Sunday, July 05, 2009

Banff, 2009

Our second longer day-out from our base in Golden was to the town of Banff. We had, perhaps a little misguidedly, followed the weather forecast the day before which had indicated it would be raining in Golden but a 'mix of sun & clouds' in Banff. Lets say there was a little more widespread rain than was forecast and the 'mix of sun & clouds' didn't really appear until later in the afternoon, once we'd done most of the sightseeing.

Nonetheless we enjoyed showing Sue the mountain town.

The quickest route to Banff from Golden is via Kicking Horse Pass and Lake Louise and is just over a 2hr drive. However, we decided to take the slightly longer route via Radium Hot Springs as this would give us a different crossing of the mountain passes to Kicking Horsethat we had taken the day before.

Here are a couple of 'roadtrip' pics.

Large swathes of burned forest

The journey to Banff was a very wet one - at times heavy rain

However as we join the Bow Valley Parkway and head south towards Banff it appears to be brightening up a little.

However as we approach Banff we can see the weather is turning again and more & more of the mountain peaks are disappearing into cloud. We decided to quickly take the gondola up Sulphar Mountain while we would still get the views because it looked like this poor weather was wanting to stay the rest of the day.

Sue in the gondala, a long, long way up

At the top of Sulphar Mountain we met this quite friendly Groundhog. At least, we think it's a groundhog, but it could be a beaver ?

David and I at the top of the mountain

Looking at the gondolas coming up the side of Sulphar Mountain

Views down to the town of Banff

Sue attempting to keep warm & dry, and failing on both counts.

After having lunch at the top of the mountain and waiting an hour or so to see if the weather would clear (it actually just got worse) we headed down and into Banff. When we arrived in town it was raining a little, but at least warmer than the top of Sulphar Mountain.

Suddenly however, in the space of just a few minutes it started to brighten up

By the time David and Sue were ready to pose for a photo on the main street it was positively bright & sunny

More views around the town

David and Mojo

After visiting the town David and Sue checked out the hot springs while I walked Mojo.

We then headed home, along the Bow Valley Parkway to Lake Louise and then back through Kicking Horse Pass.

Here, a few roadtrip pics from the journey home

Castle Mountain

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