Friday, July 10, 2020

Socially Distant Banff Part 2

Next day we woke to an overcast sky, threatening rain. Terry and Alex took advantage of the hotel's free bike rental for guests and raced away for their morning adventure with a plan to meet back at the hotel for lunch. Zoltan and I walked over to the Cascade of Time garden, which was certainly pretty but perhaps not quite as spectacular as the mountains.  It may not have helped that the waterfalls into the many pools were not running and various parts were taped off - no entry. We got caught in the downpour on our way back to the hotel and got to test how well the hiking pants dried after a soaking - thumbs up! Zoltan also announced that he had splashed in a number of puddles and the new hiking shoes are apparently waterproof - we had not known that.

With the rain coming down even harder after we ate, the kids got lost in their own pixelated worlds while Terry and I watched the weather worriedly, hoping it would not be a full rainy day inside. And our prayers were answered. Before 3pm the sun was back out....

And thus began our Tunnel Mountain Trail hike. Easily the highlight of the weekend. It has switchbacks and a super steep climb (although the 3 month old beagle we cooed over made it up himself without being carried) and wow are we (the adults) out of shape. It was good motivation for getting into shape. Alex practically ran up the mountain, which made us proud and hopeful as she tends toward the lounge-on-the-couch-and-read-all-day when we let her. Somewhere, somehow, she has developed muscles.

From the top are spectacular views of Banff and the surrounding mountains and the river and the whole valley. There are also a pair of the Parks Canada red chairs looking out at one of the many beautiful views. We caught our breath and ate our snacks at a proper distance from other small groups doing the same, then set off back down the hill.  

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