The temperature during this part of the trip varied considerably as I drove through the mountains. It was 15 C (59F) when I left Golden and it got as high as 25 C (77F) in some of the low areas within the mountains. It was raining in several locations and there was a thunderstorm in the foothills, just before I reached Calgary,
I woke up at 5:30 am, knowing that it was 6:30 about a half hour’s drive east from Golden. I switched my clocks Mountain Daylight Time, packed up and continued driving east on the Trans Canada Highway to Calgary. For the most part it was a comfortable drive and I enjoyed weaving my way, up and down, through the mountains.
I was soon in one of the many parks that constitute a large area surrounding Banff and Lake Louise and it wasn’t long before I saw these fellows grazing on the side of the road.
As I kept driving the road kept going higher in the mountains and the temperature got a little cooler but it never dipped below 11 C (52F). This area near Banff has always been a favourite of mine, as well as many other people. Banff is surrounded by many beautiful park areas.
I stopped in Canmore for some lunch and then continued on my way. My friend in Calgary had suggested that I go to Kananaskis and as I drove south I saw a sign for Kananaskis Country so I took the exit. I stopped at the information building, got a map and information of about this beautiful park area. I would highly recommend going to this park. It is very large park and I spent several hours driving through it and viewing the sights. This park isn’t as popular as Banff, which makes it more attractive to me. There is a Delta Hotel in the park and there are numerous campsites available. It has a ski resort and many hiking trails. You will generally see wild animals in this area.
There was a grizzly bear near the hotel, however, the park rangers had encouraged it to leave the area before I got there.
I ventured into one of the side roads and found this beautiful lake which was being used by people to fish and hike around.
The road through the park is quite high and at one point I had reached 2200 meters (7200 ft) in elevation.
After several hours of driving, the road left the park and the mountains as I headed through the foothills to Calgary. This side trip was much longer than taking the Trans Canada Highway to Calgary but it was well worth the adventure.
When I got to Calgary I stopped at a Canadian Tire to see if they could look at my wheel bearing but they wouldn’t have time until the following day. Since I didn’t feel too comfortable with this dealership, I decided not to have it checked by them.
I contacted my friends Rob and Barb Bronson and I had a wonderful evening visiting with them. Rob and I were classmates in university and I had the fortune of being in their wedding party when they got married, after we graduated ( yes – I actually graduated… or at least the teachers wanted to get rid of me! ). Obviously, Rob is an engineer…enough said. Barb is a skilled photographer and she showed me some of her work. Many of her photographs are displayed in their home.
It was 10 pm when I continued on my way, so instead of trying to find a campsite after dark, I decided to stay at a hotel in Strathmore, a small town east of Calgary.