Bright Blue Barns, Road Construction, & Ice Cream

Banff, Alberta, Canada
Thursday, August 28, 2014

Actually, today was pretty uneventful. A lot of driving. We ended up having Timmie’s for breakfast again in Peace River on our way south from Grimshaw. We originally intended to drive through Jasper on Highway 16, past Robson Mountain, but when I checked the firemap for BC before leaving Yellowknife it showed a fire on the highway at Robson. I figured it would be prudent to change our route. We headed south instead to come up to Banff. We figured it would be a more scenic route without the congestion of the Jasper-Banff highway.

During the first three-hours nothing terribly interesting happened. There was road construction at Nampa that slowed us down only a little, and Jessica slept her way past what I thought was a refreshing change from the ubiquitous red barn — we passed a nice bright blue barn. Yup. Exciting, I know.

We stopped in Whitecourt for the obligatory DQ indulgence, then continued on for another four hours through Rocky Mountain House and Cochrane. Lovely, scenic drive along mostly Highway 22. Only one stretch of construction. Oh, and I was sadly forced to pass a Mustang convertible. It really was going embarrassingly slow. Honest, barely the speed limit! The line of cars behind the poor thing…

At Cochrane we had a choice of either taking the Trans-Canada or the slightly longer scenic route. As it was already getting late in the day and we wanted to be able to stroll around Banff before bed, we went the faster route. We stayed at Irwin’s Mountain Inn, which we had reserved the night before (after yesterday’s near fiasco with accommodations, we figured we’d better have something lined up this time). Nice place, no complaints; although it is weird that the bathroom sink is not actually in the bathroom…

Our stroll downtown brought us to Giorgio’s Trattoria for supper, where we decided Jessica had better take advantage of being in Alberta while she’s still 18. We both had a glass of the house red with supper. I thought it was a nice, mid-something-or-other wine…I liked it, anyway. Jess’ opinion? ‘meh, it’s fine, I don’t have anything to compare it with.’ Okay, valid point, it is her very first glass of wine. I guess now she’ll have to wait until next year to try other kinds.

Anyway, we’re settling in for the night now. I’m quite tired this evening for some reason. It might be the second 9-hour day of driving in a row. Or the altitude. Or maybe the wine…

Wildlife sightings: various ornithoid and one lonely deer. Maybe a doe. Or a fawn. It was kind of small. And didn’t have antlers that I could see.

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