What we saw on the way to Lake Minnewanka

Today was our last chance to check out the scenery in Banff National Park. We left about 9:30, after having breakfast and packing (somehow everything out of both my suitcases ended up around the room), and I declared we were going to drive to Lake Minnewanka, for obvious reasons.

It’s a short drive from the Banff townsite and takes you through countryside, beside frozen rivers and beneath the stubborn stare of the mountains. We stopped at every viewpoint (even ones that didn’t quite like look a viewpoint) to take photos of the breathtaking beauty that lay before us.

After we’d finished at our first stop and jumped back in the car, we only drove a little way before we were stopped by a goat in the middle of the road. It was licking the road. I’d heard they do this – because of the salt that is thrown on the surface to stop it from being so slippery during the winter.

Anyway, we stopped for quite a while, taking photos of this goat, and then another came down off the hill too. A car came up behind us so we slowly sidled alongside the goat and continued on our way.

Finally! We’d seen some biggish wildlife.

At our next stop, there were a couple of Canadian Geese. We’ve seen them before but they were nicely framed with the Canadian Rockies behind them.

Lake Minnewanka was pretty big and frozen. We got out, walked down to the edge of the lake, then went back to the car. Three deer were hanging around in the car park and the ten or so other tourists there were all standing around taking photos. More wildlife! YAY! The deer didn’t seem too fazed by everyone, though they still kept their distance.

With Lake Minnewanka seen (is it just such a fun word to say?), we drove back towards Banff, spotting a chipmunk sprint across the road, and then meeting the same two goats again. We then detoured to Lake Johnson (seriously! There was also a place called Two Jacks. The whole place is steeped in innuendo.) and walked on the frozen lake for a bit (well, I did. Glen stood on the shoreline tutting and saying he wouldn’t rescue me).

We then drove back to Highway 1 and headed towards Calgary, leaving the beautiful Banff National Park behind. We sidetracked through Canmore but there wasn’t much to recommend it so we zoomed down the highway to Calgary. Traffic got quite heavy once we got into the city (and we weren’t even downtown) and it was only midday! Imagine what it must be like at hometime.

We found our hotel, Four Points by Sheraton by the airport, checked in, had an argument, went for lunch, had another argument, walked back, had another argument, and are now back in the hotel room. Surprisingly we’re talking to each other again. There’s still a good portion of the afternoon left but Calgary hasn’t really inspired me to check it out. Maybe I’m just sick of driving.

Tomorrow: dinosaurs!

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