i have to say, leaving the rockies was really really hard. i could have quite happily spent the whole holiday/rest of my life there. however, we had promised drumheller to bb, and knew it would be worth it. we got up early and drove up a mountain to a viewpoint over banff and there i cooked breakfast just as the pancakes were ready a tour bus stopped, and all the ppl coming off visibly smelt the pancakes and looked over. great to have breakfast with a view .
we then drove to johnstons canyon for our final excursion in the rockies. it was amazingly busy and we couldnt park in the car park – a first! so we parked on the road side and walked up. the walk follows the canyon up past a lower and upper falls to inkpots at the top. we knew we had to leave by 1 ideally, so knew we wouldn’t get to the top. the walk really clings to the canyon sides, in some places having ‘catwalks’ ie balconies sticking out for the walkways. it was a great walk and not overly challenging to the lower fall, and v beautiful. it was far busier than we were used to tho! there was also a geocache nearby. we started the wall to the upper fall, but realised time running short, so romped back, picked up an icecream and readied the van for a long drive i had premade sarnies for all of us, dh and mine with some fruit and munch bars in the front, and water, and on the girls table, their own sarnies, crisps, popcorn and fruit. thought we would be well provisioned for a long drive
so we set off, the drive was easy enough, have to say both dh and i had half an eye at the wingmirrors to see the last of the mountains as we went past. the change to flat farmland is a bit sudden, and a shmck to the system! but we made good time, and soon we were nearing drumheller. since there is only the summer to do road works, there is a franticness to it, and a whole road was pulled up to gravel, not making for a happy driving experience as went v v slowly. we drove through an area farmed by a hutterite community, and later saw some of the community selling fresh food in drumheller.
the badlands are v odd hoodoo formations cutting through alberta, and drumheller is there. we could tell we were getting close as dinosaur statues are everywhere! everthing is advertised with a dinosaur. our campsite had loads of them . was v nice campsite with a shop and great showers . we had curry for tea [i had made too much before and frozen half, so nice and easy to do ] and had a lovely shower, then we drove to drumheller museum as it is open till late to book things for the next day. we booked the dinosite for me and bb and the dinodig for sb and dh. then the girls played on the outdoor playpark area – a kind of soft play until bored and we went home ready for an early start the next day.
reflecting on our time in the rockies, we had a great time. the motorhome was a brill way of seeing it, and gave an extra dimension of freedom and excitement. we tried to see a mix of things – lakes, canyons, walking trails, mountains, museums, experiences – the glaciers and the jasper tramway, hot pools and watersports – rowing, rafting, canoeing as well as a lot of driving about. if we could only go to one area, it would be jasper, as there is something of everything in that area and v beautiful and there was loads more you could see or do. i wouldn;t have missed kootenay though either, and enjoyed the way we saw lots of different areas. i would highly recommend time in the rockies for anyone i also think there is loads more there i would have loved to see or do, and if i got the chance to go again i would grab it. holiday of a lifetime tho are few and far between, and if we have money to do something this big again, i imagine we will go to somewhere completely different.