Banff 2012

Banff/Jasper trip 9: Bankhead

Corene had been going through severe dog-withdrawal the whole week, so by this point she was basically pouncing on any dog available to give them scratches and belly-rubs.

Also by this point, we were looking for Bankhead, which led to a few lovely sights but also required quite a bit of hunting.

At Banff, heading for Bankhead

Lake Minnewanka

Looking for Bankhead

Look, 'tis a mountain
Look, ‘tis a mountain

Looking for Bankhead
On the hunt for a ghost town

Looking for Bankhead Looking for Bankhead

But we eventually found the area. Here are just a few shots:

At Bankhead

At Bankhead

At Bankhead

At Bankhead

At Bankhead

At Bankhead

At Bankhead

At Bankhead

And as a palette-cleanser, have a baby squirrel:

Baby squirrel having a snack

Baby squirrel having a snack
Nomminy nom nom

Banff/Jasper trip 7: Medicine Lake, bears, caribou, sheep, many creatures

Part 2 of the day in which we saw all the animals.

On our way down from Maligne Lake, we decided to stop at Medicine Lake.

Medicine Lake
Medicine Lake

Medicine Lake

It was just around this time when a busload of people stopped by to ask us if we were taking shots of the bear.

“Bear?” I asked.

See if you can spot it in the far right here, before I’d been aware of it:

Medicine Lake
Bear at Medicine Lake
And then the bear turns up.

Oh wait, you thought it was just one bear? Nah, it was a whole bear family. Bear families turned out to be all the rage that day.

Bear & cubs Medicine Lake
Bear & cubs at Medicine Lake Bear & cubs at Medicine Lake

Bear & cubs at Medicine Lake

Oh hey, guess what was at that same lake?

Caribou at Medicine Lake
So close
Caribou at Medicine Lake

This, my friends, was the moment when I finally felt justified in that trip. The whole time we kept seeing signs alerting us of caribou crossings, but naught a single one. It was like a hoax. And then he showed up, and all was right with the world.

Caribou at Medicine Lake
Caribou at Medicine Lake

Aaaaaaand pretty soon it was a day filled with really cool sights and other wild animals. I should point out I didn’t manage to take pics of the majority that we saw, which should tell you how many they were.

Sheep!
Sheep!

Again with the bears


Again, Corene with her animal soundtrack

At Jasper

A whole tribe of sheep
Guy sittin’ and takin’ pics. Because he can.

At Jasper

Grazing caribou

Grazing caribou

I’d like to think Corene deliberately picked the soundtrack in anticipation of every animal we spotted. Like before, and like so:


Banff/Jasper trip 6: Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake, and bears

Maligne Canyon Maligne Canyon Maligne Canyon Corene, Maligne Canyon Maligne Canyon

And then we saw our first bear. Up in a tree. In the rain. It was wet.

Bear in a tree Bear in a tree

We carried on to Maligne Lake.

Maligne Lake

And then a whole slew of bears from thereon out.

Mama bear and cubs

Corene eyeing mama bear & cubs
Spot the mama bear and cubs.

Mama bear and cubs

Mama bear and cubs


So many cubs.

Corene somehow always knows to play the most appropriate soundtrack for each wild animal we spot.

This is merely part 1 of the day in which we saw allllllllll the wild animals. Part 2 coming up. You’ll see further proof of Corene’s animal soundtrack sense.

Banff/Jasper trip 5: Jasper Park Lodge

Jasper, on the whole, is a Stephen King novel of a town stuck in the 1970s.

Jasper Park Lodge

Jasper Park Lodge

Jasper Park Lodge

Jasper Park Lodge

Jasper Park Lodge
I would like to title this as “The Day They Never Came Back.”

Oh hey, have some hastily-taken pics of elks:

Elks

Elks
Hiding his geek collar out of shame

And as a bonus for sticking with me this long, here’s Miss Corene in a hat:

Corene
It doesn’t count as a cowboy hat if it has a flower on it.

Banff/Jasper trip 4: Horse-riding in Jasper

We were determined to ride on horses and so we found some! And you thought we were merely making friendly conversation with Australians.


Horse-riding in Jasper

Horse-riding in Jasper

Corene saying hello to horse
Miss Corene psyching herself up for the challenge

Corene saying hello to horse
“Please be good to me, horse,” said she. Unfortunately, that was not the horse she ended up riding.

Corene on Jackpine

This is the horse she ended up riding! Aw, look at that beam. His name is Jackpine.

And then the reality of the situation struck her:

Corene on Jackpine
But she recovered swiftly. “I can do this,” thinks Miss Corene. “I can do this.


Corene on Jackpine
It’s going to be okay.
My horse Sox was a sweetie. Jackpine, we later found, was opinionated. Mostly on the subject of things to eat right here and now. Here they are communing pre-ride:

Horses communing pre-ride

Horse-riding in Jasper
The horse that kid behind me is sitting on? His name is Thor.

Horse-riding in Jasper
And off we go!

While horse-riding in Jasper

While horse-riding in Jasper

While horse-riding in Jasper

We encountered three elks during our ride. One of them had a collar, and our guides advised us to be careful with the collared ones as “they get wary.” No kidding. If someone shot you down with tranquilizer darts, put a geek collar on you so that all the other elks made fun of you, and continued to stalk you every so often in order to note your progress, you’d get a little paranoid yourself.

During the final part of the ride, Jackpine decided he’d had enough of riding second to Sox and me. After a brief hissy-fit, he took first place and was content. I think we should’ve guessed the pecking order when, while still in the paddock, Sox automatically lined up behind Jackpine. And Jackpine was only drinking water at the time.

While horse-riding in Jasper
This one’s for you, Jackpine. This one’s for you.