Driving Day

July 11th, 2017 , 20:25

So the weather last night made the newspapers! All about the delay to Stampede. Which was interesting. And my weather app this morning showed the lighting.

We thought we’d be late to leave as we were out so late the night before, but got up and out earlier than expected. We had looked at a different route out of Calgary, but got news that with the rain and road works that way had delays, so we headed out the way we’d come in – only in rain. It rained all the way out of Calgary and was cloudy and dark for most of the drive. We put on a radio station and carried on – it was Jack 96.9 and fun (“Calgary is better than Toronto. We should have a joke here, but it’s just scientific fact.”)

We stopped in Canmore for petrol and food. The food was really good, but the service wasn’t. We kept thinking they’d forgotten us – people who came in after us got menus and orders before us. Our friend had given us one of new $10 bills that Canada released for the 150th – nifty bill! So later when I was reading about the new bill, Joe said ‘like this?’ and I said ‘no, the new ones’ and he said ‘yeah, like this’. He’d gotten one as change at the petrol station!

We were taking our time and turning off at about every brown sign just to see stuff. We took Tunnel Road into Banff (there isn’t a tunnel) and went right through the town (crowded). We pulled into the Spiral Tunnel viewpoint just in time to see a train go through.

After Banff we got off Hwy 1 and took Hwy 1A, the Bow Valley Parkway. A scenic twisting road which was really nice, but we didn’t see much wildlife other than ground squirrels. Saw lots of people who ignored the whole ‘don’t stop, do NOT get out of your car, leave the wildlife alone’ info that was posted every where. We’d pass loads of cars pulled half onto the shoulder or just stopped in the road with everyone out and taking photos or looking through binoculars. Even cyclists pulling their bikes as close to the edge as they could go. Just about all the trails off the road were closed to protect the wildlife, so there were obviously a lot of young around.

We saw ground squirrels when we stopped in Cranmore, hanging out in the verges at the parking lot. Then they were all over the 1A – every stop there were ground squirrels. Including one stop at a picnic area where there were loads. So Joe got his camera and sat at a picnic table near a burrow to get photos. While he sat there, all the squirrels came out behind him and were all over the area between the car and Joe, running about while Joe watched the burrow. A couple took pity on Joe and came out so he’d get his photos.

We took our time on the drive and got to Heather Mountain Lodge about an hour before dinner. Unpacked and rested then had dinner at the lodge. It was really good; we started with the mixed platter which was a bit of everything and that pretty much filled me up! But had a main as well. And they had fleece blankets for people sitting on the deck! My sort of place.

Joe went out to get photos of the sunset and saw a bunny! But by the time he got back to the room the bunny had scarpered.

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