Beautiful Banff National Park

Trip Start Apr 17, 2011
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Trip End Jul 20, 2011


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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Saturday, June 18, 2011

Kathy:  Our first night in Canada was in a tiny town called Fort MacLeod - from there we started heading toward Calgary and then Banff (only 45 min drive from Calgary). As we were packing the car the people in the next unit told us we shouldn't miss the "Head Smashed in Historical Monument". It sounded pretty gory but we thought it had something to do with a place where the local Indians herded bison over cliffs. We got there in less than 1/2 hour, but unfortunately the museum didn't open for over an hour and we had a lot of driving to do, so we couldn't wait. However, one of the workers let us in to get a brochure and one of the ladies talked to us for some time about her connections to Australia. It really did look like an interesting museum - especially regarding the history and culture of the local Indian tribe. We were able to do a short walk to the cliffs where the hunt took place - and by the way, the name of the place came from a legend that said a young Indian boy wanted to watch the hunt close up so he stood at the bottom of the cliff under some overhanging rock, but after the hunt he was found crushed by the weight of the falling bison.

The drive to Banff took us through Calgary where we sere slowed down by roadworks (in these northern regions they only have a short window of warm weather to repair all the damage that happens to the roads during the harsh winters). We had a semi-trailer traveling near us with spikes on it's front wheels - we never figured out what that was about????

Banff is a real resort/tourist town with lots of gift shops and activities. But it is also expensive - so we booked to stay there one night and had another night in Canmore which is just outside the eastern entrance of Banff National Park. We have pretty well kept to our itinerary and had a little spare time, so decided that this would be a good place to have a rest day. The weather was still not real great - and in fact, it rained most of our day in the town of Banff. We did, however, make the mandatory visit to the Fairmont Banff Inn which is so well known. We'd been encouraged to stay there, but I think we enjoyed our accommodation at the much smaller "Banff Inn" at a quarter of the cost!

We got a very good "walk in " deal at the Canmore Mountain Inn and enjoyed the mountain views (with a little bit of evening sunshine) from their beautiful lounge area. The next morning we headed off early to drive north through Banff National Park to Lake Louise and begin our trip westward to Vancouver.The concierge at the Canmore Mountain Inn gave us some sheets of paper showing where they had had recent wildlife sightings in the park, which was very handy.

This is a quote from the front page: "June and July are traditionally mating months for the grizzly and black bears in the Rocky Mountains. Visitors may encounter frisky bears along roadsides and trails. Give them a wide berth - they have other things on their minds and may not be aware of your approach. Male bears can be very protective of potential mates and can display aggressive behaviour, especially toward other male bears. DON'T get in their way!"

We took the scenic (but more narrow and wind-y) road to Lake Louise. Unfortunately we didn't see hoards of wildlife, but did see some more elk. Lake Louise was beautiful - even if we didn't see it in the sunshine! We wandered around the Fairmont Lake Louise Lodge a little then moved on to another lake nearby which I had seen pictures of. Moraine Lake is about a 1/2 hour drive from Lake Louise and as you get close to it you see a range of mountains. As it turns out there are 10 peaks above Moraine Lake. When we got there we weren't disappointed - it really is a magnificent scene.

We needed to keep moving so we began the next leg of our trip heading West. We weren't sure how far we would go, but in the end we stopped at a mountain resort area called Revelstoke. Max will talk about our stay there in the next entry.
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Comments

Helen Lindqvist on

The view from that diing room is amazing! I'm sure it wouldn't matter if you were eating Vegemite sandwiches with a view like that! Enjoying your news!

Hayley Vince on

Loving the photos!!!!

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