Banff or Bust
We are heading to Banff this afternoon taking the Trans Canadian Hwy/AB-1 west. It took us a little over 3 hours with a stop. The weather was getting threatening and we started getting rain before we got to Calgary.
The rain was off and on until Banff. We got a break but the temperature dropped quite a bit. We first drove to Two Jack Lakeside RV campground to find out it was full. We were redirected to Tunnel Mountain Village II. It was an ok site. It was all paved sites but we did have a firepit. We were planning on staying 2 nights.
After we dropped the trailer, we went out to explore and get some groceries. We stopped down the road at a hiking path that overlooked the Bow River with a beautiful view of the mountains. They had some Hoodoos as their attraction. We were more attracted to the elk. I stayed at a comfortable distance but Larry needed to get closer. His pictures are used here. LOL. I guess he got within 12 feet or so. At one point the elk noticed Larry and made a slightly aggressive move but eventually put his head down to graze some more. The hike was good, brief and chilly.
In the town of Banff, we found a little grocery store to stock up on a few things. The town was crawling with activity and the store was crowded. We drove down the main street and saw hundreds of folks walking and window shopping. It’s a super cute town and I would definitely stay longer in the area when it’s warmer.
The temperature dropped to under 32 degrees fahrenheit. We had some ice on the truck and trailer. It wasn’t too bad until the next morning trying to get the ice and show off the awning. It took Larry about 45 minutes between warming his hands to get the awning put away. Note: no awning in freezing weather.
Our drive to Lake Louise was less than an hour but it started snowing pretty good on the drive. We went up the hill to the Lake to find that all the parking lots were full. We drove back down the Highway to the shuttle. They have buses that will take you up to Lake Louise for $4 each round trip. They also will take you to Moraine Lake but we only went to Lake Louise this time.
I couldn’t talk Larry into taking a canoe on the lake. He said I could but it was too cold and super expensive. We did walk around the lake. We didn’t make it to the tea house that was 2 miles around. It was snowing on and off. My fingers were pretty cold. Snow and some puddles of water made for sloppy hiking. We saw some friendly chipmunks. I think they are used to being fed. We both took lots of pictures. Overall a great shilly walk with some of the most beautiful colors I’ve ever seen.
We went inside the Fairmont Chateau to warm up and have a coffee. There were so many people from other countries speaking french, Japanese, German, and more. I realized what a special place it is for people to visit.
We had packed the truck for the day with 2 changes of clothes, shoes and swimwear. We drove back toward Banff to go to the Hot Mineral Springs. One the way, we stopped to do a 2 mile hike at Johnston’s Canyon Trail. We walked to the lower falls. It was not too cold and there hadn’t been snow. I’m so glad we stopped.
In Banff, we drove to the Upper Hot Springs. It was snowing very good now. The mineral springs are outside. It’s a big pool. It was super fun to be in the wonderful hot mineral water while it was snowing on our heads!