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Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 1–just the right distance.

I got off work at 11:30, headed straight for the bank as my replacement credit card had finally arrived. The bank screwed up enough getting the card here that they gave us a $50.00 gift card to one of our favorite restaurants, The KEG,  in return for the trouble. We will be enjoying a wonderful dinner in Victoria in a week or so, courtesy the Bank! Cool! I then headed down to Vistek Cameras to pick up my rental lenses, headed home from there and within a half hour we were on the road!

WootWOOT and another WooT!! Finally, Vacation! This has been a long time coming for us and is probably my dream type for trip. It sort of looks like this.

  1. Driving somewhere.
  2. Daylight travelling only
  3. seeing new things
  4. hotels every night (as opposed to camping)
  5. near water
  6. with my family
  7. shooting many, many photos

Yep, that’s a good one for me.

We left Calgary after having a tasty Subway sandwich and headed west along the Trans-Canada highway. It was very VERY busy heading out of town. It thinned out a little after we got past Banff, but for the most part it was quite crowded. I’m old enough now I don’t feel the need to rush when I drive, so I set the cruise a little over the limit and sit back and let the other drivers stress out.


We stopped quickly in Dead Man’s Flats to top the cooler up with ice, and just kept heading through Banff park. We spend much time in this area and just wanted to get to new ground and start exploring. I couldn’t resist stopping for a quick shot of Castle Mountain at the Junction though.



Our first real break was shortly after Lake Louise for a leg stretch and to see if we were on time for the Spiral Tunnels. The spiral tunnels are cool in that a train goes into the mountain, completes a 270 degree loop and comes out of the mountain overtop of itself. This happens twice in this area so the trains can make the steep grade up and over the continental divide. It’s still incredible steep for a full on freight train and you can hear the big diesels from a long way off as they approach. We were right on time!


This guy was sitting below us watching the train too! Anyone know what it is? It’s about the size of a pound of butter. So not a mouse I don’t think.

From there it’s just a couple Km’s to Field (We are now in British Columbia). Field is now the Yoho National Park headquarters, but back in the day, and still to some degree it’s a switching off point for locomotives and crews for the railway. It’s a little tourist trap, but charming with some really incredible views! (We didn’t take the time to explore the artisan scene here, but I hear it’s incredible)


So. We are now only 56kms from Golden, our first stop for the night. We have only been travelling for 3 hours including stops, I guess we should go check out Emerald Lake. We have never been up there as the rooms at the highly rated lodge are too expensive for our income bracket, but the general public are welcome to come up and enjoy the lake. You can dine in the restaurant and shop in the gift shop or rent a canoe whether you are staying there or not. We escaped with all our money and some pretty amazing shots. This lake color is absolutely true. I wish it had been sunny out to get the true colors, but this was still pretty impressive. (Full Disclosure: I would LOVE to stay here and the price is more than worth it if you can swing it, which we will one day, it`s simply stunning up here)


I don’t know these people

Oh yeah, prior to heading up to the lake we happened across ‘Natural Bridge’. Whelp, we better check this out.

Worth it.

Such coolness. The river carved a hole in the rock. simple, awe inspiring. gorgeous.



12 gallons per flush.

So we got to Golden at 7ish, got a bite to eat at this really cool little diner called Legendz, the food was wonderful and satisfying. It’s early evening now and Andrew and Traci are sound asleep. I’ll update our lodgings each day after we leave. Want to keep the crazy’s from finding us. The funny story of the night was when the waitress came over and wiped Andrew's messy seat (he spilled syrup on the seat), and then had her wipe his leg off too as it was sticky. funny guy. She got a good tip.

iPhone Shot

Well, that is Day 1, kind of the unwind, de-stress bonus day (still a workday, but on the road vacationing). We are looking forward to starting tomorrows day fresh and ready for adventure. Lot’s to see and do between here and Merritt. It’s about 5 hours driving time, but we plan to do it in 12. how’s that for efficient!

Oh. Little bit of construction (a total of about 25kms) on the trip. All between Lake Louise and Field. We just don’t care. No real agenda, just a great relaxing trip!


Seeya tomorrow!


  1. Did the little mammal have a tail? I can't see from the pic, best guess from my field guide would be a Pika from ears and shape of the head & coloration.

  2. This sounds like a really wonderful trip. What great memories you're making! Your pictures are always wonderful, but WOW...the sky in those mountain shots!