Aug 7th – 11th ~ Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Canada has strategically placed red chairs throughout their national parks. Tim spotted these two near our campground in Banff just in time to sit and enjoy a spectacular sunset.
“Visitors are encourage to seek out the ‘Red Chairs’ to enjoy these special places and to share their experience through social media and other communication channels.” ~ Parks Canada
We were ready to slow down once again, and simply veg for a few days. The drive from Calgary toward Banff, took us through more farming area where the fields were filled with freshly baled hay.
I managed to stay glued to my computer for an entire day and write several blog posts, then part of a day where we roamed around the small, but quaint town of Banff.
The town itself is located at the southern end of Banff National Park, and was the first town to incorporate inside of a Canadian national park. It is definitely a tourist destination which offers a wide variety of activities including multiple hiking trails, going skiing, taking a dip in the hot springs, staying at the regal Banff Springs Hotel and admiring the views from the Banff Gondola.
Things are pricey in this tourist hub! I spent a record (for me anyways) amount for a mani/pedi one afternoon, but thoroughly enjoyed visiting with my technician, Lucy, a delightful Australian living in Banff. With tip, the total came to $150 (CAD). That is triple what I would pay back home in Southern California. But I must admit that my feet felt butter soft, and I loved the information I learned about CND Shellac.
After three days on the outskirts of Banff, we drove Ellie Mae along the Trans-Canada Highway a bit further north toward Lake Louise.
The scenery is beautiful, dotted with rivers, lakes and mountains to inspire.
They even take extraordinary measures to protect their wildlife with massive arched bridges across the highway for the animals to cross from one side to the other.
Our next campsite was along the Bow Valley Parkway at Protection Mountain. It was only a short drive from there to Lake Louise.
My parents honeymooned at Lake Louise back in 1949. I remember seeing old pictures and in my mind it has always seemed larger than life. I was excited to share this special place with Tim.
Unfortunately, we had two things going against us on this visit:
- British Columbia was being inundated with a record number of wildfires and the smoke from the fires not only covered BC, but had drifted into Alberta as well as neighboring Washington State. The fires had gotten so serious, that a State of Emergency had been declared, massive evacuations imposed, and roads closed. Visibility here varied from day-to-day, hour to hour, but was basically fair to poor.
- “Somehow” word has gotten out about just how amazingly beautiful this area is and it is now a HUGE draw for people from all over the world. If you don’t arrive early morning or late in the day, getting a parking place is extremely challenging. Tour busses arrived one after another. Frankly, I was shocked by the number of people lining the banks of the lake.
Right on the shoreline is the stately Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise .
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that I got to share a place that holds a special place in my heart with my hubby. My heart goes out to all of the people in British Columbia who were and are continuing to deal with the wildfires.
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