CanmoreSeptember 8 in Canada
Stayed at Canmore last night
Stayed at Canmore last night
Sunny start promising warmth we left Banff which we enjoyed very much, towards Canmore. Here we stopped for a walk along the Bow River and over old railway bridges built for the coal extraction which reached a peak in 1914. Beautiful day and we really liked Canmore-could spend more time here.
Coffee in the Mountain Merco and a visit to the gift shop and art gallery. We then took our lunch by the river before hitting the 1 towards the airport and home. 27 degrees this afternoon so the weather has really warmed up.
Great trip - best ever?!Read more
Finally here. Happy mother's day to me.
FYI. ..we found out thus morning that our ferry onto Kodiak island has been canceled and rescheduled for May 24th. This is AFTER the rest of the staff arrive and 8 days later than planned. Please pray we can figure out the best thing to do. Another great adventure.
Charlotte ist mich wieder für ein paar Wochen besuchen gekommen und wir verbringen ein paar Tage in Calgary. Für heute haben wir ein Auto gemietet und sind 1,5 Stunden in die Rockies gefahren um eine Hundeschlittentour zu machen. Dafür fahren wir mit dem Firmenbus nochmal 30min in die Berge, wo uns ca. 50 Hunde lauthals begrüßen und schon sehnsüchtig darauf warten endlich angespannt zu werden. Wir dürfen beim anschirren helfen und dann geht unsere 1,5 stündige Tour los. Sobald wir losfahren sind plötzlich alle still und wir gleiten ziemlich schnell aber ganz leise durch den Wald. Unterwegs halten wir ein paarmal kurz an und je einer darf aussteigen und zum Guide nach hinten kommen und beim Lenken helfen. Auf der Mitte gibt es noch eine kleine Pause mit Keksen und heißer Schokolade an einem riesigen, zugefrorenen See. Am Ende bekommen wir noch Hundekuchen zum verteilen an die sehr kuschelbedürftigen Hunde bevor es zurück geht. Wirklich ein einmaliges Erlebnis das den Weg mehr als gelohnt hat.Read more
Time for another Parker hike first we walk into Town then via the river up into our first trip into "the wilds" saw some deer but the only bear we saw was the one on the warning sign!
Just a short walk today (about 6 miles) along the Bow river and back via the town for a much needed coffee! Got a bit lost at the start and ended up in a wood but thankfully no bears around 🐻
So the diet starts when I get back! Cocktails, wine steak and puds boy do I feel full up !
We all woke up early again, about 6am. Had some breakfast and decided to drive down to the Tourist Information office a couple of kilometres away. It opened at 9, so we left just before. As usual getting Tash ready to actually leave was a challenge - the time between her saying she is ready and then actually being able to leave is normally around 10 minutes!
Found the Tourist Information, picked up some stuff on Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise and Canmore and had a chat with one of the guys there, He had never heard of Cross Zee ranch where we were doing our horse ride - slightly worrying!
We headed off to Cross Zee Ranch just a few minutes out of town. Well sign posted and we drove up a hilly drive and parked up. No-one around though there were some saddled up horses (which Tash thought were cows initially). Went up to the barn and pulled the horseshoe bell as instructed which made a huge ringing sound something akin to a church bell. Brenda appeared from upstairs and took our payment and we signed waivers, The whole place was very nicely set up - they have a big barn where they do events, weddings etc. Brenda asked if Ed wanted a helmet, not obligatory, but they had some kids ones - he tried them but they were too small, so no helmet. If you fall, don't land on your head was the joking advice! Brenda said Wiley would be with us shortly to take us out and sure enough a lad in early 20's came down - cool name Wiley! He had a proper cowboy hat, reassuringly and went to get the first horse.
