Day 26 – Monday, July 20 ( Golden, BC to Calgary, AB)

Surrey to Golden

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The road through the park is quite high and at one point I had reached 2200 meters (7200 ft) in elevation.

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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.

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