North of Calgary

Today we (along with the Conzettis) drove for a few hours from Drumheller to Banff, about 240 K. The GPS sent us north of Calgary, all farmland until we hit the mountains, which seemed to come out of nowhere.

This is my fourth or fifth time here. What can I say about Banff? Well, to paraphrase something I read the other day… in a country full of spectacular natural beauty, Banff’s star arguably burns brightest. Plus, there is a TON of stuff to do here.

We scratched the surface the first day taking the gondola up Sulphur Mountain. They have a really nice boardwalk up there now which caused us to stay up there a lot longer than I’d expected. On the way back we stopped in at the Banff Hot Springs (boring, just a big hot tub, basically) and a water slide place for the kids to cool off (all five of them).

The only bad thing I can say about Banff: the Parks Canada campground we stayed in (Tunnel Mountain) sucks, easily the worst of the whole trip. Though the surrounding mountains are of course gorgeous, the campground itself is butt-ugly, has no campfires (this is not a fire prevention issue, as they were all over the place in the adjacent tenting campground), poorly placed hookups, and far, far too few showers. Oh well. This is not a government-idiots thing, as I have seen plenty of federal and provincial campgrounds, on this trip and otherwise, that were just fine. I have heard that the Lake Louise campground is similar. Maybe the local Parks Canada people hate RV’s or something.

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