Sunday, July 24, 2011

Johnston Canyon

The Johnston Canyon Campground was the least occupied when we arrived in the area, so we were surprised to see cars lined up to park across the street.  It seems the Johnston Canyon Trail is one of the more popular trails around Banff.  We just followed the river from the campground, skipping the whole pain of parking, and headed on the hike.

The green glacial river has been carving these rocks for centuries.

In some places it flows placidly,

then takes a tumble over sterner shelves of stone.

Some hikers experience similar mood swings.  D2 decided early that he was not in the mood for walking.  Then he'd get distracted, and move along nicely.  Then another storm would break out.  Dandelionslayer provided this photo opportunity as a diversion.  Pleased with the picture, D2 walked contentedly on for some time.

The map referred to Lower Falls and Upper Falls.  I think these were some Middle Falls.

After dramatic displays of sedimentary rock, we were surprised to see this curtain of travertine limestone.  A rock fall, just across from . . .

. . . the Upper Falls.  The catwalk extended over the water so we could feel the spray.  It was a warm day, and we were ready for its refreshment.

This small cave led to the more drenching spray of the Lower Falls.

At thumbnail size, I think this looks like a picture of the boys climbing on a stone robot with wild hair.  Stand back, and see what you think.

Dandelionslayer finally found a bow worthy of his might,

and a stream to cool his feet.

After lunch, we went in search of warmer water.

We found it at the Upper Pool, Banff Hot Springs.  It looks like a swimming pool, with a lot of people sitting still around the sides.  It smells like sulphur, and feels like a very hot bath:  39 degrees Celsius.  That's 102 degrees, for those who prefer Fahrenheit.  (But can you spell it?) 

I took no pictures of the pool, but this is the view from within the enclosure.  Our boys shook things up a bit, but we tried to keep the splash zone contained.  And they weren't the only children present.  We soaked and splashed until more soakers came, and there was no room for splashing. 

Then we went back to camp and ate ice cream while the grill heated up for dinner.  Yum!

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