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What an adventure

Living in such a beautiful place as Banff, in Banff National Park, you just have to take advantage of your blessings.

We have been doing that, hence the lack of posts. On Saturday my wife andI decided to try out the new Legacy Trail, a cycle route linking Banff and Canmore. Its about 25 kilometers and a fairly easy ride (except forthe constant prevailing headwind, in both directions!). We did the trail, which is mostly complete now, in just over an hour.

We had acouple of beers and lunch in Canmore at The Wood Restaurant & Lounge, at the corner of Main Street and 8th Avenue. It was good torelax the legs, taking in the breathtaking views from the patio. I highly recommend it.

Beer for lunch

However I do not recommend 2.5 pints of lovely draught beer if you have to cycle 25k home. For the first 10 my legs felt like lead.

As a form of self flagellation I cycled up Mnt Norquay when I got back to Banff. My wife, who is much more sensible than me, went home and opened a bottle of wine and put a pizza in the oven.

On Monday I went for a cycle up to 2 Jack to join friends who had decided to camp out for a few nights, coming in to town to work during the day. We had a pleasant drink sat overlooking the lake as the sun went down.

On Tuesday we decided to take a canoe trip. What an adventure we had.

We dropped off the bikes at the ‘put in’ at the 1A turn off then headed off up to Castle Junction to put in. We set off and were doing just fine pottering along what seemed like a smoothly flowing river. The overhanging trees gave the river the feel of an elegant grove. The sky was cloudy but it felt it would burn off soon, though it never did – we found later that it was smoke from the BC fires.

However after about 20 minutes it was getting a bit like an amusement park ride. The river narrowed and got faster. It kept dividing and rejoining. At one divide we made the wrong choice. The chanel made a 90 degree turn. We managed to just get around the turn avoiding a fallen tree but found ourselves moving at speed sideways into the roots of another. I tried to stop myself going into the roots with my oar but then my oar got stuck and whacked me in the face causing us to capsize. We were in the fast flowing, glacial melt, cold river and managed to get to the side. The offending oar, my wife’s coat and sandals were missing. Most of our gear was tied into the canoe but in one water filled bag were my camera and phone, both soaked – hence the lack ofphotos.

We carried on and at one point pulled up to see if lunch was edible. It was not, but we quickly moved on when we saw cougar tracks and realised that we might be lunch!.

We came across some pretty rough rapids. There was a sign to get out and portage the canoe. However only one of us had shoes so instead we donned our bike helmets and set off through the rapids, and the next set. It was very exciting!.

The whole trip took 4 hours. We successfully overcame a ducking, navigated rapids and idled down long silent stretches. We had people waving to us from observation posts like we were intrepid explorers on the home run. We had fun. We came across nobody else on the river. Where else in the world can you have such beauty, and such extents of beauty, all to yourself.

To round off the day we cycled the Legacy Trail from the highway 1A to Banff.

On the way I saw a bumper sticker which said “The meaning of life is to live it”. How true I thought.?

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