“…Pulled into town, relatively free of hassle, secured a room at the castle—it paid for itself…”
- “Rubies”- Destroyer
I was heading east on Highway 1 toward Calgary when I came upon an exit I could not ignore. The sign simply read “Cowboy Trail” and I took it as a good omen. You see, for the past three years I have worked at the Victorian startup Cowboy Sausage: while my boss can be a bit demanding, and smokes like a chimney, I must confess that the sausages I made were second to none in Victoria.
Cowboy Sausage has many imitators. The Village Butcher in Oak Bay, for instance, has made several desperate attempts to match the quality, and consistency of Cowboy Sausage with no success: their sausages, to put it simply, are garbage. Rumour has it that Cowboy Sausage will be opening a new chapter of the business, fittingly, right off the Cowboy Trail: Cowboy Sausage is coming home– more on that soon.
I followed the Cowboy Trail to a wonderful little Bed and Breakfast, nestled deep in the heart of Cochrane, Alberta. J.R. B&B is immaculately clean in spite of the fact that in addition to providing temporary lodging to wayfaring strangers such as myself; it also provides a permanent home to throngs of animals suffering from a variety of disabilities.
Rosie, the Beagle-Spaniel hybrid is afflicted with a sleeping disorder, causing her to attack anyone who comes near as she snores. Samson, one of the six cats on the premises, is unable to retract his claws and drools profusely as he purrs. All of the cats on site are named after Biblical characters, and gather around the swollen teets of their matriarch, Jochebed. I joked with my hosts that they should rename the place “Jochebed and Breakfast”. They didn’t laugh.
The food at J.R. B&B is first rate, and gluten free. Here, we find cauliflower substituted for rice, and rice cakes in place of bread. The meals, as meat-heavy as they may be, are simply scrumptious. My only critique of the fare served here is that the meat tends to be a bit over-cooked. While I attempted to warn my host of the evils of over-browning (read, blackening)) the chicken prior to roasting it, my suggestions fell upon deaf ears.
The accommodations at J.R. B&B are as warm, and as comforting as their food. I was concerned at first that my pillow would be saturated with the dander of dozens of cats, but I was unable to find even one piece of fur anywhere in my room. The bed was firm but comfortable, and had an adorable Choo-choo-Train comforter, which made this old man feel young at heart for the first time in decades.
I give the J.R. B&B 2,000 Dongs on a scale of 2,000 Dongs. If you ever find yourself on the Cowboy Trail in need of a bed and an overcooked piece of chicken, be sure to stop in at J.R. Bed and Breakfast y’hear!