Thursday, August 2, 2012
That Time Katrina Came (part 2)
here if you want to)
After we saw bears we continued to Lake Louise! We ate dinner and I emailed Louise (because you have to when you're at Lake Louise) and we lamented a little about the fact we had to walk across the hallway to use the showers.
The next morning was LAKE LOUISE DAY! This is one of those places I have wanted to go ever since I knew it existed! It's sooo pretty! The silt from the glacier water gives it its blue colour which is gorgeous! We could've canoed for a ridiculous amount of money, but instead we took the advice of the hostel desk girl & did the 3.4km "walk to the Agnes Lake Teahouse" bahahaha! This is on the list of easy walks...ahem. It wasn't easy. We nearly died. Well not quite as much as I nearly died that time in Edmonton...but it was uphill the WHOLE way and at a high altitude. It was tricky. Other people on the walk had walking sticks (like ski poles really), hiking shoes, bear bells & water.
Was it worth it? YES! On the way up we got absolutely gorgeous views of Lake Louise, saw a smaller version named Mirror Lake & then at the top we met Lake Agnes (sometimes Lake is at the start of the name and sometimes at the end... I don't know the rules about that). There was still snow and ice up there (and a chipmunk)!! We sat for a while, while we remembered how to breathe. Meanwhile some grannies powered past us to higher heights & some CRAZY Brits (I think they were Brits...but maybe I'm making that bit up) waded into the lake as promptly lost the feeling in their legs. Oh boys!
The teahouse up there gets one helicopter delivery per year, the rest of the supplies and the garbage are hiked up and down by the workers. Despite this they have a very large selection of teas (of which we had none). So if you happen to be in the area and would like a fancy tea...
After our descent back to Lake Louise, we drove to Moraine Lake. We had learnt the day before that a moraine is the mounds of dirt and debris that are formed by the force of a glacier. So maybe that's how this lake was formed... we only stopped there for a few minutes because it was really windy and a bit cold and our legs still felt a little bit like falling off after our tea house adventure and we also hadn't eaten lunch. It was REALLY pretty though! A different blue to Lake Louise... bluer I think, rather than the turquoise of Louise... it would've been nice to hang there a little longer, but we didn't.
We ate some lunch.
We ended the day with a drive to Banff for some Spaghetti & then hit our hostel in Canmore.
The hostel was nice, we even had secret curtains on our beds, so we could hide in our own little forts. We also had mountain views from our window! Arrgh I love the mountains!
The secret that we didn't know, though, was that the train line was directly behind our room. haha. Location, location, location!
We vibered John Lucas and skyped Simone... and thus ended that day.
The very next day we spent in Calgary. I have decided that Calgary is not my favourite place to drive. They have some weird rules and road lines and such that were new to me... we avoided (causing) two accidents.
We managed to find the Olympic Park from the 1984 Winter Olympics. Of course I don't remember these particular games, and Katrina was yet to be born, but this was the Olympics made famous by the Jamaican Bob Sled team (which you may remember from the movie Cool Runnings). We tried to find the Olympic Museum... but it seemed to be hiding, so we just got a photo in a bobsled and hopped back on the road with our pocket map.
Using our 5-by-10cm map Katrina managed to navigate us to downtown Calgary. In the spirit of Mindy's & my quest to see every fort in the world and because we had a voucher, we stopped at Fort Calgary. I think this is my favourite fort so far (sorry you weren't there Mindy). The displays were awesome! Such attention to detail. We got to dress up as mounties and paint plaster bison as part of an art installation! We found another Aussie bison for ours to be friends with.
We then decided we needed to get an animal fix, having not yet seen a moose (or a mousse :P) we headed to the Calgary Zoo.
Unfortunately there were no moose at the zoo.
We did see bears, prairie dogs, bison and these crazy animals called musk ox. Musk ox look a little bit like a skinny cow wearing a ridiculously huge furry coat. Ha I liked them.
I think mostly we then ate pizza and watched Big Bang Theory and Katrina wrote in her journal... maybe I would remember more about what we did if I had kept a journal.
The next day (it was Saturday, incase you're wondering) we ate Timmy's bagels for breakfast (we also did that a few other times...they are good!) & headed up to the Hot Springs. On the way we took a photo of the Fairmont Hotel, where my parents stayed in May...so fancy! The hot springs I swam in were mostly just a pool fed with warm spring water. It was nice! An old guy there had been in the water too long and was having heart palpitations. I think he survived.
Most of the day rained. But that was okay because we drove all day! We were going to stop at Johnston Canyon, but it was raining and we also didn't like the idea of walking having lost faith in Banff's rating of their "easy" hikes. Next time gadget.
We stopped at Emerald Lake, which was pretty. They even had flower baskets hanging from the bridges. Canada likes flower baskets.
We ate A&W. I have decided A&W have the best cheeseburgers.
Don't tell McDonald's I said that.
Eventually we arrived at Revelstoke!
We were so blessed, because Cristal and Ryan own a condo in a fancy hotel up there right on the ski fields & they liked us enough to let us stay. EVERYTHING was soooo fancy! I felt very under-dressed and didn't want to touch anything. It was all so pretty! And there was free lipbalm!
July 1st was CANADA DAY! Luckily we came prepared with our matching shirts and tattoos! Nothing was open in downtown Revelstoke so we had to eat Maccas pancakes!
The day was a driving day. Katrina even drove a bit! (there is video evidence somewhere)
We got home sometime in the afternoon & took a stroll through the trails with the dog. Eventually my boys got home! It was so lovely to see them again!!!! Oh I missed those kids. And they loved Katriny straight away.
When it got dark (at like 10pm) Katriny, Cristal and I played with the 70cm sparklers! Cos that's what you do on Canada day... well that's what I decided when I saw them.
Our final road trip day included returning Harold Henry to Vancouver. On the way we stopped at Maxim's bakery. Probably named after Katrina's nephew. Then we were shouted an amazing lunch by Sue, our principal, who just happened to be in Vancouver that day... as you do. It was lovely to catch up with her and hear the happenings of back home.
After lunch we drove around Stanley Park (it was raining) & were stopped by the traffic police and a convoy of buses. Apparently the Prime Minister was in town... I'm not sure why he needs 4 buses... but that was a bit exciting. It was more exciting later when we saw them again (well I did, Katriny was having ATM dramas and missed the whole event) at a major intersection downtown, where they stopped traffic in all directions with whistles and waving and motor bikes and pomp and drama. It was fun!!!
We also spent some time being tourists in Gastown. I found some cute artworks that I like and also fell over when I was crossing the road.
We public transported home and watched the Bachelorette while minding the boys (it was the one with the home visits).
Hmm is this post too long? Probably.
Ok quick summary of the rest of the week....
We minded the boys for the next few days. Our biggest adventure was a trip to Fort Langley - a 5 minute bus ride. The boys loved running around the fort. I love the way the workers just act like they live there and include the kids in activities they are doing - like weeding the garden and feeding the pigs. We bought Katrina her first ever Nanaimo bar and then walked down to the old railway station. A guy there gave us a personal, very animated, tour around the place even though it was not officially opening hours!
It was sad to drop Katriny at the airport after such a fun visit!
Thanks so much for spending your school holidays over here Katriny & for coming on a crazy adventure with me! You are amazing (and really good at pretend scared faces)