Saturday, June 10, 2017

June 8-9: Banff Area

June 10: City of Banff

We drove into town in George's Jeep and up to the Banff Gondola ride. George waited for us at the bottom as Duane and I went to the top. You can see the beginning of the trip at the small white building in this picture.

So, the trip up is quite far above the base of the valley, and the views are spectacular. Some of the views included Mt. Rundle and a view of the city of Banff.

The large hotel in the center of the picture is Banff Springs Hotel. It is quite the place to stay if you have the money to do so.

At the top of the ride, you can read placards about the scenery that you see. There is also an inside interpretive center which gives you information about the history, animals, weather, etc. The tower you see in the next photo was the original weather station that was built around 1916. The walk to it involved LOTS of steps and we opted not to go there.

The information about the animals (grizzly, cougar, etc.) was interesting. They had paw prints and here is Duane's hand in comparison to the grizzly.
We ended the afternoon with a small rain shower and a walk through part of downtown Banff. We ended up at Tooloulou's (with a gluten-free) Cajun menu.

June 9: Weather wait-out

We woke up to very bad indicators about roads and weather north of Banff. Our plan was to go north to the ice fields today. However, a weather system has come in that is bringing rain and cooler temps with possible snow. It's time to stay put.

Being as we had plan to leave. We had to move our campsite from Bow River to Willow Rock campsite (only across the road). With the day to ourselves, Duane and I went for a walk on the Flowing Water Trail. There was an incredible variety of flowers on the walk and it was a wonderful quiet trail. From the top of the trail there was a bench and this wonderful view.
When we were below, at the bend of the river to the left there was a pair of geese and four goslings. The river was running quite swiftly. The parents went into the water first and waited for the young ones to enter into the water. Then, they traveled upstream close to the left bank (one adult, four goslings, and the last adult). When the water was too swift, they traversed the river together in the same order. After reaching the far right ride (which was a shear bank with nowhere to go ashore), they traveled again upstream in the same order to a sandbank. It was a wonderful view of their protection of their offspring.

The walk had a variety of landscapes: river, plane, and wetland. This shows some of that contrast, both in landscape and color.

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