Mountain News: 

Banff hospital hopes to explore ‘wellness’

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Bathing trunks all the rage

LAS ALAMOS, N.M. — Whatever in the world can be happening? Not that long ago you could skinny-dip your way across hot springs of the West. Maybe still can.

But for whatever reason, bathing suits seem to have become de rigueur at a well-known hot springs in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico, reports Durango Telegraph publisher Will Sands.

"This isn’t that kind of hot springs," he informed his wife as she prepared to put on her bathing suit. But after hiking up to the hot springs, where the hot mineral water bubbles straight out of the rock and into a series of natural pools, he found things had changed since his last visit. What followed, he reports, were 20 minutes of only-naked-man-in-the-room paranoia.

Slinking back to the parking lot, he found another would-be lobster. "Is it crowded today?" the man wanted to know.

"Is it ever," Sands replied. "There are probably eight bodies floating up there.

The man flashed a knowing grin, held up his swimsuit and chuckled, "Eight, eh? Things are different these days. You’re just lucky you missed the big family reunion last weekend."

Hemingway house to close

KETCHUM, Idaho — Ernest Hemingway did some sports writing along the way, so it may be fair to summarize the story from Ketchum as this: Neighbours 1, Hemingway fans 0.

Hemingway spent portions of his later years in Ketchum, where he committed suicide in 1961. In 1986, his fourth and last wife, Mary, willed their house there and the 13-acre property to the Nature Conservancy of Idaho. The plan was to renovate the house, turn it over to another non-profit group called the Idaho Hemingway House Foundation, and open it for public tours.

However, neighbours raised a ruckus, arguing the public house would violate zoning as well as their privacy, and in the end the Nature Conservancy capitulated. The group decided that managing the Hemingway house cost too much and was outside its mission of protecting wild lands, reports the Idaho Mountain Express. Furthermore, the controversial case threatened to draw resources from the group’s conservation projects around the state.

Without public access, generating funds to restore the house to its conditions of the early 1960s will be difficult, say officials. Restoration costs are estimated at $500,000.

Bear hit by train

BANFF, Alberta — For an animal known by a number, Bear 66 seemed to be awfully close to a community pet. A 10-year-old sow, she spent much time near the town of Banff, particularly the golf course, and was often seen using the highway crossing structures. She even strolled down Banff’s main street three summers ago, sending tourists and locals alike scurrying for safety. And while this summer she did nip the butt of a youngster while he was sleeping in an area off-limits to campers, that was the extent of her threat to people.

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