Category Archives: Vacations

West Wind Pass, Bow Valley Wildland Park, Alberta, Canada

On our last full day in Canada, we packed the car and checked out of the hotel in Canmore. We wanted to do a short hike before driving back to Calgary, but I didn’t see any additional hikes in Banff that would fit into our allotted time. Upon doing some research online, I decided that we should attempt the West Wind Pass hike within the nearby Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park.

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Plain of Six Glaciers, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

On Tuesday, we returned to Lake Louise, getting an early start, driving to the overflow parking lot and taking a shuttle bus to the lake. The sky was notably clearer today. It was a nice reprieve from the smoke, and nice to see blue skies. The mountain seen directly in the center is Mount Victoria, home to Victoria Glacier. On this day, we were hiking in that direction, to the Plain of Six Glaciers.

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Sulphur Mountain, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

After the previous day’s long hike, we decided to take it easy. We drove to the Town of Banff, within the national park. Whereas Canmore, where we were staying, has a population of about 14,000, the Town of Banff has fewer than 8,000 people. Banff is much smaller, though, and therefore has about 8 times the population density of Canmore.

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Healy Pass and Simpson Pass, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

We spent Saturday (our Sabbath) in Canmore, enjoying a nice walk through downtown in the afternoon. When we had checked into our room on Monday afternoon, I noticed a black and white rabbit hopping around outside, and correctly inferred that it was a domestic rabbit, as wild rabbits are brown (other than the winter morph of the snowshoe hare).  On Saturday afternoon, I noticed additional rabbits hopping around town, and saw some establishments that had placed pans of water out for them. I later learned that the rabbits date from the 1980s, when someone released them. They are considered undesirable, out of fear that predators will enter Canmore to eat the rabbits, and possibly then endanger dogs or even people.

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Lake Agnes and Beehives, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

We made sure to wake up early on Friday, as we planned to hike at Lake Louise, and also needed to be back at our hotel in Canmore in time to prepare for the Sabbath, which began at 8:40 p.m.

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Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park to Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

On Thursday, our legs were feeling a bit tired after the previous day’s hike, so we decided to just take a driving tour, instead of hiking. We only have a few photos to show this day.

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C-Level Cirque, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wednesday was similar to the previous day in Banff, in that we got a late start, first intending one hike, and then switching to another. We drove to Lake Agnes, about a 45 minute drive north of Canmore, and arrived to find that all the local parking lots were full. We were then directed to an overflow parking lot located a few miles south on the highway. We waited in line for the free shuttle bus to Lake Agnes, until we heard that the last return bus would leave Lake Agnes at 5:30 p.m. As happened the previous day, I did not have confidence that we would be able to travel to Lake Agnes, hike, and return before 5:30.

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Johnston Canyon and Ink Pots, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

We flew into Calgary on Sunday night, August 12, and spent the night there. We had rented a Mazda 3 from Budget in Calgary, and it was a comfortable car. The next day, Monday, August 13, we did some grocery shopping and drove to Canmore, checking into the Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge.

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Laraway Mountain, Long Trail State Forest, Lamoille County, Vermont

Monday: I had initially hoped that we would be able to climb the five highest peaks on our first visit to Vermont, but we had to cut short our hike at Camel’s Hump (third highest peak) due to rain and hail. We then successfully climbed Killington Peak (second highest) and Mount Mansfield (highest peak), but Batya’s new boots were causing her foot pain, so we had to abandon plans for a hike to Mount Ellen and Mount Abraham (fourth and fifth highest) and find an easier hike. [Mount Ellen shows the same elevation as Camel’s Hump, so I’m not sure why it’s listed as fourth highest instead of tied for third. Perhaps Camel’s Hump is a few inches higher.]

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Shelburne Museum & Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Chittenden County, Vermont

Sunday: We drove west to Shelburne, south of Burlington, where our first stop was the Shelburne Museum. The museum is a large 45-acre facility with 38 buildings, including 25 historic buildings that had been relocated to the site. The buildings house collections of Americana that include fine art, folk art, quilts, carriages, firearms, etc. The museum was founded by Electra Havemeyer Webb, whose father had great wealth from the sugar industry, and whose late husband had even greater wealth as a descendant of the Vanderbilt family.

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