Calgary to the Canadian Rockies

Trip Start May 25, 2008
Trip End Aug 03, 2008

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Where I stayed
Spring Creek Campground

Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Sunday, June 8, 2008

We are to leave today for the Canadian Rockies in the city of Canmore which is outside the famous city of Banff. But since it is only just over an hour away, we decided to see a few more things in Calgary. If I have not said it enough, Calgary is a must see city. Great museums & great people - what more do you need? The first thing I did was drive pretty much next door to the Olympic Center to visit the Hall of Fame. The area also has a host of activities from extreme mountain biking, zip line, etc. I did not have the time or money (this place was expensive) to do these activities. Plus, we had a miserable rain going on. The  internet said the museum was open at 8:00am, however, when I got there they said it would open at 10:00 - so much for the Calgary Olympics. Guess I'll go there when I visit Calgary again. So I went back and picked up Pooh to drive downtown for our second visit to the Glenbow. Since we showed up late yesterday, they let us in for free. We concentrated on Native American art and Asian Religious art (which is up my alley since I teach this and next year's summer trip is to India). Just this one small floor took me over an hour to see and soak in. Pooh also spent some time in the mineral section with all the cook rocks and gem stones. (I hope she does not want me to buy her one!) After the Glenbow we needed some food - once again, we went to our favorite restaurant of the trip so far - Calgary Shwarma. The owner was happy to see us again and we ordered the exact same thing we did yesterday. Neither of us have ever done that since we are not big restaurant people. On TV was Al Jazeera again - this time covering the Clinton concession speech with their commentary (which was not too extreme). We then drove back to the Calgary West RV Park to hook-up the RV and head for the Rockies. This time we did it in less than 30min. Though I did have to dump the holding tanks in sleeting rain (no, I have never had a dumping experience like Robin Williams in RV). We then drove the scenic one plus hour to Canmore though for the first 30 min. we had a hard rain. But miraculously the rain subsided the closer we got to the Rockies. Spring Creek RV park was right in the middle of the Rockies - we were parked next to a stream in-between two large mountain ranges which dwarf anything we have back in Georgia. After unhooking we took the dogs for a walk just outside the park across the creek in the forest. The dogs loved it as we let them lose in a field. Since the weather was turning in our favor, we decided to drive to the famous mountain town of Banff to ride our bikes. The bad news was that Banff the town was also in the National Park so we had to pay an entrance fee of almost $20 to get in. Unlike our National Parks in which you pay one fee for a week, in Canada it is per day. So since we were to be there today and tomorrow, we will have to shell out $40 - Yellowstone only costs $25 for an entire week!!! On both sides of this highway were the tall 10,000 plus mountains. In Banff we parked outside the city and took our bikes on this nice forested nature trail that was so beautiful with forest on one side and a mountain river on the other. However, as Pooh likes to do ever so often on her bike, she CRASHED - not just any crash. As she was going over a wooden bridge, she lost control of the bike. The bike went into the creek and Pooh was left on the side of the bridge, half on, half off. Too bad I could not get a good picture of her like that. I was too concerned to see if she was hurt or not. We dusted her off, fished out the bike, and continued on - something this small is not going to stop us. It only took us 30 min. to get into town. We chained our bikes up and walked the main strip of Banff. I had planned to only do this for an hour and then bike around some more - there are tons of trails in this area. But as it turns out, these two "non-shoppers" went into every other store - we NEVER go to the mall back home. But here, everything was different so we had to check out everything.  The strip in Banff was well done with little of the tackiness that hampers many American tourist towns. One thing Banff has going for it is the fact that on either side of the main strip, there is a 10,000 foot peak. Not bad for a background.  Pooh ended up buying a couple of aluminum water bottles (plastic bottles are the latest things that causes cancer), and I got a Banff shirt made out of a cool material & a long-sleeve red Canada shirt. So instead of 1 hour, we spend around 3 hours. We rode the bikes back to the truck - this time without Pooh falling over. We drove back the 30 min. to the RV and had a small dinner of left-over's. Now that we are in Canada in the summer, the area does not get dark until around 10:30. The bad news about the park - besides being the most expensive of the trip at $51 per night - was that the wi-fi did not reach our RV. So I had to drive the truck and do my blogging inside the truck (they close the office at 7) So I spent the next 3 hours uploading just half the video's from the zoo. But I did have a magnificent view of the sunset over the Rockies.
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