Banff and Skoki Lodge, Canada

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lake Moriane in Banff National Park, Alberta

Lake Louise, it's around the corner from Lake Moraine.  BEAUTIFUL!

The Via Ferrata, Mount Norquay, Banff National Park

J.Harmon, Chloe and I were on the back of the line of the group of climbers since we'd done a via ferrata already...and for the record, it freaked Chloe out because all the climbers in front of us were so slow and we literally clung to the side of the mountains for minutes on end.  When the Spidell's and Martin took us on the Via Ferrata in Murren, we went along with out stopping and it was so much easier even though it had two tight ropes and an 80 meter free swinging bridge 300  meters up

Group shot at the top of Mount Norquay

Steep Via Ferrata

Riding down from Mount Norquay on the lifts...Jackie took this



Oh Blogger why can't I figure you out?  This was on the hike up to Skoki Lodge.. it was a 6 mile hike from the trail head to the lodge....we saw tons of hikers, marmots and the closer we got, bear poo


This was a cool family from Alberta that all met at Skoki....this is when they were headed out the day after we got there...
Chloe slept in at the lodge until 11 which was amazing because the lodge is so loud (every foot step creaks...)

When it got cloudy on a hike, Chloe used her scarf as a head warmer




On our way up to Skoki

The last day of the Skokie Lodge part of our trip...These three families hiked back with us to the shuttle.  It was nice hiking up and back with others because of the grizzly bear situation.  It was nice to be in a group!

Chloe and John from Warsaw, Poland.  His parents hiked up and back with us to Skoki.
Those two had a great time chatting...he is a tennis player and going into the 9th grade.  He and his family
speak fluent English, Spanish 

Selfie on a bike ride in Banff National Park

Chloe canoeing with Jackie...look at the ELK on the beach just watching them go by....



Vermillion Lake near Banff

Stan's lawn guy killed this rattle snake next door while we were gone...

This was on our mountain bike ride while we were in Banff

A look inside the lodge....The helpers are setting the table for dinner for 20 people...and those two are at the piano...they're from San Fransisco and were staying at Skoki for 8 days....

There were several couches around the lodge....



Jackie had to test my bike out again to fix the brakes...it's hilarious to see a 6 feet 4 inch man on a 5 foot girls bike...

Mountain biking to the trail....



One of the six bedrooms in the lodge....

Along the hike to Skoki near Lake Louise

We passed the horses going up with supplies to Skoki Lodge....

Banff Music Center had a Sunday afternoon concert while we were there.  We sat on the grass on Chloe's blanket she brought from Birdeye and enjoyed the music

We loved Amelie Patterson....She was wonderful and we couldn't figure out why she isn't in Nashville with a big record deal....She was great!  Chloe and I got her album autographed, she was so nice!
It was a beautiful mild afternoon...look at all the dancing down on the dance floor!!




July 19-27, 2017

Jackie's been earning gold stars since he planned our first international trip in 2011 to Amsterdam.  He's got at least two dozen trip planning gold stars at this point...and this trip to Alberta, Canada gets a triple gold star.

We stayed in Banff National Park at the Banff Park Lodge.  Banff is a neat, little, touristy town surrounded by the Canadian Rockies.  We spent our time mountain biking, touring the lakes, canoeing, hiking the Via Ferrata at Mount Norquay then we hiked into Skoki Lodge for two nights.   We had a treat of going to a concert at the Banff Music Center on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and saw the Banff Independent Movie Finalists at their cinema, it was a very cool way to see the movies made right there in Banff.  We also had a lot of great food and did some shopping while in Banff.

There were lots of highlights on this trip but the biggest would be Skoki Lodge.  It's about 6 miles from the trail head where you park to hike in.  The guide said there was a grizzly around but as long has he'd been there, 25 years, he'd never heard of any trouble with hikers and bears.  Jackie said grizzlies were known to attack mountain bikers when they're startled more than messing with hikers.  The guide just told us to be loud while walking together (it's always recommended to walk in 3's or more) and suggested we loudly say, "hey BEAR...", while we hiked the trail.  Luckily we didn't see any bears, just their poo along the trails.

Once at Skoki, the guide there said to watch out for a porcupine that had been hanging around the nearby campsite eating rubber off shoes at night.  So we kept our shoes inside while there.  Skoki Lodge is a vamped up Le Conte.  We had different meals for dinner and breakfast, all family style.  After breakfast each day, they set out lunch provisions so we could take a sack lunch for hiking during the day.  It was a pretty amazing spread knowing that there wasn't any running water or electricity.

Like I mentioned before, I can cross Skoki Lodge off my list.  Chloe said she's ready to go back, which I loved that.  Impressive.  I was sure glad to get to the Calgary hotel for a shower...Great job Jackie once again on the trip planning!

There are more photos to add on here via Chloe's phone, I'll get them on here soon!

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