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May 29, 2010

Banff National Park in Alberta

Let me start with last night. I buy boxed wine for the motorhome because first, I like wine and second, I have the perfect spot for a box in the refrigerator. I opened a new box last night. About 9:30pm I heard a dripping noise and after investigating, it sounded like it was coming from the refrigerator, so I opened it and out came wine – onto the floor, the walls, all over the bottom of the refrigerator. My box had sprung a leak and after 4 hours since opening it, half was missing! For some reason, as soon as I opened the fridge, the alarm close to the floor went off. While I was trying to figure out how to shut it up, wine was continuing to drip out of the fridge. I found a mute button and pressed hard – aahh, blessed silence so, back to the task at hand. It took me an hour and numerous towels to clean the mess up and wine still continued to drip from cracks and crevices. I ended up putting paper towels on the floor overnight to sop up the remainder. The next morning the towels were wet but thankfully nothing continued to leak after that. Now - I like my wine – even cheap boxed wine and I wasn’t about to let all that remained go to waste so before throwing out the defective box I poured what remained into a small plastic pitcher and two glasses, which I covered with plastic wrap and duct tape! Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Cooper and I woke this morning to rain, but the temperature was warmer than I expected. I finally dragged myself out of bed around 7am and we went for a jog around the campground. It was really nice. We dodged the puddles and Cooper peed on all the trees he could find and we were both ready to begin another day. I came back, made coffee, and took the shower I missed taking last night and by 10am we were ready to go. Today we drove to the town of Banff in Banff National Park. It was only 108 miles but took about 2 ½ hours to get there. Before entering the park you’re required to buy a park pass, which is about $9.60 a day or about $37 for an annual pass, which they’ll allow you to upgrade to if you decide you’re going to spend enough days in the parks to make it worth the money. We bought a two day pass but may end up staying 3-4 days, depending on what we find in Jasper, which is the stop after Banff. So I may have to buy the annual pass after all.
Driving through the park was beautiful. I even took a few pictures out the front window of mom and dad’s motorhome, while I was driving. I know, I know….believe me, I was mindful of what was around me before snatching up the camera and snapping away. It was a cool scene. Just their motorhome with the mountains in front of them and the trees on both sides - I wanted to capture it. There were also miles and miles of charred trees that had burned in a big forest fire. I seem to remember something about that but can’t remember the year.
We arrived to drizzle in Banff. I guess it rains a lot here but it’s really more like misty rain and easy enough to get out in. I wore my heavier rain coat because the temperature is cold at 5000 feet elevation. We decided to camp at Tunnel Mountain Village in Banff. It has three sections – The Trailer Village is full hook up sites, Village 2 is where we decided to stay and it has electric only. Village 1 is tent camping. I’ve read that during the summer Village 1 is the most popular campground and very hard to get into without a reservation, as Canadians love to tent camp and they love to build campfires and socialize together. I’m also under the impression that Canadians love to rent motorhomes because most of the ones in this campground seem to be rentals, either from Cruise America or CanaDream. There isn’t any Wi-Fi here, so I won’t be posting on the blog for a few days. Instead I’ll post to Word and paste it into the blog when I eventually get service.

The town is really picturesque and quaint, but also very touristy. I’m really glad I visited this time of year. I can’t imagine what it must be like in the high summer season. Cooper went with me so I didn’t do a lot of shopping. He’s quite obnoxious and protests loudly about being left alone so we stand outside and wait on mom and dad to shop in the little gift shops. He’s quite the popular dog then, as everyone wants to pet him and gush over him. Yes, he’s one handsome, well-behaved dog as long as I’m right by his side! The town isn’t very big and therefore, didn’t take too long to walk through. I took a few pictures to share.
I thought Cooper and I would walk the hill back to the Village. It’s a nice walk uphill, maybe a mile. Along the way we saw a deer – I think. Here’s a picture.

We’re staying here one more day. I’m hoping tomorrow to go to Banff Upper Hot Springs and also ride the Gondola to Sulphur Mountain at 8042’ elevation. You can also hike up from the Hot Springs but I’m not sure I want to go alone. Maybe if I see others I can tag along. After a hike, a nice soak in the hot springs would be very welcome! I’m looking forward to another glorious day in paradise!!

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