Saturday, 20 August 2016

Day 4: Banff, AB

Vermilion Lakes with Rundle Mt.
Banff, AB. 

Today we departed Lake Louise and headed east to Banff, AB.  This was a deliciously short 40 minute drive.  The Gypsy Wagon was rejected at the Bow Valley Parkway resulting in the negotiation of a very tight U-Turn.  I was not aware that the Grand Fondo bike event was in town blocking up roads. 

No worries, back onto the Trans Canada Highway it is. We are soon set up in the Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court. 

Later we head out to the Visitor's Centre; however, this tourist town is PACKED. Parking is simply not to be had so we just headed south in the general direction of the Bow River falls.  

We have an SUV limo squeeze by us as it exited a hotel - three-point turn style for a simple left hand turn.  Not to worry, although the limo got very close, this driver has certainly done this move before. 

On our pick-your-own-adventure through Banff we spotted newlyweds on one side of the road with their photographer on the other side of the road.  Did I mention the couple was up on a cliff - I bet that bride was pleased. I am not sure how they got up or down. I let go a cheerful honk - Alex was embarrassed. 

We stumbled upon Surprise Corner Viewpoint.  Turns out this was a fabulous little stop that met our 'teenager RV trip' requirements:  less than 15 minutes of walking and cool stuff to look at. Mind you I think their capacity for rivers, lakes and mountain vistas is waning. 

It ended up that we were on the opposite side of the river than intended in order to view the Bow River Falls.  Surprise Corner Viewpoint to the rescue.  Not only do we see the Bow River Falls but we have a fabulous view of the Banff Spring Hotel, c.1888. 

We continued up Tunnel Mountain driving through the Banff Centre, a seemingly fancy-pants arts centre with great vistas and multiple buildings. Rather university like on a small scale.  Alex said, "That's not my kind of place." I said, "But, it has parking!!!"  No, the boys were not getting out. So, on we went back up Tunnel Mountain Road. 

We found a pull out with lots of vehicles on the side of the road. We slipped into a recently vacated road-side spot near a sign and some stairs. Oh, this seems to be the mid-way point on the Tunnel Mountain hike!  We got out, took a picture of the sign on the uphill side of the road and crossed to the downhill side of the road to take a quick picture of the town.  Many very hot people streamed by us going both up and down.  We all looked at each other and hopped back in the truck by mutual consent. No hot hiking on a dusty trail for this gang. 

Consequently, the road we are on pops out right near our campground so we headed back for some reading and an early supper. 

After dinner we drove through town to the Vermilion Lakes.  Despite not seeing any sign of wildlife we did take some memorable photos which is always a win.  I had thought we might bike this road but no, another truck tour.  

Dominic is not feeling all that well this month so our lazy ways are suiting us fine. 

We are in for the night watching a movie in the Gypsy Wagon. Full services in a glamper has its niceties. 

Tomorrow - Bow Valley Parkway and Johnson's Canyon. 

You know you are in Banff when the GPS routes you up Otter Street, past Moose and Wolf streets to hang a right on Muskrat to Caribou. 

The Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court Campground is an odd campground in that the sites are little crescent-shaped pull-outs along paved roads. With shade and full service hook-ups we are not complaining. 

Traffic is moving oh so slow. This SUV-limo needed a three-point turn to make a left turn out of the hotel.  Very entertaining. 

Our meandering through Banff landed us unintentionally at Surprise Corner Viewpoint.
It was better than our intended destination. Bonus. 

Oh, I wonder how that bridge navigated this little cliff?
I do admire their pluck though. Anything for a picture. 

Tunnel Mountain Trail - not for us. 

A quick snap of the view across the road looking west over the town of Banff. 

Vermilion Lakes, Banff. 

Dominic, 13 1/2 years old. 

Alexandre, 3 weeks to 15 years old. 

This reminds me of my late Uncle Jack who lived in Calgary and spent much time in these mountain parks with his camera. 

Vermilion Lakes, Banff, AB.

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