Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Camping in Two Jack

This past Friday we loaded up the Traverse and headed toward Banff National Park for the weekend.  The forecast was calling for rain on Friday with warm temps and sunshine for Saturday and Sunday.  The only rain we saw on Friday was on the drive up which was great!
Upon arriving in Banff, we headed to Two Jack Campground to set up the campsite.  We first made a bathroom for Finley since it was a bit of a walk to the bathroom and it was more than likely there’d be an accident.  This worked well although Greg + I did have to make several trips to empty it.  Finley and Penelope played on the blanket before we left for the day.  Finley also loved helping Greg set up the tent which made me very happy because I hate participating in the take down or putting up of the tent or any camping stuff really.  Finley jumped in the tent as soon as it was up and brought her dolls to her sleeping bag and laid on it.  We were hopeful that this meant she would use her sleeping bag to go to sleep in and have a good night.  Turns out we were wrong.  Way wrong.
After the campsite was ready and lunch was ready, we headed over to Tunnel Mountain which is always our first hike of the season.  We brought the carrier for both Finley + Penelope but Finley was quite content walking up the mountain.  Above is our first family photo since the ones Virginia did after Penelope was born. 
Finley (+ Jessie) made it to the top of Tunnel Mountain with great success.  Penelope was asleep before we got there and slept all the way down.  Finley got smart and got carried back down.  It only took about 15 minutes longer than our regular time without kids so we did pretty good.  I jammed my foot/ankle on a rock and was in pain for most of the weekend.  It’s not too bad now.  Once this hike was over, we headed down to Banff Ave where we had a treat from The Fudgery and I had the world’s best milkshake from Shakes which is just off of Banff Ave.  It was absolutely amazing.
Once back at the campsite, Greg started a fire where we roasted hotdogs and marshmallows.  Finley enjoyed roasting the marshmallows but refused to eat them.  I was surprised she wouldn’t eat them considering her sweet tooth.  She loved the headlight lamp she got for Christmas a few years ago.  It kept her happy while we slept in the tent since she had no nightlight or lamp to satisfy her fear of the dark.
Penelope was by far a way better camper then Finley has ever been.  She got into her sleeping bag and stayed in the whole night.  It was fantastic.  Finley was the complete opposite.  She cried, screamed and refused to sleep in her sleeping bag.  She would only sleep with her pink blanket which she is getting too big for.  We dressed her in multiple layers and kept throwing her sleeping bag over top of her.  Friday night was pretty cold but Saturday was beautiful and we were all pretty hot sleeping in the tent.
Saturday morning was beyond cold.  I was too cold to even get dressed.  The low Friday was 0 and you definitely felt that Saturday morning.  We all bundled up warmly before heading into town for some deliciously hot Starbucks.
After Starbucks, we headed to Johnston Canyon.  We were surprised how busy it was considering how early in the season it was.  Finley got carried most of the way up and then walked the rest to Upper Falls and back down.  Penelope of course was asleep before we got to Upper Falls and slept all the way back down.  She got a new bib because I forgot to pack her one.  She modelled it at lunch time.
Picks from Johnston Canyon.  If it wasn’t such a huge tourist attraction, it probably be one of my favorite places to hike in Banff.  If you have never done it, you really should.  It’s a real easy hike to the Lower Falls and the rest of the way to the Upper Falls isn’t too bad.  We saw some crazy kayaker’s in the water.  Have no idea where they got in but you could tell they knew what they were doing!
After Johnston’s Canyon and lunch at Castle Mountain, we headed over to Lake Louise.  I cannot believe the snow and ice that is still there.  You can see where there were avalanches on the mountains behind where we were standing and where the snow had cracked and was just waiting to fall off the mountain.  I think that would be really cool to see.  The lake still had tonnes of ice and it really looked all cool with the green water and ice.  The snow is from the parking lot.  The walkway from the main area to the parking lot was full of snow piles.  It was kinda crazy.
We headed back to the campsite for supper when we found out that our camping stove was not working.  After fiddling with it for awhile Greg determined that he could not fix it until we got home so we had to go out for supper.  We went to Melissa’s MissSteak.  It was alright.  The bread was delicious as was the Creamy Swiss Salad Dressing but the actual food was average at best.  The service was great and I appreciated how they brought out Finley’s meal earlier.  After that, we headed back to the campsite for a fire and I finished reading Sarah’s Key.  It was so warm, it really was a beautiful night.  Nice and relaxing after a crazy week.
On Sunday morning, Greg packed up the camping stuff and then we headed to Lake Minnewanka for nice Sunday morning walk.  The sun was shining and the weather was beautiful.  It’s hard to believe that on Mother’s Day this lake was full on ice with tonnes of snow.  It was a nice change.
Overall, Penelope’s first camping trip went really well.  Finley could definitely improve but I wasn’t too surprised with her refusal to use anything but her pink blanket.  Hopefully by the time we leave for Waterton on the 17th she will want to use one.  I doubt it though!

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