I can’t really pinpoint exactly why, but I’ve been a bit on edge and anxious lately. No specific reasons, just little pieces of many things. We’ve been trying to get to Canmore or Banff for over two years to go hiking as a family…but we continually put it off. When Jay suggested that we go a week ago, I really wasn’t looking forward to it at all. The kids were up late until 9 the night before at a BBQ, I didn’t have anything ready, but come Friday morning…we decided we were going. Jay used to go a lot as a kid, so he knew exactly where he wanted to go, which helped a lot and I didn’t have to research and plan where to go.
We are so blessed to live 2 hours away from Banff and the Rocky Mountains, we need to take advantage of it more! We grabbed some subs, drove to Johnston Canyon and had a picnic. We just threw some granola bars, snacks and juice boxes and filled up our water bottles—kept it as simple as possible. Then we headed on the Johnston Canyon hike. To the lower falls it was a 25 minute walk, about 1.7 km (thanks, Fitbit!), with the kids one way and it was perfect. Even Ethan’s little legs kept up nicely, he was just so excited to see everything!
There were friendly chipmunks and Ethan actually got really, really close to picking one up…oops!
After the lower falls you can continue to the upper falls and even farther along the Ink Pots, but with little legs and tired little boys, we decided not to push our luck. A note to parents: this hike is not stroller-friendly.
The boys both fell asleep on the 25 minute drive back to Banff where we went to the Cave and Basin. I’d never been before and it was a really great place for kids and a lot of really cool history about Banff and the birth of national parks. Here we also had some ice cream and did another little hike on a boardwalk. The kids LOVED the boardwalk and going down to the streams and ponds looking for minnows and snails.
Braden was really tired and asked if we could go home now. Jay had one more item on the agenda and promised the boys to go swimming. They quickly changed their minds and wanted to go swimming (or ‘seeming’ as Ethan says). We took a short drive to Banff Upper Hot Springs and the boys were in awe. Outdoor swimming in a big hot tub!
Per typical exhausted-kid-behaviour, they did not want to leave but we talked them down and got our way (as always). It took awhile, but both boys fell asleep again on the way home, we ended the perfect day with supper at Peters’ Drive-In (seriously, best burger ever—it’s a must on your food bucket list!) in Calgary and were home in time for bed.
We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. The weather, the memories made, the fresh mountain air…what better way to brighten the spirits than to spend the day outdoors with my family!