Sightseeing & Staying Put - Relax

Trip Start Jul 30, 2008
1
8
31
Trip End Aug 28, 2008


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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It was GREAT not to have to pack up this morning, although we did have to drive back to Lake Louise today. Mum and dad dropped me off at Timberline Trails where I was to depart on a 3 and 1/2 hour horseback trail ride at 9:00am. It turned out that I was the only person who registered for my tour, so it was just me and my guide! My horse's name was Bubba (figures he kept on trying to eat everything along the path)! We walked our horses the entire way, as the trails are very steep and filled with tree roots. We also shared the path with hikers, so it was a tight squeeze. First, we rode up to Little Beehive, which is a mountain to the right of Lake Louise. We had to switchback up the last kilometre or so, and the drop-off beside the trail was a little frightening, when you're already sitting up really high on a horse! At the top, we gave the horses a rest and I took pictures and a couple videos. After that, we walked down to Lake Agnes and its teahouse which has been around for over one hundred years. They have to fly all their food and water in by helicopter, and they have to fly their garbage out as well. Hence, the prices were a bit ridiculous, so I didn't get anything ($4.85 for a regular bottle of water)! We were actually gone for about 4 hours. While I was with Bubba, mum and dad sat by the lake for awhile and debated whether or not to pay $55 for an hour's canoe trip. They decided against that and ended up hiking around the opposite side of the lake to what we did yesterday. Dad thought that they were on the wrong trail, and they eventually returned to the beginning, only to decide to try again to get to the lookout tower. Turns out they did the same trail twice to be rewarded with the spectacular view of Lake Louise from above! After we met up again, we had a picnic lunch and went to the Cave and Basin historical attraction. This is the original site of Canada's first national park. The hot springs were discovered over one hundred years ago by three men. The water absolutely reeks of sulphur...you can smell it from a good distance away. We went into the cave that the explorers originally stumbled across, spent some time in the museum, took some pictures of pool and basin where tourists used to come to bathe in the "healing waters," and watched a movie about the discovery of the springs. You are not allowed to touch the water now, on account of preserving the natural habitat. You are allowed to bathe in the hot springs that are a few kilometres above the cave and basin or in Radium, but we did not have time to do either today. We wanted to go on the Banff Gondola to the top of Mount Sulphur instead. From the top, you have a 360 degree view of the Rockies. It was awesome! A great end to our last day (and another very full day) at Banff. We ate at The Old Spaghetti Factory again, as their food and view are great and so are the prices as compared to the other hoity-toity restaurants in the area. Well, we're getting up early for some last-minute sight-seeing tomorrow, so it's time for bed. Good night!
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