Thursday, 4 July 2013

Starting our Canadian Rockies tour

Banff, AB Canada

The campground in Banff is a strange set up. All the trailers and RV’s have to park on “a road”, it just feels bizarre. Power is provided, although our lead wasn’t long enough to park facing our grass and table, so we will need to get a 30-amp extension lead. We can fill up with water on the way out before going to the dump station, which is fine seeing as we are only here for three days. Wood is provided but as there are no fire pits, so we can’t use it. The mosquitoes were quick to find me so it’s not surprising that there aren’t many people sitting outside. There are a lot of Australians here in town, both tourists and employees in most of the shops and we hear our accent everywhere.

There is a terrific photography gallery here that had a great shot of a moose with its nose right on the car window. After finding out where it was taken we went looking for our own moose in the wetlands but unfortunately the first road in was closed from landslides created by the floods they had a week ago, so we drove 24kms to try and get in from the other end, only to find that road closed too. So no moose.

It is so light up here from really early to quite late and will only get lighter for longer the further north we go, so Lindsay has put tin foil on our windows to help us sleep better and the black fabric shower curtain over our door as it has a glass panel in it. We later put silver windscreen shields on our bedroom windows.

The first national park was born in Banff early last century (early 1900’s) when a trio of railway workers decided to spend the winter fossicking for riches. What they found was a thermal spring and wanted to make a claim on the land. The Government decreed it for the people instead. While the story is interesting from a historic point of view, the Cave and Basin site isn’t anything to rave about.

We drove to a few viewpoints seeing a birds eye view the town from the Norquay lookout and the Fairmont Springs Banff hotel from Surprise Corner.

We hadn’t done any walks in Banff yet, so I chose The Johnston Gorge trail on the Bow River. It’s off the 1A highway, a small picturesque road that runs parallel to the Trans Canada Highway heading towards Lake Louise. The path and boardwalks take you up a canyon where the river cuts through the rocks to two lots of waterfalls. There were a lot of people as this is one of the most popular walks in the area and even though the car park is huge, it was full, so we had to leave our car out on the highway with many other people.

Johnston Gorge Trail

We initially wondered what the remote control for the electric fire was for; today we found a use for it. We are going to turn the heater on from our bed so that we get up to a warm house!

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