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July 9, 2010

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I’m In Canada!

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After staying a night longer than planned in Missoula I made up for it by riding to Banff National Park in Alberta in one day instead of two.  Well I actually stayed in Kootenay British Columbia the first night thinking camps may be full in Banff.  Turned out to be a good decision as I got in a couple quiet walks the next morning through Marble Canyon and to Ocre Paintpots.

Paintpot Reflection

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Paintpot Reflection

 

A good way to start the day and I was ready to see the main event.  I decided to start at the southern end of the park and work my way north.  Also I had my interview with SidestandUp scheduled so I wanted to be somewhere with internet to I could do it over Skype and the town of Banff is at the southern end of the park.  There are plenty of activities nearby to keep everyone entertained as well.

Short hikes, waterfalls, and animal spotting were the main ways I spent my time.  Though I also ended up in town more often than usual over my five days in the area.  I camped at Two Jack Lake for the first three then went to a hostel for the last night for the wifi.

The scenic highway 1A and the loop around Two Jack Lake did not disappoint for wildlife.  Every time I traveled on either of these roads something showed up; 4 different black bear sightings, elk, bighorn sheep, moose, and mountain goats.

Ah, Why Is There A Camera Next To Me?

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Ah, Why Is There A Camera Next To Me?

 

This park (along with Jasper) was the most treacherous I’ve traveled on with the motorcycle over the whole trip.  There’s nothing wrong with the roads and I didn’t have any close animal encounters; it was the people.  I’d say over half the vehicles going around were rentals and way too many were looking at the side of the road.  A minivan backed into me after I gave it a 8 feet in between us while I pulled to the side to look at five huge bull elk.

They stopped right away and we looked at the damage which consisted of two inches of my front fender being folded back on itself and the tire.  I broke this off and there wasn’t anymore I or they could do.  Even after that several more cars pulled out in front of me after pulling over for an animal jam and this was after I was being paranoid.  Maybe that 40 person traffic jam along the Johnson Canyon trail of people trying to photograph a chipmunk wasn’t so bad after all…

Underbrush by the Path

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Underbrush by the Path

 

I only did one long hike near Banff towards, but not all the way to, Bordeaux Lake, west of the city.  It was gorgeous, peaceful, and steep.  The knee did ok and wasn’t bad the next day so I was happy about that.

Once I moved to the town of Banff it was errand time – groceries, blog updates, and oil change.  Well at least I bought bananas and oil.  Every turn I made all day something was going against me.  I spent most of the time collecting supplies for the oil change and then looking for a pan to use to no avail which meant that the blogs would have to be done in the morning.

What did go well was the interview that night.  I was just about to do it in my 4 person room when the other three people showed up and went to sleep at 6:30 pm.  I’m not use to being the night owl.  Off to the kitchen/basement I went and it stayed quite through the interview.  A few people were wondering what the heck I had going on so I ended up hanging out with them for a beer and heading to the bar next door.

Simple enough idea until I staggered home at 2am.  I was hurting the next morning.  Somehow I crawled out at 7 took a shower, ate toast, and checked out well before the 10am requirement.  From there I went straight to the city park and passed back out for three hours.  Glad I made myself move when I did.  Bottom line is I didn’t end up leaving Banff till 8pm instead of am.  Still, I got a camp at Banff’s big attraction, Lake Louise, for two nights including Canada Day the following day.  Not so bad after all.

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1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Jun 30 2011

    I’ve got to admin I didn’t read it all, but I read the beginning and saw the photos, and it inspires me even more to go to canada one day, even though I live on the other side of the ocean 🙂

    Reply

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