Toby rented a car, and we took off for Banff and beyond early Saturday morning. If there is a more beautiful part of the world, I have not seen it yet. Italy was beautiful, but I did not hike in the Alps. Maybe if I had, I would feel different, but these mountains and lakes were gorgeous. We could not have picked more perfect weather. And yep, I did some hiking.
As we started west from Calgary, Toby and I were pretty excited about the ranch land and mountains. The closer we got to the mountains, The closer we got to a large cloud looming over the edge of the mountains like giant fingers. It was just pretty cool. We drove into that cloud which stayed with us until we rose above it. Then it melted away.
We drove through Canmore which is a lovely little town. Then we got to Banff and headed straight to the gondola that goes up Sulphur Mountain. I was thinking we were going to ride the gondola, but Toby had read that the hiking trail to the top was easy and you could ride down for half price. Someone had written that "my six year old had a few problems, and I had to carry my two year old..." So Toby talked me into hiking the "2 - 5 hour hike". Now, I have been walking around Calgary for two weeks getting my legs in shape, but I still have problems with my calves cramping up. I have started to write about the problem, but who wants to hear about my leg trouble. Usually, if I just keep walking and resting, the tightness goes away after a while, and things are good. That is what happened on this hike. When my legs finally quit cramping, I did pretty good. Then the only problem was shortness of breath. I kept thinking, "What the heck was I thinking to climb a mountain like this?" It was not an "easy walk"; it was up a mountain - steep at times, but constantly up. People kept passing us walking fast using those ski poles, clicking along like it was easy. I wanted to take the poles and poke 'em. Then there was the lady with the bell on her back pack - isn't there some joke about finding little bells in bear poop? We just kept pluggin' along. We met all sorts of people - had some great conversations. One family we passed, then they passed us, then we passed them, but they beat us to the top. One guy said, "Aren't you glad you are passed half way?" I replied, "No, now I cannot go back." A thought that kept me going was, "Won't Catherine be proud of me! And Jan too!"
Well, I did it! I climbed that sucker to the top, ate a big meal, walked around the observation deck, rode down, walked all around the big hotel, walked around the town...Take that Becky Miller! Did I mention that it snowed on us at the top?
I will post pics of Lake Louise and Lake Minnewanka and tell more tales later. It was a great weekend. It was a perfect weekend.