Day 14

Old Flame of Banff

Rocky mountain sheep next 2km road sign, British Columbia, Canada
Rocky mountain sheep next 2km road sign, British Columbia, Canada

Bragg Creek Campground to Marble Canyon Campground


Instagram excerpt - See here


I took a rest for the leg through Calgary. I had paid full price at the campground and was entitled to staying beyond the rise of the sun. I took my time getting up. I rode into town to grab some petrol and coffee. I noticed that Canada has the equivalent of Starbucks called Tim Hortons. I went in.

The owner of the store made some conversation with me. He gave me a free muffin and a plastic keep cup. I’m not sure why he thought I would need it but I took it politely. Somehow we got talking and I explained that I was looking for a laundromat. He said his wife was home and they lived nearby. To my surprise he offered to use it.

He called her up and explained where their house was. I put it into my map and rode over. It was within walking distance. A grey 2-story townhouse. I grabbed my things off the bike and she let me in. I had never been in a house in North America. It was quaint. I bet it was warm. She took my laundry and spoke about the weather. She said the courtyard can be covered in snow in Winter. I caught up on social media and friends as I waited for my laundry.

The lady was nice. She was from Kenya although I suspect she had an Indian background. They had a daughter together that must’ve been about 10 or 12. My laundry was done within a couple of hours. I was so thankful. I never even thought about. I’ve never even used a coin laundry! I said my good-bye and continued towards Banff.

I can’t remember the ride to Banff. It was covered in smoke. You couldn’t see the mountains.

The town itself was packed! I hadn’t seen that many people anywhere on my entire trip so far. The town is cute. I was impressed by the number of Australian brand stores that lined the street. The place looked expensive. I just couldn’t believe the amount of tourists! It wasn’t even winter. But, it was just a town. I didn’t get it, so I continued on my trip.

I knew about Banff because of a girl I dated once was from there. It was a big turning point of my life because she was the first girl I really liked. It turned to shit and I vowed to find and never let the next one go! What was funny about Banff was that I only went there because of her. She’d messaged me years before and said she had my old drivers license. I told her I’d get it back off her one day.

The day came and I didn’t message her. I’d moved on and had a partner who I loved. I was glad to have closed that chapter off by going to Banff.

There was a place to stay nearby called Marble Canyon Campground. It was lovely and not far from Banff. It’s nestled in the woods, surrounded by pines and the Kootenay River across the road. You cross a little bridge over a creek to get to it. I found a free designated spot with a picnic table. I began to unpack when a lady swung by. She was thin, close to 50 and wore glasses. I think she was the campground host or a highly aware camper. She let me know that there were a couple of bear sightings in or near the campground a few days prior. She recommended I kept my food in the bear safe in the middle of the campground. She also let me know of a small trail across the road called.. Marble Canyon. It was an hour hike and she recommended I check it out. I took her advice.

I took my food off the bike after I setup camp. I put it all in a couple of plastic bags and made my way to the middle of the campground. I’d never used a bear safe before. I thought it would be like something from a cartoon with a spin dial lock. I don’t know why. I got to the middle and found an empty wooden gazeboo. There was a brown metal box next to it. It looked like a cabinet. That must be it. A bear couldn’t get in that. I pulled the latch and opened it. There were some items in there. I stuffed my plastic bags in and went back to camp.

I took off boots and put on my sneakers. I swung my camelbak over my shoulder and headed out of the campground to cross the road. The trailhead was on the other side. It was a short loop that went up one end of the canyon and back along the other. It was well constucted. It had metal railings and stone steps cut out into the rock. The river ran through the canyon. The further you got up it, the narrower it got and the faster the water went. It got higher and the water fell through it like waterfalls. It was glacial blue. The sound of the rushing water as it twisted and hit the rocks was loud and mesmorising. They built platforms that went into the canyon to get a better look. They were wet from the splashing. It was nice. It would’ve been dangerous to fall in. The water was violent. I finished the loop and headed back. There were a few others on the trail.

I rode a mile up the highway before dark to get mobile reception. It’s amazing what you’ll do for internet. I had dinner and went to bed after. I didn’t see any bears. I don’t know whether I should be sad or relieved 🐻



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