Alberta, Banff edition

We’ve spent the last 4 days in Alberta, Canada. It’s downwind from the 160-odd forest fires currently destroying large parts of British Columbia and edging into western Alberta. The view is often obscured by a smokey haze and little flakes of ash dust the air. 

But even in these conditions, the area is just so beautiful that we don’t feel like we’ve come at a bad time at all. The mountains still loom around us like an old watercolor painting,  the many streams and rivers are crystal clear and burbling briskly, and nearly every building is designed to remind you that you are in a mountain community.  Seriously, the Chinese restaurant where we ate this evening was located in a huge log cabin!

There is a gondola in Banff National Park. It rises over 2,000 feet in about 8 minutes and provides spectacular views. It will be no surprise to those who know me, I did not take the gondola ride. Adjacent to the base of that, though, is the highest of 3 natural hot springs on Sulfur Mountain, piped into a lovely pool that also has a lovely view.  Guess where I went!

And even though all garbage cans everywhere are heavy-duty ‘bear proof’ vaults (even downtown), we haven’t yet had that terrifying experience. I did see an elk, and our campground has about 10 bunnies with little fear of wandering humans. 

Tomorrow we head northeast to Jasper, taking the Icefields Parkway. We’ll stop off at the Columbia Glacier and take a 3 hour bus ride to explore the glacier. (Am I the only one who hears the Gilligans Island theme song when you say that?)  We expect to be passing to the north of the fire zone, so don’t freak out if we’re quiet for a while. We have no phone signal up here and campsite wifi is kind of hit or miss. Remember to check the 2oldchicksrv Instagram for pics, it seems to require less bandwidth than any other app and is more likely to be updated.

This trip so far has been a wonderful adventure and I can’t wait to see the next thing!

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