Gushul – Day One!

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I am so tired.

Today was a bit of a crazy day, but that might have been compounded by not sleeping well last night (in anticipation of today), “Fresh Mountain Air” as Latifa says, and all the excitement and stress of meeting new people, making sure we were in the right places, etc, etc. etc.  Did I mention I didn’t sleep well last night?

Anyway, onto the good stuff.  As I said, today was a crazy day.  I met Latifa when she picked me up this morning, at my house, and after a quick breakfast stop at Timmie’s, we were on our way!  One wrong turn and two hours later, we met Mike at the Art Gallery in Frank, in the Crowsnest Pass.  Latifa and I had gone in just to kill time and check out the gallery, and met up with Mike in the parking lot, and he said, “Oh, you must have met Krisztina, then?” It had never even occurred to me to introduce myself, we had mostly just gone in to kill time.  It seems that, in my five years in Calgary, (and Montreal before that), I have forgotten the quirks of small town life.  It won’t be long before people in the Pass know who we are, and try as we might, we’ll only manage to remember a few.

After we got all moved in, we took a walk through downtown Blairmore, and then Mike took us for a bit of a driving tour of four of the five towns that make up the Pass.  We are staying in the Gushul Studio and Writer’s Cottage, so Blairmore is our home base.  Not far down the road in either direction are the four other towns: Coleman, Frank, Bellevue, and the Hillcrest Mines.  And not much farther away is Lundbreck, home of the waterfall of many of my childhood memories.  I had forgotten exactly how much rock there is from the Frank Slide…. If you look at the map, you can see the swish of grey, the field of rubble.  And each of those stones are huge.

After getting some groceries and making some dinner at Latifa’s, I decided to take the night to relax and get used to my surroundings.  I made a nice cup of tea and talked to Brad on Skype. I think now, I’m maybe going to read one of the books I brought with me…. a “Bargain Bin Special” called “Downtown Owl,” (Chuck Klosterman) which I thought might be appropriate for the occasion.  The book is about Owl, a small town in North Dakota, and the strange quirks small towns seem to have.  It really reminds me of home.

Anyway, hopefully tomorrow I will post some photos, and we will get our official “Residency blog” set up.  Stay tuned!

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