Banff Log Days 10,11 & 12

Note: This is the fifth installment of my Banff Log. For the first four go here, here, here and here. I know it's been long, but there's only one more after this. Then it's back to our regularly scheduled program!

Day - 10 Date Day #1

I am typing this during nap, so it won’t include our evening activities, as they haven’t happened yet. I might speculate at the end for you though!

It was date day #1, which means that Kal and Jen were off for their date around lunch time. For our morning activity we rode along the Bow River from downtown Banff and parked our bikes for a little hike up Sundance Canyon. It turns out that the recent flooding in the region has left many of the trails washed out and unusable. Being good citizens we of course ignored the signs and hike up a little way up the canyon. It was a pretty steep hike on the side of a steep canyon, so it ended up a short excursion because it really wasn’t a good place for young children. We did see a great little waterfall though and some sort of raptor nest. We walked back to the bikes and then a little further to a creek that ran under the road. The kids thought that was just great, so we spend a good 20-30 minutes throwing rocks and goofing around right there. It’s amazing how little things are often the most attractive to little minds. As adults we look for grander things that seem more significant, even though these same things are lost on the young.

A little bike racing to start the day!

A beautiful little hike!

Family isn't always blood

And yes, we might have ignored a few caution signs...

Then it was back to camp and a fond farewell as Jen and Kal took off for their day on the town. I ran to the store with Teagan for some supplies and Autumn had the rest of the kdis eating lunch by the time I returned. Then it was naps and planning for the rest of our vacation. I am now caught up and typing in real time. This evening we’ll head out with the four kids and go grill hotdogs and maybe s’mores at a park somewhere. Then we’ll take a drive and try to see some more wildlife as the light turns to dusk. Sounds good to me!

Update: We ended up traveling down to Canmore for dinner. It was a good little adventure that, as usual, had its ups and downs. Our plan was to visit one of the city’s public playgrounds and roast some hotdogs. One out of two ain’t bad, right? We did get to Canmore and we did find a absolutely fantastic park to play at. It had a structure for little tots and older kids too. What we didn’t do is roast weenies.

Autumn had packed a bag with food supplies and I grabbed the small propane grill to cook on. Two problems arose once we got there. The first was that we forgot the bag of food goodies. The second is that the grill wouldn’t stay lit. So, we had cold hotdogs, rolls and crackers for dinner. Of course we made up for it later by having ice cream cones and street tacos later. Boom!

Little people-sized toys!

Ava action shot!

Too much fun!

Canmore is HIGHLY recommended as a a place to stay or just visit. It is so beautiful there!

Yep, cold hot dogs. Parent fail!

The only thing better than bubbles is the ice cream bus around the corner!

Day 11 - Date Day #2

Date day! I was definitely looking forward to spending an afternoon and evening with my beautiful bride. We had spent some time planning what our afternoon looks like, but as of this morning we still didn’t have much more than a lose idea of what we were going to do. Fortunately that’s never stopped us before! But before that we had a morning adventure to go on!

All eight of us piled in to go to Johnston Falls. The parking lot was only partially full when we arrived. It seems like that’s the case at many of the places that we have been, that people come a little later in the day. It makes morning outings quite a bit more relaxing when there are less people about. We hiked and photographed our way up the hill to a beautiful waterfall. It was unique because there was a cave/tunnel beside the falls that allows you to get really close to the falls. So close that the sounds is almost deafening and the spray dampens your clothing as soon as you get close.

The official greeter

Teagan was tired...

See above...he was tired

The little girls!

The older kids!

It's pretty amazing how good the trails are in Banff

After the hike we cruised back to the campsite where Autumn and I gathered a few things for our evening out. We took off about one o’clock in the afternoon. We had a pack with a  change of clothes for dinner and our running gear on. We locked our bikes up and ran to the top of Tunnel Mountain. It was a nice little jog that took us a little over half an hour to do and we were treated to some pretty amazing views. We then cruised downtown and grabbed some sushi to go. We biked (up a 2.5 mile hill) over to the hot springs where Autumn had a massage scheduled. We had a little picnic before her appointment. I haven’t had sushi in a  while and I always have fun eating with Autumn. Then it was relaxation time! I headed to the hot springs pool for a little relaxing and then read a magazine from cover to cover while I waited for a refreshed wife. It was a very nice time of quiet for me and I was really ready to see Autumn when she was done. We biked downtown, intending to have some small plates at a couple of places before our dinner reservations. But boy did that not work out!

My lady, humoring me by running up a (little) mountain

A good sport for sure! I like the view, and the mountain too!

Post run, we picked up a sushi picnic. Yum!

Did I mention that she humors me? Love this!

Actually, dinner worked out great because the place we went for appetizers ended up being the place we stayed for dinner! The waitress knew the menu very well and guided us through a 3 hour dinner experience. We ended up appetizing the whole time, which left room for desert! It was a great way to eat dinner, to have great food spread out over a long period so that Autumn and I could just enjoy each other and the food.

Day 12 - Last Day in Banff

A little weird today, I don’t know if it’s because it’s the last day or what, but I feel a little tension around camp. The initial plan for the day was foiled by road closures, so we detoured and had a nice time at Johnson Lake. The kids played in the water for a while and then we had a nice walk around the lake. Nap and lunch came and went and then it was time for our last evening in Banff.

Undies only, it was warm!

Autumn showing them how to do it!

Teagan won't forgive a) Kal for doing this and b) me for posting it online.
Our 2 families rode into town separately to do a little souvenir shopping. A side note here is that we really rode the heck out of our bikes. We even took the bike trailers on some single track trails, which the kids loved. I don’t know if I have been in better cycling shape. We had 6:45 dinner reservations, so we still had a (very) little time to kill. I took the kids to a park downtown while Autumn went to find sweatshirts. I am not much for tchotchke, so something useful was in order. A hoody fit the bill, so we all have red sweatshirts except for Autumn, who has a white one.

Then we finished the night with a great dinner at the Bison (same restaurant as Autumn’s and my date dinner). It was a nice way to end it. We would be getting up early so the kids said their goodbyes. Autumn and I had done quite a bit of packing, so we could make a fairly quick getaway. That was important with about 7 hours of driving ahead of us the next day.

The End!

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