We left Strathmore at 9:30AM after picking up some Tim Horton coffee......Starbuck's, eat your heart out, Tim's is better! The clouds were hanging real low as we started into the mountains.
But it began clearing up as we went further west and darkened back behind us in Calgary.
Looking better and better. This is a view of the Three Sisters Mountains near Canmore.
We pulled off the highway to check out the small town of Canmore.
Looking back east.
It's an interesting town with a combination of tourist destination stores and regular stores for all the Albertans who live in the mountains. There are tons of condos on all the hills surrounding the towns,.
Next stop Banff National Park. The buildings are older like many of our Corps of Engineer parks that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. If you want to stop anywhere in the park, you must go through the entry stations and pay the fees for the park. If you are just driving through the park as you head to British Columbia, there is a by-pass to the entrance. HOWEVER, if you stop in the park and don't have the pass you get at the entrance, the fine is pretty stiff so don't chance it.
What a beautiful drive.....yes, that is snow on the mountains.
This is the Sleeping Buffalo......can you see his head on right with his body on the left?
We passed a number of campgrounds in the park. Some had hookups.....some spots didn't.
We saw the signs for tunnel mountain although we didn't go through the tunnel.
The scenery is spectacular and the day couldn't have been better.
There are lots of small lovely blue lakes.
More campgrounds......lots of notices about food and bears.....no, we did not see any.
We went into the town of Banff which is in the park. Since we had a pass, we didn't have any problems. It took us a bit to find a parking place but in the end with a little patience, we got a good one.
They removed the parking places on the main road in town so that only buses can pull in. Lost some parking but it improves the view for all the visitors.
Lots of visitors even though it was a Wednesday. There are lots of coffee shops and all kinds of restaurants in addition to lots of shops.
There is even a small Harley-Davidson shop.
We stopped for a look in the Hudson Bay Company Store......very expensive.
Horse and carriage ride anyone.
We stopped for lunch at Tony Roma's.....I know, it's a chain but it was very good,
Surrounded by mountains.
Lots of tourist shops. These were the only moose we saw....oh wait, I forgot about the stuffed one in the hotel.
It rained briefly a couple of times while we were eating lunch but was all cleared up by the time we were done.
Interesting signs with carved wood.
A beautiful church right on the main street.
Back in the car, we drove up to the Hotel Banff.
There are beautiful park like gardens around the hotel.
We decided not to go inside the hotel since we planned to go on to Lake Louise but it is well worth a stop if you have the time.