It was glorious.
I think growing up in the mountains must be similar to growing up near the ocean. You take it for granted until you leave, and then you miss it like crazy.
Canmore is a beautiful town. The mountains are a constant backdrop, rising up all around you. I had to fight the urge to photograph every scene, even the peaks behind the Starbucks. As it was, I took lots of photos. Especially on our walk to Quarry Lake.
Quarry Lake is a spring-fed lake that used to be a mining area and is over 100 metres deep in some areas. It's a popular place to swim, with a little "beach" (keep in mind I'm from PEI) carved out of the gravel at the edge of the lake. We lay in the grass and watched the sun move in and out of the amazing clouds above the mountains.
I was hoping to go swimming, but the water was some of the coldest I've ever been in. I jumped in and lasted about four seconds before I crawled, shivering, back up onto the shore. The lake, however, is apparently one of the warmest places to swim in Canmore this time of year.
That night we went out for pizza. Thanks to the Celiac Husband, I knew that the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company made gluten-free pizza.
Our 30-minute wait for a table was worth it. Everyone at our table of six loved their pizzas, remarking on the fresh, interesting flavours. The menu is packed with original combinations, such as the Mexicali, with chocolate-chili sauce, corn and jicama root.
The glutenous flatbread crust got good reviews, and it looked delicious. My GF crust was very good as well, ranking above Boston Pizza's version, which I've eaten several times. The menu says it's made with brown rice, buckwheat, and chickpea flour. When J had a taste he found the bean flavour overwhelming, but it didn't bother me.
I chose the Apple Chicken Harvest: free-range spiced chicken, Granny Smith apples, red onions, cherry tomatoes, pesto and cheddar cheese on a tomato sauce base. I'm glad I chose something a bit different, because the sweetness of the apples and juiciness of the chicken with the pesto was fantastic.
J and I also shared a fig and goat's cheese salad which we really enjoyed. It was fresh and tasty, and we especially liked the pea shoots on top. There was plenty of goat cheese, but I couldn't really taste much fig from the dressing.
Our server was excellent, giving us the right amount of attention throughout the evening. She also knew all about the GF options. For dessert, unfortunately, they were all out of the GF creme brulee and cheesecake, so I had to content myself with a scoop of vanilla ice cream while others devoured the brownie with cookies and cream ice cream. It got raves.
I was impressed with the restaurant’s emphasis on the environment and using local products. They buy green electricity from Bullfrog Power and source all of their meats and many of their vegetables from within Alberta. All of their fish and seafood is certified by Ocean Wise, a sustainable fisheries program. Their claim is that every meal is carbon-neutral, due to environmental initiatives in their restaurants, and their use of carbon assets. You can learn more on their website.
We wandered back to our hotel, full of pizza and ice cream and content to gaze on the beautiful scenery and the setting sun. Though I'm heading for the beautiful shores of PEI in a few days, I also can't wait to go back to the mountains. For an Eastern girl like me, they're something special.
Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company
#1 838 10th Street, Canmore
(There are also locations in Vancouver)