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Previous Blogs: Day 1+2 Canadian Rockies | Day 3 British Columbia | Day 4 The Road to Montana | Day 5+6 Glacier National Park | Day 7 Big Mountain | Day 8 Back to Canada  | Day 9 Waterton

We left Tampa at 11am and with a stopover at JFK for 3 hours finally landed in Calgary at 9pm (11pm our time). The Canadian Airline WestJet as some bad reviews but we found the flight and service to be fine. It's a 6 hour flight from New York.

We discovered that the "On Premises" hotel we booked was a $35, 30 minute cab ride away, so we said screw it and checked into the Marriot that was right inside the airport as we were super tired.


Next morning, it was time to pick up our rental car. Crap! Error number two, Expedia booked it at the downtown location and NOT the airport! And the airport was sold out so we had no choice but to Uber downtown ($32) to get our Hyundai Elantra, which is actually a pretty nice car.

The drive from Calgary to Banff was uneventful and very pretty. But we were surprised to see rifinery plant after refinery in the most beautiful parts. Mountains on each side, crystal clear lakes and an oil refinery right in the middle!

We arrived in Banff, which is kinda the head quarters for the Canadian Rockies and the jump off to the tourist attractions. While it is a pretty and quaint village, it was crazy filled with tourists in the most annoying way. Every road jammed, every restaurant and walkway, people just everywhere. We were going to stop for lunch but it was way too annoying so we left hastily.

Then our GPS died. We were using a BlueTooth GPS receiver with a tablet. Dead. We are in Canada no cell service, fortunately I had downloaded some off line Google maps to my cell phone so at least we could see where we were, even though we couldn't get driving directions.

We then checked into our Air BnB which is in the quaint town of Invermere in British Columbia. Half the Rockies are in BC and the other half are in Alberta province.

Great cottage in the country, great price. Full kitchen, 1 bedroom, deck with BBQ on a horse farm. What more could you want?

We did stop off to buy food for grilling and booze. Now CAN$1 = US$0.75 so that's in our favor

Groceries are pretty similar prices to USA but booze IS NOT! Oh My Lord!! It's like being in Australia. Sin Tax. The $13 bottle of whiskey I normally get is $35!!! Wine is even worse!! Gas is also not cheap at about US$4/gallon.

The reason we (and everyone else comes to the Canadian Rockies) is to experience the beautiful vistas of mountains and lakes stretching out as far as the eye can see. Unfortunately our Canadian Rockies experience was ruined by the fact that there are several really bad forest fires and the smoke obliterated the views we were expecting. All you can do is try to imagine how beautiful it SHOULD be.

So, because of this...

We saw this...

To add insult to injury, today we wanted to see one of the highlights of the Canadian Rockies which is Lake Louise and the Gondola that takes you to the top of the mountain. Not to be... due to the fires the highway was shutdown and and what should have been a 2 hour drive became a 4 hour drive as there are not a lot of roads in this part of Canada and detours can be brutal! So we decided to focus on sites that did not involve going up mountains and seeing a smoky haze obliterating the view. We needed close up stuff and here is what we saw!

The natural bridge

The Takakkaw Falls - yes the water is WHITE! this is because the rocks the glacier goes over rip out the "flour" the surface of softly ground rocks and becomes silt.

Even with the smoke, Lake Louise (left) and Emerald Lake (right) are beautiful!

As y'all know we like to get off the beaten track and find random roads to follow.. this one was a little rougher than usual.  Come to find out, it's a logging road that few tourist should be caught on!

But we made it to the end of the 25 mile road to hell and were treated to a wooden bridge. Moral of the story... don't leave the highway in Canada - everything else looks like this and you should probably drive a truck.

And finally...

Notice how the smallest cow is standing his ground!!

Yes and we did see a bear on our crazy ride though the unforgiving Canadian wilderness! There is method in our madness!

Who the hell knows what's going on here!!