Today was a fairly relaxed day, which I needed after all the hiking yesterday. I woke up in time to get myself all packed up in time for checkout at 11:00, then bundled my things up to the common room to wait for Angie to get in from Calgary. I ultimately had quite a few hours to sit, read, and accidentally fall asleep on the couch, all while listening to some workers repair the deck railing outside that they had jokingly accused me of having broken yesterday.
When Angie got in, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Bill Peyto Café, the hostel’s restaurant. The food was good; if you’re ever in the area, I’d recommend it. After catching up a bit on what I did yesterday, we drove down to the lake.
We took our classic Lake Louise pictures then went walking along the shore trail that I skipped yesterday. The further from the Fairmont we walked, the more we could see the famous color of the lake, which was really nice. We even saw a few areas in the water where the ice had really melted. It was pretty cool on the walk and started to drizzle a bit, but we did walk pretty much all the way to the end before turning around.
We left Lake Louise and drove into Banff, a really lovely, quick drive. It took us a while to locate the Homestead Inn, but once we found it we were quick to settle in. Angie gave me an awesome trip care package with a Canadian flag patch to sew onto my pack, a little scrapbook folder that she’d made covered in great vintage Canadian Pacific Railway ads and a map of Canada, a Paul Bunyan shirt from the awesome Local Pride collection (for those who aren’t familiar, Paul Bunyan is a famous figure in Minnesotan folklore whose footsteps created our lakes), and a cute little book of inspirational cutes illustrated with owls!
Once we were set at the hotel, we went for a walk through the town of Banff. We stopped into a little Asian market to pick up some trail snacks, then made our way down the main street. We looked at Abominable Sports and some little trading company gift shops before I saw a Roots. I could spend forever and ever inside Roots. Everything looked so cute and so comfy. They even had a parka there that I had been trying to get all winter, only to find it sold out online and in the Winnipeg store. I was tempted to get it, but even on sale it was hard to justify that price for a parka when I’m probably going to be living somewhere less than snowy in a few months. I managed to drag myself out of Roots after a little more hemming and hawing so we could try to see some more things before it got dark.
We stopped into a great candy shop and picked out a bunch of different taffies to add to our trail snacks. We also looked into the Banff Museum, which unfortunately hasn’t opened for the season yet. We did see the Whyte Museum on our way back to the hotel, so maybe we’ll stop in there later. We made a quick run through the grocery store to get something light for dinner, more trail snacks, and some ice cream, then headed back to the hotel to turn in for the night.
And now it’s time to get some sleep! We don’t have anything too major planned quite yet, but we’re thinking maybe Sulphur Mountain and the hot springs!
Also, my thoughts go out to Fort McMurray, AB, a town which was evacuated today as a terrible wildfire closed in. I lived with a girl from Fort Mac this year at school, and I hope she, her family, and everyone else from the town are safe and getting the help they so desperately need at this time. If you are interested in helping the people from Fort Mac and others affected by the fires, you can follow this link: