Tuesday, October 26, 2010


atop Sulphur Mountain at 7486 ft
I have just returned from a little getaway that blew my mind. Visiting my girlfriend in Calgary, I knew we were heading to (what I thought were) the foothills of the Canadian Rockies to where her hubby was staying for work. As we were getting closer to the mountains, my awe grew and my jaw dropped.

Road from Calgary to Canmore
We arrived to have some lunch and then headed into Canmore for a look around galleries and shops. We found a beautiful decor shop  a la mountain style called Stonewaters. I found the most extraordinary large journals made of organic cotton paper bound in a large leather cover wrapped in leather strands. I wish I had bought one, but the $90 tag made me think, "Do I need an $90 journal when I just bought my moleskin?"

Stonewaters (leather bound journal)
Stonewaters, Canmore
Before a dinner out to The Crazy Weed (which I discovered was aptly named for the grasses that grew on its roof), we did a moonlit walk by the Bow River to kick up our appetites.

The next day, after the deepest sleep I have had in a long time, we headed up to Banff. What a day! We had planned a hike up the smaller Tunnel Mountain, but after using the Ladies room of the Banff Springs Hotel (tee hee), we drove around the mountains, coming across the "springs". As we are turning around to head for our hike, we see gondolas that would take us up to a very much larger Sulphur Mountain. Viv and I looked at each other and thought "why not?"

I sometimes get vertigo and on the way up, I couldn't look up! The gondola was travelling 13 ft per second to an altitude of 7486 ft (a 5120 ft journey). At the top, there was another boardwalk hike to an observation deck for observing gamma rays (according to Wiki: associated with extremely energetic explosions in distant galaxies).

I could only look down, while Viv could only look up.

View of Banff Springs Hotel and Tunnel Mountain behind it from Sulpher Mt.
See the boardwalk beneath the flag. More climbing!

Quite cold up there!
Then we forgot to go have a tea (or beer) at the Banff Springs Hotel and went off to another small hike of the Hoodoos.
Hoodoos are the pointy beige protrusions, which are quite large closer up.
We then drove up the mountain behind Canmore to find elk licking salt, but no show. But what I did see, were glacial lakes and plains.

The next day was quite rigorous. We headed to Lake Louise (the highest town in Canada) for a six hour hike up the mountain. Whew!
We hiked the Plain of the Six Glaciers 6780ft (a 7 mile hike of 1100 ft from a starting altitude of 5680 ft), then veered up towards Lake Agnes to Mirror Lake, a beautiful mountain top woodland trail.
Looking back at Chateau Lake Louise.
Notice how close to the rock I stand - vertigo starting up here!
Lake Louise is 1.2 miles long and 230 ft deep. So azure blue and clear (and frigid!)
You have no idea how exhausted we were, heading to Chateau Lake Louise!

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