I gassed up in Banff and to my surprise, one pumps first then heads inside to pay. Like other Canadians I met, the woman at the gas station was friendly, she liked Jasper better than Banff because Banff was shoulder to shoulder crowded, I had to agree with her. In BC you had to guess how much gas would fill the tank and pay first, although in some touristy areas they let you fill up while holding onto your credit card; in Alberta they trusted you. She explained that it was the law in Alberta. A lot of what she said slipped by me as I was in space mode, something about someone getting hurt by a gas line attached to their car? I don’t know.  She did tell me that most people come in and pay, I remember doing that in California a long time ago. The woman at the gas station explained that in situations where the pumps were out of sight they would be allowed to be set up as pay first. I was happy with these differences as I traveled. In Canada I felt a warmth and freedom reminding me of growing up in the ’60s in Palm Springs. How long will such trust last? Was it really true that Canadians were a kinder gentler people?  Another time I’ll drive all over Canada and check it out. I could be happy being around such a people.

Listening to local radio I heard programs about regional issues, maybe it was the stations I tuned in, but there was no bombardment of bad news, horrific details, denial of common sense or religious dogma as I hear at home. Canadian attitude seemed to be to discuss, think and let government know what should be  done. Or… it may be just the way they do their talk shows.

I was confused if I was actually in Banff National Park and/or where the Park started. I thought of spending the night inside the Park. The Info Office in town was closed, I tend to get up early, so I plugged Banff NP into my GPS. That took me on a gas wasting loop towards Calgary with a U-turn reversal into a kiosk to pay entry fees (had paid only one night at Jasper several days earlier so it was likely fair enough) then back up the highway passing the City of Banff (sigh) headed toward Lake Louise from which I’d arrived. I was a bit more rested but my brain was decorated with misty clouds; I was confused. I turned South on 93, the Banff-Windermere Highway along the western edge of the Rockies and Kootenay National Park as it was in the direction of Placerville and home so that sounded fine. I would like to have visited the Upper Hot Springs Pool in Banff, I think that’s the pool we visited when I was a kid.

 

Kootenay National Park

Kootenay National Park

Kootenay National Park

Kootenay National Park

The Continental Divide on the crest of the Rocky Mountains.

At the Continental Divide

At the Continental Divide

Parked at the Continental Divide

Parked at the Continental Divide

Fire and Ice!  I walked beyond the fire regrowth on this trail.

Fire shapes the land

Fire shapes the land

View From The Trail

View From The Trail

 

I was only on the road a few hours before stopping. I loved this camping spot by the noisy creek. Loved it so much I stayed there all day and just listened, read some more of my books; a lot of happy dogs came by as I was near the bridge.

My Camping Spot

My Camping Spot

 

Looking up

Relaxing and Looking Up

As I was leaving my camping sport I saw the popular Big Horn Sheep.

As I was leaving my camping spot I saw the popular Big Horn Sheep. There was a herd of young ones nearby.

In the morning I went to Radium Hot Springs in the Sinclair Canyon / Redwall Fault area. Towering cliffs of iron-rich rock. The Springs are natural mineral water with a large cool pool for swimming, a warm/hot pool and hot-tub pool that is still warmer. I followed the example of others in the RV parking lot and put on my suit in my RV, grabbed my towel, some drinking water, a pair of flip-flops and hiked up the road and under the highway. I relaxed there for several hours then went in search of lunch.

Approaching Radium Hot Springs

Approaching Radium Hot Springs

Nahko Bear: Water Song

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