Day 15 - Peyto Lake (N. Banff) & Radium Hot Springs with a Code "V"
Day 14 - Peyto Lake (N. Banff area) & Radium Hot Springs and Code "V."
We woke up in the same campground from two days ago in Tunnel Mountain, Banff, to screaming kids. It was all okay since we needed to break camp and ready ourselves for our day hike at Peyto Lake.
The drive up to the hike was breathtaking at every turn. There is something about the Canadian Rockies that can send shivers up your spine. The beauty that engulfs you, the expanses of mountain ranges one sees for miles, and the turquoise lakes carved from deep canyons centuries ago are simply mind-blowing.
But…we have yet to see a grizzly bear or moose. Oh, sure, we've witnessed Alvin and a few other chipmunks, smallish Big Horned Sheep, and mountain goats, but Linda and I decided that the bears and moose are also on vacation (or playing hide and seek). Others we've met along our journey so far have mentioned they have seen either a bear or moose, or both, alongside the roads that we have also traveled since we've been here, but, of course, not us.
Our short hike to the summit to see Peyto Lake in all its glory was worth it. The parking lot was full of hundreds of tourists, all wanting to see the crystal blue lake waters. I wasn't sure I wanted to block and tackle through the throngs of crowds; however, when Linda said hardly anyone was going to summit this hike, I was on in. She was correct. Out of the hundreds of busloads of people and other drivers, we only saw 13 other people on this hike. When we asked an older couple, Hazel and John from the UK, if summiting was worth it, they said, "Yes." Though, they added they were just shy of the summit before turning back (they didn't want to hike through snow).
We spent over 30 minutes at the top enjoying the views in four different directions before hiking back down to the parking lot. Over the last several days, we've noticed that the hikes are filled with Europeans, Australians, and Canadians, and not that many Americans.
Once down the mountain, we decided to do something other than hiking. Since we still had a large part of the day in front of us, a trip to Radium Hot Springs was just the ticket we needed. I've never been to a hot spring before, though Linda has in Ouray, Colorado, so on a whim, we drove 90 minutes on one of the most scenic routes we've seen thus far to get there.
In a good way, the place has strict rules for showering with soap and water to enter either of their two pools (hot/cold). After a quick, warm, soapy shower, we first started with the hot pool. They suggested not to go more than 20 minutes. We obliged. Once we jumped into the cold pool, in two minutes, the whistle blew, and they were telling everyone to get out of the pool immediately. Linda and I looked at each other, bewildered. Nothing seemed out of order to us. Ah, but then one of the lifeguards told Linda that the pool was under Code V - for Vomit! Out we jumped. Everyone from that cold pool moved like cattle into the showers because we all needed to shower again with soap and water. To warm up after the fiasco, we took one more plunge into the hot pool, showered for the third time afterward, and headed back to the hostel we stayed the two nights ago.
We haven't been this squeaky clean since we left Colorado!
PS Lots of trouble connecting and posting last night.
Photos below include the hostel in Castle Mountain, the Hot Springs in Radium, BC, our new friend, Tiffany, 30 ish hiking all over Alberta for a week, camping in Banff and quiet time on the summit of Peyto Lake!