Classic Country

I love almost every form of live music, but I’ve got an especially soft spot in my heart for classic country.  These guys performed at a conference I’m attending, and they were terrific.  Give me a banjo, and a fiddle, and some tunes by Hank Williams or Johnny Cash or the Stanley Brothers and I’m a happy camper.  I’ll get out on the dance floor and show my appreciation, too.

You can argue about the best decade of rock ‘n roll, or whether Bach or Mozart or Beethoven was the greatest genius, but one musical point is indisputable:  modern country sucks and isn’t a patch off the George Jones/Merle Haggard/Patsy Cline/Tammy Wynette era.  Why did “country music” become some crappy form of pop music lite?  It was great to hear these guys play the vintage stuff, and in vintage style, too.

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The Cold View From Sulphur Mountain 

Yesterday we took the gondola up to the top of Sulphur Mountain, which overlooks the town of Banff.  Sulphur Mountain is one of the minor peaks in the Rockies range, but it offers a commanding view of the surrounding countryside and allows you to see for miles.  In the photo above, you can parts of Banff and the winding Bow River appear far below.  


The gondola is a four-seater that takes you directly up the mountainside and offers its own cool views.  Bring an extra layer or two of clothing, because it’s cold at the top.  Even though yesterday was technically the first day of summer, we were greeted by snowflakes and a howling wind that made me wish I’d brought gloves and a ski cap.  I’d guess the temperature up top was below 40 degrees, and the wind chill was below that.


When you reach the top of Mount Sulphur you can admire the views from inside the building while nursing the beverage of your choice, you can walk around the building on an observation deck, or you can follow a wooden walkway to what appears to be a weather station at the summit of the mountain some distance away. (You can see part of the walkway in the photo below.)  I chose the latter option, which exposed me to even fiercer winds but rewarded me with the best views of all and allowed me to get some exercise, besides.  Still, I was glad to get back to the warmth of the building.