Pancakes and Marmots

Trip Start Feb 16, 2011
Trip End Jun 11, 2012

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Sunday, July 3, 2011

Howdy folks,

Well Canada Day is July 1st and I decided to volunteer for Parks Canada to help with their annual Pancake Breakfast as a runner/server so I arrived at 7:30am to start helping set up the gazebos. The weather was really nice and by 12 noon we had finished up. My my estimates we probably served over 1200 people and it was good to be able to help out. There were plenty of other events going on in the town, but I decided to go home for a nap before the main parade at 5pm.

The parade reminded me a lot of the Adelaide Christmas Pagent with lots of marching bands, floats and cars. It went down the length of Banff Avenue and it brought traffic to a strand still which is unusual for Banff because we don't get that much traffic. After it finished, Susanna and I headed down to Central Park to watch a few live bands and then I had to leave to go to work. It was certainly a full-on day!

Today I decided to climb Sulphur Mountain again and I convinced Adam and Susanna to join me. We eventually took the lazy option of taking the gondola up to the top and then hiking down the back end and around the front to get back to the town. The weather was nice and sunny although there was a stiff breeze blowing on the Observation Deck. It is hard not to be impressed with the view from the top especially on a nice day as you get an uninterupted 360 degree view of the whole Bow Valley Region. It is just spectacular.

I managed to pick up a free baseball cap that someone had dropped off the boardwalks before we headed down the west side of the mountain down an old fire track. The hike down wasn't particularly difficult and we managed to see quite a bit of wildlife including: a rabbit, a few pikas, plenty of chipmunks and squirrels and even a hoary marmot. The marmot is about the same size as a small dog and looks like a squirrel and makes a whistle sound to alert for any dangers. It was the first time I managed to get up close to one so I managed to tick that off my list. I still haven't seen any grizzlys or moose though.

Once we reached the bottom, we took the Sundance trail along the Bow River back over the bridge to Banff. Around the Cave and Basin area we had a few warnings of a Grizzly Bear and her cubs being spotted in the area so I had my bear spray ready, but we didn't see anything. Apparently the best thing to do is travel in groups and make lots of noise so you don't accidently suprise or corner a bear.

I'm really looking forward to Wednesday when I'll be hiring a car and touring some more of the sights!
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