Road Trip 2013: Day 10. Banff

I really enjoyed my second day in Banff.  The time spent cruising down the Bow Valley Parkway with nowhere to be, no specific plan, and not a care in the world, was a highlight that I will always remember.  At this point in the trip there was no real sense of time, and no real worries to bother me.  If only every day could be like this.

Day 10: Banff Sunday – 146km driven
Today was a good day. Better than I expected. After yesterday, I was a little bit fed up with the throngs of people in Banff, and really wanted to leave for Jasper today…but I stayed for church, and it turned out really great.

For starters, I went to the Presbyterian church in Banff in the morning. It was a very small congregation, but the service was really good. I had been a bit worried about what the service would be like, but it was actually decently conservative and the sermon was very scriptural. It was on Pslam 22. After the service they served coffee and cookies, so I went to that and talked with a few of the members. I always seem to get into good conversations when I mention that I’m from Ontario and on a crazy road trip. Today, that meant I got to hear stories about how some of these older guys had driven across the country themselves years ago. It was really quite interesting.

At this point I had the whole afternoon before me, with no real plan or things that I needed to see. That is part of what made the day so nice. Up until now, I’ve had a very set plan: I arrive at a place, and I have so many hours to see the sights…and in some cases, I have a very specific set of sights that I want to see. So this afternoon, I decided to cruise down the Bow Valley Parkway and stop at the various lookout points along the way. At each one I made sure I took my time and once I had gotten the photos that I wanted, I would find a place to sit and just drink in the sights surrounding me. I felt so relaxed. The Bow Valley Parkway is a slower road, so I was cruising with my windows down and worship tunes playing. Also, there were less people driving along here, as I think most people just take the trans-Canada, and get to the main attractions without taking the slower route….making this perfect for getting away from it all.

The Bow Valley Parkway
The Bow Valley Parkway

That took up most of the afternoon, but it was still decently early, so since I was near it, I decided to give Lake Louise another try. It was super busy, but I managed to find a nice parking spot. I set out on the trail that follows alongside the lake. I discovered that although the view of the lake isn’t the greatest from the starting point, it improved greatly as I walked closer to the other side. The mountians had some really cool glaciers hanging off of them which added nicely to the scene. The crowds of people were still annoying, and I turned back a bit sooner on the trail than I otherwise would have because of it. I also ran into the European girl that I met back in Waterton on the Crypt Lake trail. She recognized me right away, and we stopped and chatted for a bit about our travels. She had a friend, so she didn’t talk long(they were going in the other direction), but it was cool to meet up with someone from earlier in my travels.

And now I’m back in my mosquitoe infested campsite, enjoying unlimited firewood. Tomorrow should be the icefields parkway as long as the weather holds.

Relaxing on the Bow Valley Parkway
Relaxing on the Bow Valley Parkway

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