Thats my 'bou

Trip Start Jun 07, 2006
1
5
6
Trip End Jun 17, 2006


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Flag of Canada  ,
Sunday, June 11, 2006

Day 5:
Once we awoke from the 20 hr marathon drive we rolled (more like limped) into Calgary and went straight for their finest breakfast establishment, Denny's. Its always comforting to know I can order Moons Over My Hammy all across this great continent. After nourishing ourselves on the breakfast of champions and funneling caffeine into our gullets we headed (guess which direction) west towards the Canadian Rockies and a town called Banff. "The earth's poetry is never dead" That's a quote I remember seeing in a Switzerland hostel when I traveled through Europe during school. This place brought those memories flooding back. Much like Switzerland, Banff and the Canadian Rockies are amazing. Incredible views, mts, hiking trails and we reached it before the summer rush so the town left a quaint somewhat undiscovered feel to it. Although, I hear the peak season does its best to extinguish those beliefs. That afternoon we grabbed a campsite for the night and then headed off for a highly recommended hike through the mountains complete with waterfalls and "ink pools" which consist of fresh water springs that bubble up from the bottom of these small ponds. It looks cooler than any description. The great thing was the way the information booths and park rangers warn you about the dangers of these hikes. One pamphlet was I think entitled "Bears and you", cautioning everyone about the Grizzlies that lurk in these woods and how to avoid a mauling, including "talking loudly and clapping your hands as to not surprise them". After getting the obligatory cautions I thought for sure we would confront one of these hairy mammoths and I could use my newly discovered anti-bear weapons. Unfortunately, I mean fortunately, we were never put in a situation that called upon these ruthless tactics. However, maybe these skills could be put to use in fending off other less physically imposing creatures that we may find along the way (hostels have been known to house said beasts).

On the drive back from the hike we were lamenting our lack of wildlife encounters when we almost hit a large Caribou. Considering the Nissan's past history with deer in Connecticut it shouldnt have been all that surprising. Nonetheless, we stopped the car to get a closer look (Nate juggled the decision of pursuing on foot, but I told him a 1000 lb Caribou may do some damage). So we were at most 15ft away from not one but 4 or 5 of these guys. Amazingly, they barely raised their eyes from grazing to notice. Got a feeling we werent the first to gawk at them from the road. (check out the video, and notice Nate's previously undiscovered talent for mimicking the Caribou mating call).
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