Still trying to catch up! It is out of order and a month late but…When we have full days of fun I am too tired to publish!

This one was from:  Saturday June 15, 2012

Canmore: Just 15 minutes from Banff toward Calgary, population 20,000 downtown 4 square blocks all surrounded by ponds and rivers.

What happens when you need propane and new windshield wiper blades? You don’t find them in Banff so you go to Canfield.  It all started with the oil pressure gauge that led to needing new windshield wiper blades and by the way isn’t it time for propane?  Day two in Banff just another day of chores.  How wrong we were.

After visiting the information center, I love the icon “?” Emilie mapped our day, beginning with the mechanical reasons for being there then adding local attractions.  A visit to the Ammolite factory i was not too thrilled  about looking at old rocks but after an hour or more looking at these beautiful polished fossils, brilliant in color and unusually patterned, both of us became fascinated.  Originating for squid, like 50 to 60 = million years ago between the cretaceous and jurasic period, , these Ammolites are found only in Montana and Alberta, and apparently they are almost extinct.

Almost immediately my smug environmentalist, foot print conscious self emerged, I questioned the shop keeper “if the fossils are so rare and endangered why are you selling them?”  The answer, in so many words was because chumps like you will buy them!  Bill was unusually impressed and insisted on buying me a piece for our 30th wedding anniversary that I will now treasure forever.

In the same industrial park we came upon a glass blower, preparing for “Open Studio” weekend.  Bill has always been fascinated by the art form and the artist shared with us a technique she uses to preserving cremated remains. Strangely enough the end product was not morbid at all as the ash turns into bubbles. Little glass bubbles!  Not a bad ending, right?

At the end of the day we were guided to the rivers edge, where we walked a few miles and ended our day in Canfield at a restaurant Called the “Chef’s Studio Japan”.  For young and old alike, the walls were painted brown, chalk provided for self expression.  A much better solution than graffiti on the bathroom (washroom in Canadian) walls.

The bow river that flowed from Canfield 12 miles from Banff

Saturday June 16th.

Today’s destination Lake Louise.  First stop Johnston Canyon about a 3k hike up a rock canyon with raging waters cutting crevices, caves and canyons through limestone mountains.

Johnston Canyon near Banff

As we were driving up to the Canyon we saw an inordinate number of cyclists on the road.  These Canadians are in really good shape!  What we didn’t realize was there was a huge annual bike rally taking place in Banff this weekend.  Who knows if they were all Canadians but they WERE in really good shape.

The canyon was picturesque, We had seen something similar on the way to Boston called Ausable Chasm in upstate New York,  but this was much more spectacular.  Fortunately we got an early start because by the time we completed our hike the parking lot was filled to capacity, tour busses lined up in droves a gazillion tourists, all in a hurry.  Cars were parked bumper to bumper for miles along the side of the road just  Lake Tahoe in the summertime, we were lucky to get out of there alive.

Johnston Canyon

Just like the movies only real time!

Next stop Lake Louise supposedly one of the 7 wonders of the world.