Friday, September 07, 2007

not feeling well

I'm probably going to take a few days off before I post the last of our trip...I'm going to the doctor today, but I'm about 90% sure that Kyle and I are now exhibiting symptoms of giardia...caused from little protozoa (animals!) living in water that we must have consumed on our trip.

Did anyone else that went on this trip get it too?

Has anyone reading this blog ever had it before? I know that doc will prescribe something, but I've read the medications can have worse side effects than what the giardia's doing and that they might not be 100% effective.

I'd appreciate anyone's knowledge of a natural cure.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sulphur Mountain near Banff, Alberta, Canada

(pic taken from Sulphur Mtn...view of Tunnel Mtn. & Banff)
After hiking all the way up to the Tea House at Lake Louise we decided to take it easy the next day. Auntie Mary Lea and Uncle Rye treated us all to a luxury Gondola ride up the side of Sulphur Mountain to the top. We'd heard stories from Gord about the difficult hike up Sulphur Mountain...many switch-backs and instead of taking 3 hours to get the top it would probably take us 6 hours.

I must admit I was nervous to ride in the Gondola and the ride probably could have been more enjoyable if I had kept certain comments to myself, so I apologize for being grim on the way up. I didn't time it, but it was a long ride up. The Gondolas were very safe and I don't know why I was in such a funk.

I couldn't believe how many mountains we could see when we got up there! The view was astonishing. We visited one of the oldest weather observation stations. In 1903 the currator of the Banff Museum, Norman Sanson, was also a meterologist. He would climb to the peak (now named Sanson Peak) every 2 weeks or so to record his weather observations. He would make this trek even in winter storms, and sometimes the journey would take him 9-10 hours one way. He had a little kitchen and bunk bed in his observation station. In 1931 he made his 1000th trek up and in 1945, at age 83, he went to the peak to observe a solar eclipse. This is the view from Sanson Peak.

We soaked in the scenery and actually saw a couple of mountain goats.

Next we soaked in the Sulphur Mountain Hot Springs. Basically it was a really HOT pool. We had fun heating our worked muscles in the 104F water, then after awhile we'd take a cold shower and then go back in the pool for more heat. I think it would be a really neat thing to do in the winter after a day of skiing. These hot springs were really responsible for the creation of Banff as Canada's first national park. The natives there had told 2 fur hunters, Willard Younge and Benjamin Pease, about the springs and in 1875 they were the first non-natives to visit the site.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

Lake Louise is a stunning turquoise-colored glacier-fed lake. It's an extremely cold lake, but it's beauty more than makes up for that.

We started out wanting to take a leisurely stroll around 1/2 of the lake. We read that it was a 5.2km (about 3 miles) hike to the Tea House. We had just hiked the HooDoos the day before and this trail was better, so we decided to go for it.

We saw many rock climbers around the's Austin showing us he can climb rocks with no gear...GO AUSTIN :-).

Kyle and Reeve did an awesome job keeping up with everyone. A couple of times Kyle had a shoulder ride, and a lot of the time he wanted to go back, but overall he did excellent for being 4.

We just didn't know what to expect when we set out. Initially you think oh 3 miles that's easy we can do that, but when you're hiking over a mile up in elevation 3 miles can seem like FOREVER. Many times on the trail we thought surely we've hiked 3 can't be much farther. Well some in the group made it up to the Tea House in a cool 2-2.5hrs and the talkers (Auntie & Me had fun talking) made it up in about 3 hours.

It was an incredible accomplishment for my Aunt, because she has asthma. She was awesome though and not once did she say she wanted to turn around.

Our reward for the long journey was lunch at the Tea House. We had delicious sandwhiches, soup, fruit drinks (no tea for us) and their famous home made chocolate cake.

We felt really good after lunch and we were looking forward to the easier hike DOWN to the lake.

You can kind of see how high we went in this picture...Lake Louise is in the background and we are very near the top where the Tea House was located.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Hiking the HooDoos Trail in Banff, Alberta, Canada

Our first expedition as a big group was a short hike (2-3km) down the road from our campspot. We went to the HooDoos...tall columns of dirt (sand & rock) that are slowly eroding away.

It seemed the trail itself was eroding away. It was the most dangerous trail we went on during our visit to Banff. There was lots of gravely rocks to slip on, going down very steep slippery inclines, nothing secure to hold...Auntie MaryLea and I decided to stop once we arrived at the HooDoos.

It was a beautiful day, and we were really enjoying the view of the crystal clear Bow River and the Banff Springs Hotel in the distance. We could see Sulphur Mountain, Tunnel Mountain, and others...

We watched as Tommy bravely guided Reeve and Kyle down the trail following Austin, Elena, and Gord. Austin, Elena, and Gord all walked over to this little grassy sand can see Gord in this picture.

We had a lot of fun talking and enjoying each other's company.