Eventually we made it to the village of Banff for more site-seeing and shopping. We sat down at a Second Cup for some coffee and a rest. We were having a great time, but our park pass had expired. We needed to leave the National Park or buy another pass or something. We found the visitors center and bought another pass so that we did not have to drive out of the park. We also found a B&B to bed down at for the night. The B&B was a huge old home supposedly built in the 40's by rich folks coming to the area to party and entertain. A young couple had recently bought the home and turned it into the B&B. It was very nice. After settling in at the B&B, we walked back into town across the Bow River Bridge (old and funky) to have dinner. We met some motorcycle riders - two young men. Toby had to talk to them because one of the young men was at least 6'8" if not taller. Toby asked him what kind of motorcycle he rode and could he really "fold himself up to ride it". I enjoyed the young men because they were handsome hunks with sincere smiles. By the time we walked back to the B&B, I was pretty tired, but a little excited by the events of the day. It took me a while to fall asleep, but I did.
After a nice breakfast of bear food - fruits and berries with a little roughage (we did have several cups of coffee), we headed off on our second day of adventure. Toby loves to just be free without any itinerary. I worry that I am going to miss something if I don't read all the brochures. I want to do it all. As we left Banff, we had intentions of going to Lake Louise, but we made a swing up the mountain to Norquay ski area. We drove into a cloud and could not see the ski area, but we did see two elk silhouetted by the morning sun in the midst of the cloud - beautiful.
We went on to Lake Louise. What amazing color! We walked to the end of the lake and on up to a small waterfall. It was probably a couple of miles, but I did not want to try to make the full 5k to the glacier. I was not sure if I could make the return trip. My legs were getting tired although it was a pleasant walk around the lake. The hotel there is also very nice, but we did not try to see the inside this time. On the far side of the lake, we stood below rock faces that went straight up. I noticed the little metal hooks for rock climbers - pretty amazing to think of climbers on such rocks.
From Lake Louise, we drove back down the Trans-Canadian Hwy to Lake Minnewanka. It did not have nearly the crowds that Lake Louise had, but it was just as beautiful. We saw scuba divers along the lake dam. Jesse would have loved it. Later we learned that when the dam was built to enlarge the lake, the lake covered a village. It is a very popular spot for scuba divers. We met a young couple with a large Great Dane and had a nice conversation. I miss my dogs. There is so much to see and do, and as we do things, we think of our family wishing they were here to enjoy this beauty with us. We think of our church family and friends missing them too. I wish we could have everyone here with us.
In this second pic, you can see the dam on the far right passed the boat dock. Cars were parked along the dam with the scuba divers and all their gear.