Day 5 of 14: Canadian Rockies: Banff and Canmore

Today's Itinerary: Our plan was to hang around Banff and stay a second night at the Best Western.

We began our day with a long walk downtown before breakfast.  This was before 7 a.m. The clouds had lifted and stayed that way for a while so we were able to get glimpses of the tall mountains surrounding the town. Stores were not open yet, except for the coffee shops.

Later in the morning

The Bow River flows through one end of town.  Rainfall had been heavy over the preceeding few days, and runoff and erosion accounted for much of the brown color.  But it is also early in the season in this part of Canada, and snowmelt from the high elevations had something to do with height of the water, I am sure.
Banff Spring Hotel is a magnificent structure and a luxury hotel.  Their Web site indicates that the hotel opened in 1888 and was the birthplace of tourism in the Canadian Rockies.  We spend some 45 minutes inside, walking past dozens of shops and learning about the hotel's history.  It was a nice rainy day activity.

A drive up Mount Norquay to the ski area provided a number of lookout points.  On the drive up we could see nothing through the fog.  But on the way down it lifted nicely at one of the bends in the road and we were able to see seven bighorn sheep grazing in a meadow.  We had just enough time to take a few pictures, and the fog closed in again.  We were thrilled with our good fortune and timing.


We read nice things about a town called Canmore, just south of Banff.  Best was some time in the sunshine but the clouds were never far away.  Below are a few pictures before the rain (and hail) returned.

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