Banff, Labor Day weekend, Saturday/Sunday/Monday, Sept. 2011

Overlooking Banff, a train, and the Bow River.

Do you think we hike all the time, every single day? Or hop on our bikes if we’re not on foot? Not so! We have found that the best way to see anything in the great outdoors is to get out of the vehicle! Jimmy and I enjoy going places and doing different things, obviously – or we wouldn’t be on the go as much as we are! We like hiking and have seen some spectacular sights while Out and About, as evidenced by the photos we post on this blog. Same for biking. This lifestyle suits us – I guess we have restless feet! However, we don’t spend every day hiking thru wilderness or biking out-of-the-way paths, and we plan in advance for the outings we want to do.  Most of the time....

That being said, we wanted to climb to the top of nearby Tunnel Mtn (5543’), which offers beautiful views of Banff, Mt. Rundle and the Bow Valley… and so we joined quite a few others on a fine Sun morning. Ate our PBnJ sandwiches overlooking the town of Banff and then hiked the mile down. We changed clothes back at Tergel and drove to gorgeous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel – a castle-like hotel set amongst the evergreens with planters of flowers placed everywhere about the grounds. We sashayed in and had coffee and “biscuits” (Jimmy had an apple fritter, I had strudel) in this enormous and elegant establishment. And when we finished gawking in the shops, esp Mountain Galleries, we strolled down to Bow Falls for a look-see.

Jimmy at Bow Falls.

On Saturday, we donned bathing suits for a visit to Banff Upper Hot Springs and parboiled ourselves in 102° water (ahhh). No pictures.  Fact is, we’ve visited quite a few natural hot springs in our travels. We like museums. And libraries. Love farmer’s markets with local produce/products and always find goodies to buy. Some evenings, we’ll catch an interesting program on TV, but that’s pretty rare, or we’ll go to a movie. Downloading and filing the many pictures we take and blogging takes up a heap of time, too. On this trip we’ve taken up Yahtzee and some evenings we’ll play till bedtime. Jimmy is keeping track of who’s ahead, but I’m afraid to ask.

Actually, we’re sort of normal! While we drain a pot of coffee every morning, we’ll watch a news show such as Good Morning, America if we’re hooked up to electricity and if we have a station to watch – and there are plenty of mornings we don’t have either. We both read and can easily bury our faces in a book. We shop for groceries and do laundry, same as if we were NOT in a motor home. We eat most of our meals in; I’m the chief cook in the family and Jimmy is the clean-up man. 

Today (Monday) we joined the international throng of tourists walking along the streets of this small town, and sat outside with a cup of coffee people-watching ... almost as good as Disneyland! After that, we strolled lovely Cascades Gardens with tiers of annual flowers, rustic bridges and flagged walks.And now on Labor Day, the long summer holiday is over – thank goodness (for us), as camping should be easier. Less people and more spaces. But, back to hiking, a favorite activity – we go and enjoy. Feels good to lace up the shoes and breathe in fresh air and stretch those leg muscles. Good for the body and the spirit. And at 66, as the saying goes, it’s use it or lose it. There’s a time to “do,” and then there’s a time to rest. Balance isn’t always easy to achieve, but we try, and diversity is the key.

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