I’d be lying if I said we weren’t pouting when we got to our hotel in Banff. To make a comparison between the hotel in town and the cabin on the resort isn’t fair, because we were over-the-top spoiled at the Jasper Park Lodge. Dog friendly hotels vary wildly in availability, location and price, and we would love to go back to the Lodge again someday.
The Main Street is Banff is loaded with shops, but my first stop needed to be at the Banff Springs Hotel. The Qiviuk Boutique in the hotel sells exactly that, and was the one souvenir I wanted from this trip. After much (much!) deliberation, I picked one ball in a smokey blue, and another in a foresty green. Perfect colours for Banff.
With the idea that the Main Street shopping trip might get a bit overwhelming for the dog, Chadd and the girls scouted out the shops while I waited in the car with the dog. He slept, and I tried to knit, but was so tired from the sleepless nights in the hotel (dog didn’t stay asleep at night), that I napped, too. Win/win, and then I walked with them to see what they had decided on. For Elena, a Hudson’s Bay wool sweater; for Sonja, a couple of great t-shirts and a Hudson’s Bay touque with a fur pom-pom. We also picked up three small prints, depicting a muskox, a moose and a bear. The dog, by this time, was behaving as badly as could be imagined: barking, refusing to walk, and eating everything off the sidewalk. Finally, we realized that we had missed his suppertime by about three hours, and he was starving. Bad puppy parents! We rushed back to the hotel to feed him, and all was forgiven.
We tried to go on a few close hiking trails, but were denied at Marble Canyon due to bears in the area, and the next two hiking trails were closed due to smoke, recent forest fires and flooding. There were still some smouldering trees up the mountain. We still wanted to go for a walk, so after lunch we decided to walk the boardwalk at the Cave and Basin. Cave and Basin is the historical site of where the first hot spring was discovered, and how the area became the property of the national government. The boardwalk trailed down the side of the hill, following the trickles and rivulets of warm water down to the minnow pools…
…and then trailed up to a viewing area of the original thermal pool. A little ways away from the pool, and farther up the trail, was the hole in the rock where three railway workers had climbed down in 1883, and discovered the hot spring.
Only Elena and Chadd went underground to view the water source, as Sonja and I stayed with the dog. The view from inside the cave, looking up, is pretty cool, too.
That night, Chadd and I had a romantic dinner at a German restaurant, accompanied by a gigantic boot of beer that we didn’t manage to finish. The next morning, we started our drive home, which went very well. The dog loves him some car ride, even if it is 16 hours. Chadd got a couple of short breaks while I took the wheel, swearing under my breath the whole time (and maybe outloud a couple times, too. Those were some crazy highway drivers.) We pulled in about half an hour before midnight.
It was good to be home.