First on was Ed on Katy - the friendliest horse as we had said he was nervous. He hopped on fine, adjusted straps and got lead across the yard to stand and wait for the rest of us. Me next on a much bigger horse called Frosty - turns out Katy was Frosty's mum, which pleased Ed. I waited next o him and Tash was next on Steve. She was warned Steve is an eater - he likes to nibble grass at every opportunity on the walk so needs a firm hand. Tash was impressed Steve was rocking the highlights mane look - brown horse with white mane! Last up Sam on Winnie. We had a couple of photos taken with Rockies and barn in the background - the Rockies looked spectacular this morning with the sun on them and none of the smoky haze of yesterday,
The horses had a pecking order they liked to ride in, the same as the mounting order, so Ed was following Wiley on his horse Ernie, then me, Tash and Sam at the end. Ernie was reluctant to leave the yard - turned out he needed to go to the loo before he went. Wiley warned Ed he was a windy horse so Ed might get the smell! Wiley said if we see any wildlife don't scream - it scares the horses and scares him!
We all followed in line down a single track through the forest. It was cooler and pleasant out of the direct sun but still a lovely day. Wiley had been doing the guiding for three years and said they had a record day yesterday seeing 5 bears - he thought the smoke had confused their smell and meant they didn't avoid the horses. We weren't sure if we wanted a bear encounter while on horsebacl or not....
Tash was hilarious in constant talk with Steve, who did indeed try and eat at every possible moment. "Stop that Steve" became the catchphrase of the ride. At the spot where they had seen a bear and three cubs yesterday Ernie got cautious, remembering what he had seen the day before. Wiley pointed out where the bears had been - the three cubs up a tree and the mum at the bottom to defend. They were about 4 yards away from the trail. Wiley was very nonchalant saying they stopped to try and take photos but the mum got skittish so they moved on. Ernie then reared up a bit, causing all of us to have a surge of adrenaline. Turned out to be a squirrel in the bushes, but the horses are nervous until they know what it is that they can hear - once they can see it is a squirrel (or even a bear) they are fine.
Sam had saddle issues as hers slipped sideways. Wiley readjusted but Sam had to keep pulling it back to straight - apparently Winnie was a very round shaped horse and so sometimes hard to get the saddle on. We saw a red kite nest and a robin's nest in the tress but no wildlife today.
The horses seemed to speed up as we turned to head back towards home. At one point Frosty wouldn't follow th trails and seemed to want to head down a steep slope. I was trying to pull him back and steer him the right way but he was having none of it. In the end we steered full circle and he followed Steve round the corner, then sped past him to get back in order. Wiley thought he might have seen the newly chewed log next to the trail which had been done by a bear overnight trying to get at the insects inside the log. He recognised it as new from yesterday and was worried the bear was still around. Once Steve went through and showed no bear he was fine to carry on.
Wiley suggest a brief trot, which we did for 30 seconds or so - it was quite painful bouncing on the seat I have to say and Sam with her loose saddle didn't really enjoy it! A further trot was suggested up the last hill, but Ed's horse was having none of it and the rest took their lead from her.
Arriving back we all got of with various normally unused muscles aching!
Back into town for a drink and sandwich on Main Street then we headed to the Nordic Centre, where the Nordic events of the 1988 Calgary Olympics had been held (the sister site to where we had been yesterday). We planned to do the Frisbee golf course here and rented frisbees and also bought some bear spray - peppery spray to spray at a bear if they get really close. Hopefully we will never need to use it. Can't take it in the plane and had to give id details to buy it.
After playing what we thought was the practice hole but turned out to be the 18th hole we were coming at from the wrong way we found the practice and realised we might have bitten off more than we bargained for. The hole said par three but was 140m or so round a corner with a very narrow track with forest and undergrowth on each side. Ed launched his frisbee at 45 degrees into the forest, which we did manage to find, The rest of us were more cautious, but it took us about 15 throws to get into the hole. Sam was not doing well and decided to quit and just walk the course. On the first hole proper a guy ran up and asked if they could play through us on the next hole. We said sure just play this one, we will stand next to the side. He warned their frisbee would probably land somewhere where we were standing (it had taken us about ten throws to get there!). We watched amazed as they curled their shots round the corner landing just in front of us. One guy's technique was to throw it like a tomahawk as he described it, which we then also adopted to lesser effect. They passed through and we carried on zig zagging across the course. Tash memorably threw one that went straight up and bounced off her down the slope. At hole 5 we decided to cut the course short and pick up hole 15 to make it 9 holes. We had long ago stopped keeping score and finished the 18th ready for a drink. An elk had wandered across the 18th while we were playing - clearly had observed we were never going to reach it with our next throws.
