Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 47: Banff to Calgary

Location: Banff, AB
Date: Tues, June 10th

We were up early for a touristy day in Banff. Unfortunately it was pouring rain and foggy. So I parted ways with Sheldon, Nicole & Stacey, as they headed to Lake Louise and I caught up on some work.

Around 1 pm we re-united at the Banff Gondola. Sheldon & Nicole had free tickets, so they went for a ride into the fog. I decided against going, which turned out to be a good thing because they said they couldn't see anything. And it was snowing a lot at the top!

So we headed to the Banff Upper Hot Springs at Sulphur Mountain, where we relaxed in the outdoor pool. The water is heated naturally when it comes out of the mountain, but it is cooled and chlorinated for healthy pool use.

I headed to Deep Cave and Basin National Historic Site to learn about the hot spring water. The smell of sulphur was strong, tropical fish live in the water and white bacteria cover the water beds.

The natural hot water basin was originally found in 1883 by three railway workers. Groundwater seeps through several kms of the earth's crust, where it's heated, pressurized and loaded with minerals - sulphate, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium and sodium. Mineral water!

After that I spent a couple hours in my van working on my "Day 50 Update Email", when an elk dropped by to say 'hi'.

The fog had cleared enough by 7 pm, that a trip up Norquay Mountain seemed necessary. Unfortunately it was too dark and cloudy for pictures to turn out that great.

However, I did get up close and personal with a horned sheep who circled my van a couple times before I left.

My employee discount hotel room in Banff fell through after the hotel booked full, likely due to the rain. So I left early headed to my cousin's in Calgary!


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