Banff Log, Days 7,8 & 9
Note: This is the next edition in our journey back through our, well, journey into Canada. The first three installments are here, here and here. If you haven't yet noticed, I included three days in this update instead of two. That's because this has the potential to get excruciatingly long. I would apologize if I was sorry, so there! Enjoy the show!
Day 7 - Waterfalls and a Teahouse
I am so glad that it was sunny today. The only thing is that when everything gets wet camping, it can take a while to get dry. Even when it does, everything has a bit of a film on it for a while. But the weather was gorgeous and we had fresh cinnamon rolls from Golden for breakfast! They were SO good! Then we piled back into the car for some site seeing.
Today we traveled to see Takakkaw Falls. It is the third largest waterfall in Canada. On the way there we stopped to check out the spiral tunnels. The spiral tunnels are tunnels built into the Canadian Rockies so that trains can make it up the “Big Hill”. Essentially it allowed a rail to be built up Kicking Horse pass that was of suitable grade. The original one was too steep and caused many fatalities.
|Most of the motley crew|
|...and then there's this guy!|
|Holy smokes, that is a TON of water! There was so much, it was like it was raining from almost a quarter of a mile away!|
|It ain't all roses...|
Then we went to the falls. Wow again! Runoff from a glacier forms an enormous waterfall that consists of an upper section that feeds into a chute that forms an explosion of water hundreds of feet up. It is really cool. Hopefully the picture can do some of the talking because my vocabulary is failing me right now.
The afternoon saw Autumn and I heading out for a couples’ activity. We ended up running out Lake Louise to a teahouse. It was a beautiful run and a great way to see the glaciers that feed Lake Louise. I love that Autumn and I can do these things together. I am a lucky man.
Day 8 - Lake Louise to Banff
Transition Day! Today we went from Lake Louise to Banff. We packed up, pretty easy now since I had to fill up with water once and go dump gray water once, and headed out for the 40km trek to Banff. It was pleasantly quick and the Canadian Rockies never fail to inspire. We pulled into the camp ground and go things set up. Autumn and I traded off going to the coin laundry while the Kelley four headed into Banff. We left to join them a couple of hours later after Teagan woke up from his nap.
We checked out the farmer’s market, where we enjoyed maybe the best popsicles I have ever had. They were labeled as artisan popsicles and charged accordingly. But they were super yummy! It was fun to have the kids pick out their own flavors, since we normally do that for them. I guess they’re growing up! Then we met up at the park and the kids played hard for quite a while. After a quick resupply, we headed back up the hill and had dinner and rode bikes until bedtime.
|Hi people who aren't on vacation...|
|Cute kid, loves his strawberry Popsicle!|
|So, this is Autumn's underdog form...|
|And this is mine. Notice the focus. Yep, mine's WAY better!|
|And how to end the day? By stuffing someone else's face!|
Day 9 - Exploring Banff!
Time to see Banff! The Kelleys offered to take the kids for the afternoon, so we loaded up my and Autumn’s bikes on the car and we all drove across town and took the Gondola up Sulphur Mountain (maybe a better name for tourism? I don’t favor the mental image of rotten egg smell!). Name notwithstanding, it was a fantastic thing to do. The kids loved it, we loved it and the views facility was top notch. Being above 9,000 feet in elevation gives a 360 view of the Rockies and the walkways are very family friendly. If you ever get a chance to come, please don’t miss this one!
After the gondola, Autumn and I took off on our bikes for the afternoon. We were free! Having no kids for a bit certainly was nice. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew returned for lunch and a nap. Autumn took the opportunity to lunch on the patio at the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, where we had a great lunch with an even better view. Then we headed downtown and did a little sightseeing and exploring for the afternoon. It was nice to meander through the afternoon with Autumn and not have to worry about potty breaks and things of that nature. But alas, the afternoon came to a close. We headed back to camp via a different route at my insistence. Autumn acquiesced and off we went. It turns out the trail ended up being a 3km stretch of technical single track that we rode in flip flops. Not ideal, but Autumn was a trooper for sure.
After a quick dinner it was off to the Banff Upper Hot Springs where we finished the day off with a relaxing soak in the pool. I can’t think of a better way to bring the day to a close.
|My lady ripping the single track!|
|The best view in town, with good food to boot!|