Saturday, May 7, 2011

On the Road

My last couple of days in Canmore were spent organising, packing, sorting out car things in Calgary, a short trip to Banff so Valerie could see the Banff Springs Hotel
& spending time with friends.  I even got to go on my first bike ride with Finn in (literal) tow.  Granted, it was only along the riverside & pretty flat – but after this winter, it’s always nice to be on the bike.  For the last game of Settlers for a while I managed to dish out a good thrashing, while drinking the last of the Amarula & fittingly toasting Adrian & Carmen’s baby news.

With a great all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ meal & some amusing farewell gifts (those purple tassles are going to look great on my handlebars), goodbyes were said without any tears being shed.

So this morning, with the car packed up (there is a surprising amount of space left to fill) we hit the road & drove south
on the Cowboy Trail.  
Stopping for lunch in Turner Valley we managed to avoid this place:
I enjoyed driving further south through the foothills, it was a nice change from huge mountains or prairies.  At times it felt a bit like driving at home – rolling country, similar road surface, cloudy, a bit of livestock around & not much traffic.  

We took a little detour west towards Crowsnest Pass as I was keen to check out the Frank Slide.  I had been hearing about this slide off & on in various conversations for the last year.  Early one morning in 1903, while the town of Frank was sleeping Turtle Mountain pretty much collapsed.  30 million cubic metres of limestone fell & slid down over the river & up the other side of the valley three kilometres.  Part of the town was swept away & about a hundred people were killed.  Driving through on the highway, we were staggered by the size of some of the boulders & how far they had traveled, in some places the rock is thirty metres deep!  It was all quite astonishing.  

We continued south to Waterton Lakes National Park.  They’ve had an incredible amount of snow this winter & there are still two metre high drifts around parts of town.  We rolled up to the Parks information center just as it was closing & I was surprised to meet Dan closing up, I met Dan a few months ago on the avalanche course I did.  With promises to come back in the morning for tips where to go the next morning, he sent us off looking for somewhere to stay in the mostly closed-until-summer little town.

Distance driven: 409 km
Gas Price: 125.9 (Canmore)
Best meal: Alberta Beef Burger & Yam Fries

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