Friday, May 21, 2021

The Rockies Diary, Week 3: 70 km Endeavour ft. My Banff Shirt

May 10, 2021 - May 16, 2021

The weather this week was amazing!  Finally, the sun came out and the town was beginning to come alive.    Also witnessed a rainbow new the end of one of my shifts at the shop (pictured below)!

On May 10, I spent the entire day in Banff.  Allow me to elaborate - I biked two hours to Banff, plus another hour (of uphill climb) to get to the Banff Gondola, hiked Sulphur Mountain for two hours, then biked a subsequent two hours back to Canmore.  All in a day's work, right?

I look back on that strenuous day as a huge feat.  It seems as though I always have to try something at least once, just to say 'I did it'.  As accomplished as I feel, I don't think I would ever put myself through such exertion ever again!  In total, I clocked in an impressive 70 km when combining both biking and hiking distances.

The Legacy trail takes you from Canmore to Banff and back.  It is a paved lane next to the highway with gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains.  I am always the slowest cycler on the road!  I do not know if it is the gear settings on my bikes, but I swear it took me twice as long to bike the Legacy trail than it should have.  One thing that I did manage to pass was a crow that was standing about two meters away from me and it was huge - about a foot in length!  I never realized how big crows were until then.  Based on my observations, I would say that crows and black-billed magpies are almost equivalent to pigeons back home - except prettier and they do not flock in large groups.

Halfway along the Legacy trail is a gorgeous park with picnic benches overlooking a vast landscape of mountain.  I was in need of a quick pit stop and I also took the opportunity to set up my camera take a few pictures of myself in front of the gorgeous view.  As promised in Week 2's post, you can catch a glimpse of my beloved Banff shirt, which I purchased after hiking Tunnel Mountain.

Biking to the Banff Gondola was brutal!  I was biking up a steady incline for a solid hour and seeing the local bus pass me by several times.  Once there, I decided to try my hand at hiking up Sulphur Mountain (where the gondola is situated).  Sulphur Mountain Trail is 5.5 km one way wth an elevation gain of 655 m.  There are numerous switchbacks on the slope to provide a steady uphill hike to the summit.  The base of the mountain was a fairly moderate hike as the trail was wide and free of snow.  But after about a kilometre in, the trail soon became covered in snow.  I knew going into this hike that I probably would not be able to make it to the summit without proper equipment.  However, I did manage an impressive climb up half the mountain - and was overlooking Tunnel Mountain!  The views along the climb were stellar, but I am sure the summit has even more breathtaking views.  I am hoping to take the gondola ride up one day.
On May 13, Nicole and I visited a lot of the shops on Main Street.  First stop was Hello Vintage, where I tried on a few pieces, but ultimately left empty handed.  (Peep my Spencer Reid shirt!) I am also on the hunt for a new running cap, but I have yet to find one.  I did end up buying some sea salt and caramel fudge from Black Rock Fudge and Gift - I really do not understand why I feel inclined to buy so much fudge.  Then for lunch we stoped by Canary for a light breakfast burrito with smoked salmon (7/10) and a cold brew.
On May 14, I was not due to start work until late n the afternoon so I finally went to Bella Crusta for a Heartstopper sandwich (10/10).  Oh my - their focaccia bread is mouthwatering-good!  I took my sandwich and biked to the Bow River - a highly appropriate location to enjoy a beautifully tasting sandwich on a beautiful, sunny day.

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