September 9: Finding sunshine in Canmore

View from our campground in Canmore

View from our campground in Canmore

Clouds and the odd glimpse of snow-capped peaks.  But some breaks, and maybe it will improve.
We were planning to go to Banff and Lake Louise today, but since it might be better weather tomorrow we changed our plans.  We need some shopping and Elaine has gone off in the truck to find a hairdresser.  Meanwhile we have wi-fi and I can catch up on the world … and the blog. 

Communications are a real challenge in these remote spots, and sometimes we go days without wi-fi.   The cellular phone sometimes works, but costs a fortune, so we much prefer Skype for conversations.   This highlights a growing social problem in Canada – the increasing gap between rural and urban is increasing, as broadband seems limited to a few towns, and the rest have to make do with wet string and Canada Post.  

Elaine at Lake Miniwanka

Elaine at Lake Miniwanka

The TV and radio endlessly suggest that we contact, but in huge areas of the country, this is impossible … unless one is rich and has a satellite connection.  Even then, the satellite links are slow, compared with the high-speed connections in cities.  The politicians, both here and in the USA, talk about finding funds to increase rural broadband services, but there is more talk than video links!! 
John at Lake Miniwanka

John at Lake Miniwanka

John at Two Jack Lakeside, Lake Miniwanka

John at Two Jack Lakeside, Lake Miniwanka

We keep in touch with the world with Sirius satellite radio in the truck, and if we ever settle anywhere for long enough I will again go through the beep-beep exercise of pointing the satellite dish so we can watch satellite TV.   Trees and mountains also inhibit satellite communications, but there again … mountains and trees are sometimes better to watch than the TV programs.

Elaine at Two Jack Lakeside, Lake Miniwanka
Elaine at Two Jack Lakeside, Lake Miniwanka

Aha – the sun is peeking through, and we decided to leave the trailer in Canmore for another night, and take the truck to Banff.   Wonderful day, and we took the loop road by Lake Miniwanka (unfortunate name), and saw our first glacier. 

Banff itself is tourism and more tourism.  Elora times 50!! 

But it remains beautiful, and we resisted the temptation to spend any serious money.  

Banff trail horses going home

Banff trail horses going home

On the way we had an interesting experience.  The red lights flashed at a Canadian Pacific railway crossing, and we resigned ourselves to a hundred or so freight cars trundling through at slow speed.  

Instead, an 8-car passenger train crossed in front of us at fairly high speed.  Old Canadian Pacific cars. Since CP do not run passenger trains, it was clearly a ghost train.  Were those skeletons drinking whiskey and smoking in the open balcony at the back?   Hard to tell. 

We now have an expensive National Parks pass good for a couple of days, and tomorrow we head for Lake Louise – lovely name! 


John in Banff - Bow Valley from edge of Sulphur Mountain

John in Banff - Bow Valley from edge of Sulphur Mountain

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4 Responses to September 9: Finding sunshine in Canmore

  1. Sian Meikle says:

    Hi John and Elaine,

    Just wanted to say thanks to you and Louise for the blog — we’re following you along and cheering you on. You both look like you’re having a whale of a time and we’re so glad!


  2. Violet says:

    John and Elaine, Wow what scenery,The pic show you are both very healthy.And you are enjoying the trip tremendously.Keep up the good work I am enjoying the trip so much. See you the next posting. Vi

  3. Judy says:

    I made folow-up comments yesterday and today.

  4. Judy says:

    Wow, Elaine and John, such marvelous scenery! Amazing coincidence – my daughter Trudie Carlesso is at the Banff Centre until Friday. She is general manager of Diamond Municipal Solutions out of Cambridge, head office is Kelowna. She emailed me on her Blackberry and today (Wed.) she is making 2 presentations. Very small world if you should happen to meet up with her which is probably not likely. Both you and Elaine are looking hail and hearty. Keep trucking my friends!

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