We smiled at the enthusiasm of the parties starting the first hole, as we had been until we realised how hard it was. A guy we met on the first hole had said it was a really tough course and there was an easier one in town that we could have tried. Still we enjoyed it, I think!
After a drink in the cafe we headed back to the hotel and down to the pool. A nice little pool, with a hot tub. Not too busy when we got there just after 4, but filled up around 5 ish as people got back. We had a dip in the hot tub, nice after the horse riding, then the kids went in the pool and played with a beach ball. Tash had chatted with a girl from Venezuela in the hot tub. Around 6 we went back to the room and Tash and I went out to get burgers from the nearby A & W place - very tasty they were too , including some great onion rings that Tash liked even though she doesn't like onion rings. Then watched some tv with a nice bottle of Canadian Pinot Gris wine. Found Ed had fallen asleep on our bed and so we moved him through to his own at about 8.30 and rest of us eent at about 9pm, still a bit jet lagged and also tired from activities.Read more
Woke up early again, about 6am, though only one wake up in the night about 3 when the train seems to come through Canmore each night! Used the morning to walk into Canmore via the Policeman's Creek Boardwalk, which followed a stream along into town. We needed some bite cream from a chemist, which we found and a strap to hold Sam's glasses on whilst rafting, which we didn't. Tash looked at some sunglasses in there but none took her fancy - her pair fell apart yesterday when she dropped them, need a new screw when we get home. Ed had spotted a juice bar so we went there - kids had large mango madness smoothies, two espressos for us.
Lady in the chemist had said a sunglasses shop a block away would have the strap Sam needed so we headed there. The owner was very chatty and we discussed the local bears and bear safety and he recommended a couple of hikes around Banff (Johnston Canyon, which we had earmarked for tomorrow and Larch Valley. Also recommended the Tea Shop hikes at Lake Louise and the Little and Big Beehives). Meantime a strap was found by Sam and some sunglasses by Tash - initially Michael Kors, then Ray Bans, which were purchased with the promised birthday money from various folks.
Bid farewell and headed to the Museum to find a toilet. Went into the museum which was small but interesting on mining history of Canmore, with some good interactive displays. Ed especially enjoyed the microscope for examining rock samples, but also good at looking at a splinter in his finger. Decided to get bread and meat from supermarket for lunch back in hotel before heading to rafting location. Walked back along the Boardwalk and ate and changed then headed off.
About half hour drive got us to the Nakoda Lake Lodge where the home base of Chinook rafting was. We thought we were early but there were already a lot of people there (turned out in all there were 14 boats of 9 or 10 people each going out that afternoon). We checked in, filled in the waiver forms and then had to get our kit. An Aussie guy talked us all through it (how do you spell wetsuit, that's right there's no. P in it so please don't pee in ours) and we collected and headed to the car to change. Tasha's westsuit was too small so she got a bigger one. Ed's was long in the leg but fitted ok. First time I had ever worn a wetsuit, felt a bit weird, especially the boots. Helmets and life jackets were the last things then we boarded the old classic yellow school bus for the 20 minute drive to the starting point on the Kananaskis River. Our bus wasn't full so we had to wait for some latecomers. Gave a chance for one of the guides to tell a few jokes - best was what do you call.a bear with no ears? 'B'! During the journey we were briefed on helmets and life jackets. Life jackets had to be tight and when we got off the bus they were checked and pulled tighter - was almost difficult to breathe, but the reason became clear during the safety briefing when, if you fall overboard, youi're pulled back on by the shoulder straps of the life jacket. Various slightly scary demos were given of what to do if you fell overboard, boat capsized etc, though it was stressed that these were unlikely events on today's trip! The briefing was spiced up by various instructors carrying hemlenmts full of water up from the river and throwing them liver the crowd - our first taste of how cold the water was. We got our paddles, Ed being smaller didn't have one. He had an extra protective waterproof layer as smaller kids were down the front of the boat and liable to get wet.
