Return to the Rockies
A few days in the Canadian Rockies marked the middle segment of our trip. Being surrounded by mountains in that autumn-almost-winter time of year was something we had looked forward to immensely, planning a packed itinerary which would inevitably see us return to places we visited individually a decade or two ago.
From Vancouver we flew to Calgary where we collected our practical-if-dull rental (passing up the complimentary upgrade to a convertible) and stopped for the night. A short stay it was, but fun. This marked the point where we could break out the spare bag. Thanks to the tall women’s clothing shop, the western wear shop next door(!) and the massive – though massive is an understatement – Bass Pro Shop the next morning, we immediately proceeded to fill it.
We also had one of the most enjoyable meals of the trip here at none other than Applebee’s. Ever since it featured in one of the best movies of all time (of course I’m referring to Talladega Nights) Applebee’s has become a tradition of sorts on our infrequent trips to this part of the world.
Calgary appears to be growing but unemployment is really high, so I’m happy that we left having done more than our fair share for the economy. I steered our dull wheels west.
Entering Banff National Park on the Trans-Canada Highway, we stopped to purchase our park permit which was about $80 for four days. This wasn’t required in 2004 when I arrived in Banff in a long fancy steel tube.
With no time to waste we got on the trail of Scenic Awesomeness.
We had the obligatory walk around Banff but the town itself wasn’t a big focus.
We were booked at Canmore for the night, half an hour away from its overpriced neighbour, back toward Calgary. This proved to be an inspired decision, Canmore has a great atmosphere and aesthetic and in the spirit of all things bear, it is home to the Grizzly Paw Brewing Company and restaurant.