which are kind of like big mice, but cuter. A successful excursion.
Back in Calgary, we snuck into the alley behind The Palomino with our massive van, where a man with a foreign accent who never stopped smoking told us where to park, then said he needed a CD as payment. I watched as he harassed a pretty young woman with red shoes by telling her she was late for the modeling contest but he would’ve probably given her a 7/10. Later he told a joke about vaginas it’s probably best to leave out of this fair publication’s online space.
The Palomino hooked us up HARD: free meals for everyone (which are gigantic), and four Steamwhistles each (which are delicious). Everything tasted amazing. The barbecue at that place is 4REAL. It also made everyone very sleepy, as soul food should.
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We didn’t really play to anyone but the staff and Jory’s parents, who were putting us up at their beautiful house (thanks Sandra and Jordan!). I also broke one of the cardinal rules of touring onstage: “So, this is our first time playing in Regina…” I was swiftly reminded that this was not Regina, and then I also remembered we played Calgary in 2009. It was at that point I wished I was drunk, since the only reason I would’ve said that was because my brain was failing, and the former explanation would at least be short term. Anyway, I’m sorry for the screw-up, Calgary. You have a cool city. We ended the set with “Game of Pricks” by GBV for Spencer, the talent buyer at the venue. Cannon Bros. paid tribute with “A Salty Salute.” Then, broken by food and our hike, we went back to where we were staying and absent-mindedly watched X-Files and discussed whether Ben Affleck should be playing Batman in the next Man of Steel (the consensus was he should not. However, I like Ben Affleck and I’m curious).
Everyone went off to their respective spaces and Ryan and I watched Wayne’s World and Clerks until we fell asleep. Time for the pizza review.
4st Pizza’s Pepperoni Slice by Jory Hasselmann
“First, let me say, this pizza was not eaten due to hunger. Its rating is based solely off its own merit. In terms of flavour, the pizza was simple – made for the everyman, both the artist and the Philistine. The cheese was tactful. The pepperoni, however, was an issue, like a man with nipples too large. I am preferential to tighter, saltier nipples on my pizza. The crust had a respectful level of grease. If I wiped it on my face, I would receive minimal zits. The sauce was aloof, neither here nor there. I was comfortable with how blasé it was. If the slice were a song, it would be one by Guided By Voices – simple, short, not too fancy, and ‘eloquent in its brevity.’”
We are now on the road to Edmonton, where we plan on taking full advantage of the mall water park. We play Wunderbar tonight with Animal Teeth and locals The Good Goddamns. If you live in the City of Champions, we hope we see you there!
Two quotes for the two days:
Cole: “Excuse me.”
Jory: “It’s the great outdoors. She excuses you.”
“One time I got really scared while I was taking a bath at my grandma’s, because I locked the door, and when I got out of the tub my hands were too wet to get it open. But then they dried, and it was okay.” – Jory
Matt Williams is a Winnipeg-based writer and musician infatuated by lady country singers. Follow him on Twitter @MattGeeWilliams. Follow his band, Haunter, on Twitter @HaunterMusic.
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