Twenty-Four Hours of Fun
Trip Start Feb 16, 2011
113Trip End Jun 11, 2012
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Answer: Quite a bit!
Well that wasn't the way that I had planned on everything working out on Wednesday/Thursday, but that is the way it happened. You see I am trying to make the most of all the opportunities that I have here in Banff and there are quite a few. But ones does need to factor in sleep as well.
I woke up at 1:30pm on Wednesday after my night shift and headed down to the gym where they had a line dancing lesson put on just for fun. I can't remember the last time I went line dancing, I must have been around 8 years old! I think it was just one of those vague recollections that most people have of their childhood I guess
After half an hour of boot scooting and leather slapping, I went down for a walk along the river to the Blue Canoe docks. They had a Riverfest Day which meant that for a donation you could use a canoe for an hour. I opted for the slightly more exciting Voyageur experience which was a 10 person long canoe where we paddled up the Bow River for 20 minutes and gently floated back down to the docks, It was certainly different and our guide was very informative.
I met Susannah a German server and Norm the cook from Montreal who both work at the Voyager with me down at the docks. We went to the Elk and Oarsman Pub for a quick beer before a free hot dog at the Volunteer Hub Centre. I'm definitely thinking of donating my time to a few of the upcoming events given that I haven been donating blood since I left Oz. In particular there is a folk festival over in Canmore which looks quite enticing.
After dinner, I popped into one of the local chapels which had an open microphone night and heard a few people read poetry, play piano and guitar
I usually go to bed straight after work, but instead I got changed and went downtown with Susannah to go on the Aylmer Lookout hike with then Grand Nature Club. It was only a 15 minute drive out to Lake Minnewanka where the trailhead is. I hadn't been to the lake before and it looked like there were a couple of really nice picnic areas and campgrounds as well. I have a voucher for a lake cruise so I will have to go back sometime during the summer. We hiked along the shoreline and across the bridge that spans the Stewart Canyon which feeds the lake. It was around 8kms of rolling terrain, none to difficult to to the junction where we turned to make our ascent. We gained 560m of elevation in only 3.5kms so it was quite steep in places. As we came across the front of the mountain, we were given glimpses through the treeline of Lake Minnewanka below us and Mount Inglismaldie behind it that were just stunning. The colour of the alpine lake was quite spectacular and as we pushed up to the exposed summit, the weather got much windier and colder. We had amazing panoramic views of the whole lake for only 5 minutes before rain set in and the clouds covered up the mountains all around us.
After eating for 15 minutes, it was clear that the weather was going to hang around so we started making the careful descent down the hillside and gully before reaching the junction at the base in good time. From there I was pretty well exhausted as I had been awake for 24 hours and the final 2 hours back to the start were more of a zombie march than a pleasant hike. As we approached Stewart Canyon the sun came back out and we had to give way to a big horn sheep and her year old lamb crossing the bridge. It was great to be able to see one so close up!
Needless to say that I crashed for 5 hours before coming to work tonight! Perhaps I should limit myself to one activity per day instead?
Hike details: Aylmer Lookout
Elevation Gain: 560m
Time: 7 hours