Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lots of Mountains, Still no Wildlife

Day 4--Banff

We got our earliest start this morning. We were psyched to be getting on the road at 8:00 since we had an almost 7 hour drive to Banff. As we went to turn onto Hwy 17, we saw a sign for the border crossing. We had 14 miles to go, and the border opened at...9:00. So much for getting an early start. So, we just took our time. The mountains were beautiful, so it was not a waste of time.

We made it to the border right at 9:00. The border agent asked us the usual questions. He asked if we had any weapons besides the camera Dad was holding. Funny guy.

We pulled off at a viewpoint.

While Dad was figuring out his mondo huge camera lens (getting ready for all those Bighorn Sheep), Kim and I made ourselves some breakfast of strudel bread with peanutbutter and some cranberry juice.

I had our route all planned out. It would take us through Kananaskis Country to Banff. We would be traveling the Bighorn Hwy. Perhaps we would see more than just cows.
Playing "chicken" with the cows. We won, they moved first.

We came into Pincher Creek and refilled the gas tank. Moving on, we followed my directions. Everything was going good until we turned to head to Kananaskis Country. Once again, we encountered one of those nasty "Road Closed" signs. Okaaaayyy...change of plans...again.

We followed the "Cowboy Trail" (aka Alb 22) toward Calgary. We stopped for lunch at Subway (I would have been willing to eat someplace besides Subway, but there weren't really any other options (at least I checked off an Alberta Subway). As we continued on our way after lunch, we came over a rise and were directed to pull over to the side of the road by a flagger. Soon, a pick-up truck came slowly toward us.
Ahhh, so that's why we were pulled over. Sure enough, a short time later the house came down the road.

Once the house went by, we were able to get back on the road.

The Cowboy Trail took us to Trans-Canada Hwy 1. This highway runs from BC to Nova Scotia (someday I will do the trans-Canada bike route). We finally started to see signs to Banff. Either the other route was much longer, or my calculations were way off. Even with all our stopping, it was not going to take us 7 hours.

Soon, we were driving through the entrance to Banff National Park. Somehow, we ended up in the wrong lane and did not stop at the Entrance Station. There was no way to get back to the entrance, so we just kept going. We found our hotel, the Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa. 

Since we arrived early enough, we decided to go do the gondola ride today. Dad didn't feel like going, so Kim and I went.

Of course, it was spectacular.
That's Banff Town below

After making a 360 around the top, we caught the gondola back down.

Oh, did we see any wildlife today? Bighorn Sheep? We sure did! Here's a photo.

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