Banff, Canmore, Edge of the Rockies. Tues 29th

We worked Tuesday and Wednesday, but I woke in the early hours of Wednesday wanting to barf, and that continued the day, with me feeling lethargic, nauseous and weak.  I mostly sat on the couch and watched media, while Dale did the work.  Luckily there wasn’t too much to do.
I was feeling much better on Thursday, but still wasn’t 100%, so we took it easy, and went on a driving day trip past Banff.

 

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Banff Mountain
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Pretty rock layers

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We stopped in Canmore for lunch, in a lovely bagel bakery.  Delishuz.  Picked up some cheap previous-day bagels to put in the freezer for later.

Delishuz local beverages
Delishuz local beverages
Canmore
Canmore
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Caution!

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We wanted to see if we could easily find the edge of the Rockies, and we definitely did…the mountains just kinda wind down to flat, then you come out from between two mountain ranges, and there is just flat ahead of you.  It was a lovely day, so this clear winter blue sky just stretched out ahead of us.  There was some forest, but a lot of farmland too, even though it was covered in a layer of snow.  Not as much snow as in the rockies though, the piles at the side of the road were little, and you could still see the fenceposts, and there were horses grazing in some of the paddocks.  I guess they get less rainfall there?

The edge of the rockies
The edge of the rockies
Horizon!
Horizon!

Once out in the open, the speed limit turned out to be 110km/h, and there were signs saying “Aircraft Patrolled”.  Dale was amused, as was I, as he had thought they were signs only in movies, not irl (in real life), so it was interesting to see.  We didn’t test out their resolve, however, and we stayed within the speed limit.  There were also many signs warning of wildlife on the roads.   I guess it is not like NZ, where the biggest thing you might hit is a wallaby.   Elk probably make a slightly bigger dent in your car.

We didn't test them..
We didn’t test them..
Ponies
Ponies

There are places along the highway between Field and Banff, that have large bridges across the road, and I couldn’t figure out what they were for for ages, I thought perhaps they had put in overpasses in case they needed them in the future.. but they have trees on them, and are quite wide, and I think they are bridges for the wildlife to cross, so they don’t get squished, and it’s not so stressful for them.

We eventually turned back and headed back to Banff, saving the visit of Calgary for another day.   In Banff, we stopped at the Cascade Waterfall, which was frozen solid, in majestic spray over the edge of the rock.  There is a walk to the base of the waterfall, but we didn’t bother, as it would have been hard to distinguish between waterfall and snowbanks.  We did help dig out an aussie, who had got her car stuck in the snow at the side of the road…I think she didn’t realise she would sink into it when she drove on the edge.. Not much snow in Melbourne to base her experience on!

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Cascade Mountain
Cascade Falls
Cascade Falls

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We headed into Banff, it was a lovely clear day, with epic mountains all around.  We drove through town, past the ice rink, and the cute little shops, and the ice wall that had been put up in town, and drove to Surprise corner, where we had a bit of a view from the top of Bow Waterfall.   We wandered a bit, nearly slid off small ledges that had sheet ice under the snow, and generally decided it was too cold to do much, as it was about -15.  Chilly.  Face started freezing.

Banff
Banff
Ice climbing wall in Banff
Ice climbing wall in Banff
The river above bow falls
The river above bow falls

We drove back around to the other side of the river to view the falls from the bottom, and guess what?   Mostly frozen!!  It may seem boring to read about all these frozen lakes and waterfalls, but I love it.   Water that was flowing, is mostly stopped, or at least diverted.  I love seeing all the ice hanging from rocks, waterfalls literally frozen in time.  All pretty and deep aqua and blue.

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The Fairmont, Banff. Very Fancy.
Bow Falls
Bow Falls
Chilly hand
Chilly hand
Bow falls
Bow falls

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At this particular waterfall, I think a fair amount of water was still flowing under, and one point over the far side it hadn’t totally iced over, and there was a bit of a crack, with mist/water vapour rising from it.  I am unsure why it does this, and couldn’t find anything on the internet, perhaps cause I don’t know what the process is called.  It can’t be melting, as it was freezing out, and not getting any warmer. I know mist rises above the river on some days, my best guess is that the flowing water reacts to the cooler temp of the air or the ice around it?  I know sublimation is when ice changes straight from solid to gas, without being a liquid, so perhaps it is something to do with that?  If someone could explain it for me, that would be great!

Anyway, after checking out the frozen waterfall, pretty river, and trying to read the signs in French, we hopped back in the car, headed into town to do our groceries, then zipped off to home.  The thermostat in the car hit -22 degrees c, and home was the best place to be.

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