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May 29, 2010

Gondolas and Hot Springs

Last night I turned my motorhome around so I'm facing mom and dad's motorhome. I wanted a better view of the mountain out my window. This morning I woke up and I wouldn’t even know a mountain was there if I hadn’t seen it yesterday. It was snowing! After a small cup of coffee, I finally pulled on my rain clothes and Cooper and I took a walk around the campground. It was really pretty but a little hard to see, as the snow was blowing in my face. I walked down to the entrance where I picked up a bunch of brochures and a bus schedule. The Roam bus drives through the campground every 40 minutes and it’s $5.00 for a day pass. I’m hoping I can leave Cooper in the motorhome without him causing too much trouble while I go check out Sulphur Mtn and Banff Hot Springs. I hear the weather should be a little clearer by noon today.
5pm – I ended up walking to town and found the Town Hall, where I could purchase round trip tokens for $3.00 (instead of $4) for the Roan bus up to Sulphur Mtn. I missed the first bus because I couldn’t find the town hall. The next bus was 40 minutes later and gave me a chance to wander in a few stores since I was without Cooper today. I didn’t buy anything although I sure wanted to. Since I’m already spending $55 a night in camping/park fees I passed on all the stuff I wanted to buy for everyone. Everything is expensive in this little tourist town! I have the feeling I may be saying that more often than I like as I travel through Canada and Alaska!

My walk downhill into Banff

I rode the bus to the end of Route 1, which stopped at the Gondolas that go up to the summit of Sulphur Mtn. Since the day was quite cloudy and the tickets were $29 round trip I decided to skip it this time. The ride takes eight minutes to reach the summit. You climb 2,292 feet to reach the summit at 7,486 feet. It was cold at the bottom – I can only imagine how cold it was at the top. I wanted to hike it but figured I wouldn’t have enough time. I didn’t see anyone else hiking it either. Guess that’s more of a summer thing! I bet on a clear day the view is spectacular at the top.

Instead I walked down the road to Banff Upper Hot Springs and bought a ticket for $7.30 (plus a dollar for a locker). I would have taken a picture but didn’t take my camera out to the pool. Just think of a large hot swimming pool overlooking the Canadian Rockies and you’ll get the idea. It felt great to sit in a hot pool on a cold day. This particular spa and bath house has been operating for more than a century and they have historic swimsuits from the 1920’s you can rent if you want to.
After spending 1-2 hours there I took the Roan bus back to town and found a small grocery store to buy some veggies because I was unnecessarily afraid to take any across the border. After that I walked back up that LONG hill carrying my bags and backpack. I think the hour I spent in the pool wore me out! I did stop right before the Village and bought a bottle of Big Rock Lager, brewed in Calgary, Alberta. It tasted fabulous when I got back to the motorhome! Cooper was happy to see me and I’m told he was a very good dog while I was away. For a reward I took him on another walk around the campground!
Tomorrow morning we travel the Icefields Parkway to Jasper. I think there are numerous photo ops along the way but the weather is supposed to be just like today. I don’t care – I’m having a great time!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, but you really put a smile on my face! I can envision the mess - you are a trooper! Mo