We were assigned a boat with a family of 6 from Sydney, with our Canadian instructor Lyndsey. Getting to the boat was a slight challenge down a fairly steep rocky slope, with mixed grip from the wetsuit boots. Had to help Sam and Ed down. We were assigned positions in the boat. The smaller Aussie kids right at the front, then their mum and da either side, then their older daughter and Tash either side second row, then me and their grandad third row, then Sam behind me. Ed sat in the middle second row next to Tash - no paddling needed from him which he was pleased about. We got a few instructions from the guide on what to do if she issued certain commands, then put them into practice in the launch area before hitting the first rapid. Got down it safely though with a huge wave of water coming over the top of us.
We then steered to the side with the other boats and waited as each one tried to row back up the rapid and surf along the top of it. Our boat seized the moment and went for it and held the wave for longer than any of the others we saw. Our instructor seemed genuinely impressed with the coordinated rowing of the boat as we worked together. Further rapids followed with wierd names, all making us wet. The third one we went down with paddles raised to get a photograph of the boat, hopefully will b a good one there. Next wave was Santa's Beard, as that is what the water looks like, a white beard. We decided to go down it doing a. donut spin, which worked well and must have looked impressive to bystanders.
The last rapids part of the course was through a canoe slalom area, with all the poles hanging down. We waited half way through it to let the boats of another company go past, then were off again. This was a theme throughout, that we waited at points to allow all the Chinook boats to assemble and stay together as a group. After the end of the slalom course we were through the main rapids for the day, but still got some splashes from waves and currents. We were all nervous before the start but all would happily have done more of the rapids (as long as they weren't too much bigger than the ones we did), so safe to say the trip was a success.At one point the river got very shallow and we had to paddle fast then bounce in the boat to keep it jumping across the rocks on the bottom - we kept it moving just. At various points there were battles with other boats, involving much splas=hing and pirate like cries Towards the end we could slide into the water and float next to the boat for a little bit. Tash and Ed decided to go fo it, soon realising that the water was freezing when submerged in it. I pulled them back in by the life jackets, not the most elegant of processes and the wetsuits did their jobs in warming them through quickly - good job it was a hot day. Just before the end there was a small waterfall into the river which our guide said was called Lyndsey Falls (at least it was every time her boat went past)
The river got wider and flatter and we saw some of the geology of the area, where two plates meet . The river banks had layers of different rocks and at the fault line these met from opposite sides, with squashed rock in the middle at the fault line. The river we had been on was between two dams and these are only opened at this time of day and so can't be used for rafting at other times.
At the end of the journey in the lake before the dam we had another chance to jump in and swim to shore. I slid in and went straight under (it was deeper than I expected) and the cold water reflex made me gasp and get a mouthful of water. I was choking and thought I was drowning, though I was only 2 yards from the shore! Wasn't pleasant and can see why people drown falling into cold water. Anyway managed to get out, then helped out Sam who was suffering similarly. Kids seemed fine. Wet suit boots filled with water, though it was quickly warmed by body heat leading to a strange sensation all the way back to home base on the bus, with warm, wet feet.
We carried the boat out and lifted it up on th trailer then got back on the bus to head to base. A guide debriefed us on getting the kit off when we got back - he was very funny, notably saying thanks to us for coming as if we didn't they would all have to get proper jobs and they don't blend well into normal society!
Getting the wetsuits off was easier than on and we got hot chocolates (welcome despite the hot day) and a biscuit. Bought the photo USB then headed back to hotel. Ended up collecting Domino's as no one fancied going out - it's fair to say that A and W's famous root beer didn't go down too well with us.Read more
Das war ein schöner aber auch anstrengender Tag. 5 Uhr aufgestanden, 7 Uhr los. Nebel bis 10 Uhr. Deshalb haben wir noch einen Kaffee getrunken, um den Nebel abzuwarten. Es gab so viele Fotomotive, dass wir erst um 18 Uhr in Canmore waren. Die Wohnung ist auf 3 Etagen, sozusagen ein Haus. Super schick. Nur 2 Rehe und ein Streifenhörnchen gesehen. So sind nur die Elche und die Bären?
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