We had heard how nice Banff was, so we planned on spending time there.
In retrospect, however, Waterton Lakes National Park (just above
Glacier) was beautiful. I wish we had stayed there for a while too.
Just after we passed the historical marker commemorating the town that
in seventy seconds had been demolished by a rockslide (the rocks were
all that remained), we pulled into a free roadside campground. It
looked like Canada was going to be great.
There was still a lot of sun left when we set up camp. We had six cold
beers that we brought with us; so we sat on the picnic table and
enjoyed the rest of the afternoon. While we drank the beers, we
watched a large dog meticulously scout out every vacant campsite for
scraps of food. It was a large, white, longhaired dog, probably a
Samoyed. “I bet somebody dropped her off,” Mike said, and I agreed.
When she came over to us, she got a free meal. Not surprisingly, she
stuck around after that. It was hard to believe she was unwanted. When
we broke camp in the morning, it was really hard to leave her behind.
In Radium Hot Springs we took the truck to a gas station to get the
burning smell from the rear wheels checked out. The mechanic replaced
wheel bearings in both wheels. While the truck was in the garage we
biked around town and met two chicks. They in turn, introduced us to
Dain, a University of Vancouver graduate student. The five of us were
having a beer in a local pub, when I mentioned the dog we had left
back at the campground. Dain was curious about the dog. After
finishing the beers on the table, we hopped into Dain’s Carryall and
headed back to the campground (30 miles). “Yep,” as soon as we pulled
in, we spotted her mooching food from the campers. The dog was happy
to see us, and so was Dain when she jumped into the back of the
Carryall just like she owned it. Back at Radium Hot Springs, Mike and
I bid Dain and his new dog good-bye and headed off to Banff.
The Canadian Rockies were gorgeous. The mountains were larger than the
mountains in the States. We found the town of Banff exquisitely tucked
into the side of Mt. Rundle, a large, sloping mountain. The road to
Banff wound itself up against the east side of the beautiful mountain.
The town of Banff had that Swiss Alpine look, and it supported a large
Youth Hostel. Mike and I checked into the Hostel for the night.