and good friends
We begrudgingly packed up and headed east toward banff. Sad to leave Revelstoke but stoked to get back to the parks and for a day on the snow with our friends!
We entered Yoho National park, loving the views and trying to remember what this place looked like just a few short months ago without snow. Its awesome to drive these same roads and see the same awe inspiring views almost even more majestic covered in a white blanket. We pulled over for one of our favorite stops of the summer and were excited to see it under a blanket of white. Absolutely beautiful, but I so miss that glowing emerald water that now you'd barely even believe is hiding beneath a solid sheet of ice.
After a bit of sightseeing we continued on to Banff Park and settled into the town of Banff. We actually missed this town on our summer trip, mostly because we feared the crowds. This time things are considerably more quiet and we loved the little town, though it seems pretty transient.
We parked along side a park in the middle of town and went into stealth mode. We were inside for long however as the entertainment just outside our door was too good to miss. We got dressed in almost every layer we had to stay warm in the cold and made ourselves a tequila toddy to keep us warm from the inside out. In the park the local kids played hockey in little more than their team sweaters and we huddled by the fire while we watched them play under the lights. The cold finally took over and we headed out to experience the town with a bison burger and a few cocktails. In the morning we woke early and pulled into Sunshine resort just in time to see Bailie and Dave park a few cars down. We caught up for a while in the back of the van with the heater cranked and then hit the slopes with Bay and Dave our guides. What a great day!
No new snow for us, but the runs were really fun and the socializing even better! We made run after run and would occasionally head back to the lodge or grab lunch by the fire. In the afternoon Bailie’s brother showed up and offered to take us all for a bit of a hike into the backcountry.
We didn't have to hike far past the out of bounds lines before there was run after run of untouched snow and beautiful perfect mounds of deep powder. This would typically be a bit outside Jen and my comfort zone…but with the experience and gear these guys brought to the table put us at ease and absolutely made our day on the mountain. So good! So good!
We eventually called it a day, barely able to feel our legs and headed to the bottom. Bay ad Dave went back east to Calgary and we drove towards tomorrow’s stop at Lake Louise. On our way to the resort we stopped in for a soak at the beautiful rooftop hot tub ad the Deer Lodge Lake Louise.
They were kind enough to allow us a day pass to the hotel and sauna and our bodies were SO thankful after a long day on the hill.
The next Day at Lake Louise we woke to see 5” of fresh powder, which made our day on the mountain magical. What made it even more magical is that this resort that we had been told would be more packed and crowded than any other on our list (save maybe Whistler) was almost empty. We literally parked in the front row and walked onto the gondola without wait every time.
We have made first tracks before… but i don't know that we've ever had so many runs to ourselves without a single track in any of them! I had to keep pinching myself early in the day to make sure i wasn't dreaming…but apparently the combination of the cold and it being Monday put together the perfect storm for us to have an epic day on Lake Louise. We didn't have blue skies, but i honestly can’t come up with anything else that could have made our day any more perfect.
We rode until we couldn't ride anymore and then finally called it a day before we exhausted ourselves to a point of risking injury. We ended our day at the hot tub once again, this time with the mountains in the background barely able to the seen through the clouds, but no less a fitting end to our amazing days in Banff and on it’s mountains.
There was no way we could get this close to calgary and simply make a right turn away from them…so we continued on to Calgary to take advantage of the chance to see Bailie and Dave’s new home and enjoy a terrific meal and conversation with them. So love them. So love their provence, and so loved being able to send some extra time with them!
When they took off for work in the morning we did a but of errand-running and picked up the back-up battery cables we had ordered last week. Once everything was in hand we unpacked the back of the van in their driveway, did some field electrical work and other patches and got our battery system back up and running as it should be. We also wrapped the house batteries in a 12V heating pad to try and keep them at a safe temperature, and then took off trying to get out of town before rush hour hit. Took us back to the good old days of (trying to) fix the bus in the dirt and heat on the side of the road in mexico…except instead our things are scattered over a friends driveway and it’s single digits. All part of the game i guess.