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Ahhh, the Canadian Rockies in the summer…
August 12th, 2009 by Kate

 

The Banff Hot Springs Hotel vista

The Banff Hot Springs Hotel vista

Banff Gondola ride

Banff Gondola ride

Sulpher Mountain hike - Banff

Sulpher Mountain hike - Banff

Top of Sulpher Mountain

Top of Sulpher Mountain

Really, you just have to see this place to believe it – it is so gorgeous.  Really really gorgeous.  REALLY.

 

We flew into Calgary last week to cold and rainy weather.  What a shock after the sunny humid days of the Bahamas and the dry intense heat of AZ.  It was about 50°F with constant light rain – and we looked like total fools with our 3 layers on.  We couchsurfed at a beautiful house in south Calgary – our host, Nathan, was actually out of town for the week, and in true couchsurfing fashion, he checked out our profile and decided we were worthy enough to actually let us stay at his house without him even being there!  The highlight of our Calgary stay was actually an adorable little gelato shop called “Fiasco” on 10th Ave and Kenzington.  The owner and staff were great fun, and their flavors were unlike any we had ever tried… my recommendation… Avocado Lime, Phoebe’s favorite… Salted Carmel (ala Auntie Tasch), Tessa’s fav… Honey Pear, and Jeff’s was the Chai Tea gelato… YUM!

 

From Calgary we headed an hour east through pretty rolling hills full of cow pastures and the Olympic ski jumps from the Calgary Olympics.  Have you ever seen those ski jumps in person?  They look scary enough when you see them on TV, but in person (or should I say speeding by them on the highway) they look TOTALLY INSANE!  Tess even thought they looked scary!

 

On to Canmore and Banff, and couchsurfing with Jody & Nic.  Canmore & Banff are sort of the gateway to the Rockies.  We all commented on how the landscape went from little rolling hills to GIANT mountains in such a short distance.  And the Rockies are actually rocky – I guess I’d never really thought about why they call them the Rockies – but the tops of all of them are bald and rocky (duh Kate).  The pine forests are impossibly thick, and it is hard to imagine being the first people that thought settling in this area would be a good idea.

 

We enjoyed our time in Banff (although its pretty touristy) – spending time checking out the Banff Hot Spring Hotel (Phoebe has decided she would like to get married there – we’ll start saving up for that as soon as we pay this trip off) and riding the gondola up to the top of Sulphur Mountain (and hiking down the entire 5.8kms – Tess will blog about that adventure).  We were disappointed to see that the hot springs had been turned into a big boring swimming pool and think that we should call our hot tub back home a “hot spring” and charge $8 a person so sit in it.

 

The next day we headed over to the infamous Lake Louise, and then over to Yoho National Park to visit the third largest waterfall in Canada, Tawkaka Falls.  We turned off the main highway to take the mountain road up to the falls, and no sooner had Jeff said “now girls, keep your eyes peeled, this is the kind of road that we’re likely to see animals on” then a big black bear lumbered onto the road in front of us.  IT WAS SO CUTE!  It is such a bummer that bears are so terribly dangerous because they are totally adorable and I could have one in our backyard next to the chickens.  I was so excited that I didn’t get the camera out fast enough to catch it – but we are very happy to add it to our critter count.


5 Responses  
Chad Schneider writes:
August 13th, 2009 at 2:16 am

Looking forward to reading more about your journeys, checking often! I thought i’d point out you said you went EAST from calgary… alas you went WEST! viva la WEST! :P Great picture updates, did you guys get to enjoy the Meteor shower tonight in jasper?

Marion writes:
August 13th, 2009 at 9:37 am

FINALLY! PICTURES! I have missed seeing your faces. You all look absolutely fabulous! :)

Sherrie Medina writes:
August 13th, 2009 at 10:55 am

Hi Kate and Wells Family
We are in Phoenix and every day talk about you guys and how we wish you were here. It is very hot here, it is so easy to forget. I spent some time this morning cruising through the blog and what great stories and adventures. Now that I have bookmarked it I will make it part of my relaxing web time ritual. Love you guys!
Sherrie

Lisa Barrett writes:
August 13th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Hey guys!!!! We miss you all!!! We are following you guys on this site, obviously, hee hee hee. I am digging the peace sign photos, so keep’em up! Take care of each other and have a fabulous time!!!! Dave, Lisa, Maddie, Jack, Teddy & Lola

Sam writes:
August 15th, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Wow a Black Bear?! AWESOME!!!!!

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