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Banff Diary

BANFF NATIONAL PARK OF CANADA (Elevation 1,383 m or 4,537 ft)

Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court (Read about how we booked our Banff campsites here)

July 24, Wednesday – Arrived at Banff from Radium Hot Springs at about 1:30 pm after driving THROUGH the town of Banff. Horrid. Our GPS failed us. Should have taken us to next exit (see map below). We’re in Site 145 for two nights.

Set up HughesNet dish. Didn’t work. Put up DISH TV tripod. It worked. Spokane, WA local TV stations!

Take the Red Route!


Mountains Everywhere . . .


. . . and Jan was soon painting them


Saw an Elk herd the first two nights


July 25, Thursday – Day of rest at campsite. Take down both sat dishes as we’re moving to a different campsite on Friday for just one day.


July 26, Friday – Moved to site 845. Day of rest. Put up DISH TV tripod. It worked. Took Flirt on 2.5 mile walk around campground perimeter.

Looking Down on Banff


Drove the Jeep into Banff for groceries at the IGA. Every parking spot taken . . . in all of Canada! Horrid.

Our Local IGA Grocery


July 27, Saturday – Moved to site 141, the dream site, for a week. Put up HughesNet dish. Still not working. Didn’t have to put up DISH tripod as our rooftop Winegard Trailer worked.

The Long Coveted Site 141 . . .


. . . here for a week . . .


. . . with clear views of Mount Rundle


July 28, Sunday – Jan went to the Banff IGA groceries at 8 am. She was actually able to park the Jeep with ease.


July 29, Monday – Filled up Jeep with gas in Banff. Horrid. Then drove up to Lake Louise in early afternoon. Every parking lot full. Turned right around and went back to Banff. Lovely. Drove through Banff thinking we would get lunch. Have we not learned? Cleaned our RV’s inside AC filters.

Glacier on the way to Lake Louise


Your Name isn’t on my Parking List


July 30, Tuesday – slept in. At night we dined out at Park Distillery & Restaurant in Banff. Very good. Took a taxi there and back! We’re learning.

Sure, it’s a nice pic of Jan, but what’s going on in that picture above the bar?


Jan’s drink – the “Cascade”. I went with an Alpine Gin & Tonic. Yes!


Here’s our appetizer, a Brie something – very good


Let’s just skip to dessert



July 31, Wednesday  – up early (for me). Jan & I decided not to drive or take the bus to Lake Louise. It will have to live in our imagination. We both realized that after 4 months and 3,700 miles we’re tired! From now on we’re only going to use park bus service or tour busses to get around. The summer destination spots are full of people to the gills. Recharged our water softener.


August 1, Thursday – took the bus to “The Cave & Basin National Historic Site”. The bus rides to and from were the highpoint. While waiting for the outbound bus, we met a Canadian mother and daughter. The daughter was taking her day off to have lunch with mom and do some hiking. Utterly charming duo. Also met a Dutch couple who had traveled to both US and Canadian parks this summer. Delightful. Met an English couple who failed to make reservations and who made 110 phone calls in a day searching for a place to stay in Calgary. Yikes!

Banff Public Transit – colorful, yes, but in need of some serious simplification


Some Serious Vistas at the Cave & Basin (click to enlarge)


When we arrived at the historic site, I thought they were having plumbing problems. Wrong. Jan thought the smell came from a nearby horse trail. Wrong again. The Cave part of this site is a sulfurous hot spring with the overpowering smell of rotten eggs. As we ventured deeper into the Cave, as we must, the smell allowed for a 5-second stay when we arrived at the end of the cave where there’s a hot springs sulphur pool . . .

Last One in is a . . .


The High Point of our Cave & Basin Excursion . . . the Bus Ride back to the Campground . . .

Over our bus’s scratchy PA system, our Asian bus driver tried to explain all the ins and outs of our bus route. But pretty much everything he said sounded like “I’m taking the laundry to my daughter’s soccer practice.”

However, he was really, really trying to communicate, so kudos Mr Fumi for the attempt.

Best Bus Driver in Banff



August 2, Friday – disinfect RV water tank day, a once every 6 months bleach adventure.

Tried to unscrew the water filter housings, but they wouldn’t budge. So the whole water filter assembly had to be removed. Then the filters could be replaced.

It started simply enough


August 3, Saturday – Bye Banff!



Would You Like More Data?

Internet connectivity can be problematic in Canada. Basically, if the campground doesn’t supply WiFi, you’re screwed unless you brought your own.

We kinda-sorta brought our own. Our Verizon plan includes Travel Pass which doles out 500 MB of Internet data a day in Canada. This amount resets each day. But we usually use much more data than this. However, once we used up that 500 MB, the following message would appear on my iPhone:



I said “Yes” many many times.


Flirt vs Ground Squirrels

These guys would pop out of their numberous holes like Wack a Moles. Drove Flirt nuts. She would plunge her snout down every squirrel hole she encountered.

Come out damit!



3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jim #

    Nice area. Too busy

    August 5, 2019
  2. Al Morgan #

    Hughes Net should work up to about Fort Macleod in Alberta but as you’ve found out, no further. Dish will work up to Edmonton but you won’t get all the channels.
    We use T-Mobile, works in practically every country in the world for no extra charge unlimited data, speed may be slowed in some countries but we are very satisfied. Only found two countries in the last 6 years where T-Mobile did not have an agreement

    August 5, 2019
  3. Mary Hughes #

    Marvelous adventures in Canada.. wow!! The vistas are outta sight!!! Mary


    August 6, 2019

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