Day Twenty Two: Canmore, We Love You

We woke up in our little parking lot community of car campers and hopped in the car to find restrooms! There was a rec center called Elevation two minutes up the road and it couldn’t have been more perfect. It was just the start of our regret sinking in telling us that we should have come here yesterday…oops ! They had a sweet little library with strong wifi that would have been perfect for me to get some work done, and an array of activities for Jake to enjoy in the meantime as well. They had rock climbing, a pool, and an amazing view. Next time! After we got ready for the day, we headed downtown to check it out and were absolutely delighted. I almost don’t want to share because I feel like it’s a total secret from the bustling well known downtown area of Banff. We loved the quaintness and space from the crowds. After walking a short ways up the street, a bagel shop caught my eye (of course) and we decided to stop in there. Jake grabbed an outdoor table and we enjoyed our breakfast and my very fancy most delicious coffee I had ever had. Rose water and vanilla! It was lovely. I then dragged Jake from shop to shop and enjoyed every minute of it. Not the dragging part of course, but small shops are the best! My favorite spot was a used book store next to Rocky Mountain Bagel. It was like stepping back in time and was so very special. At one of the stores we got a recommendation from the worker on which back roads to take on the way to Waterton. Jake was pleased with shopping around after that.

We headed out of town, and stopped at the rec center so I could do an hour of work. Squeezing it in while I can! It actually working out quite well. That library is perfect and I would highly recommend it to all of my digital nomad friends out there! We followed our new friend’s directions and headed on our way to 742 Smith Dorrien Trail Rd. We would take this road to 40 and then onto 22 South all the way to Waterton. The drive was mostly gravel, but came with stunning views and many opportunities to pull off and soak in the wild open air. We saw some big horned sheep but not much else. Jake still hasn’t seen a moose! Poor guy. We stopped for lunch and made tuna sandwiches. Then checked out the lodge close by called Mount Engadine. It was delightful but out of our price range. We’ll stick with our hotel on wheels for now. We were out of service and had to go old school with the atlas to find our way! We got lost, but found our way again.

After a couple more hours of driving, we saw a place to pull off called “Cat River” It was about an hour and a half away from our original end destination but we were both a bit tired and loved it. I’m so happy we made the decision to stay. It was one of my favorite stops. It was probably all the horse poop smell from trail riders but I just loved it! Jake went off fishing and I stayed behind to do some yoga. It was about 6. I started making dinner when he returned and rain swept through. It was a quick finish trying to get the asparagus cooked before we were soaked but it actually tasted great. Win! We ate inside the truck and then waited for the rain to stop by watching a predownloaded movie and eating popcorn. We truly have everything we need. After the rain stopped, we cleaned up the damage and then headed on the most wonderful golden hour walk I think I’ve ever been on. The fields of yellow flowers were glowing and we could hear cows talking to each other. On our walk back we got a glimpse of our little home beneath the moon and it all felt so special. We would be leaving early to head to Waterton in the morning, so we climbed in early for bed.

Day Twenty One: Back to camp life, but first…

We had one of the slowest and most needed mornings yet. On our way to the hot tubs we stopped at the truck to make shakes to reset our bodies from all the backpacking food. So delicious and necessary. After an hour of sauna and spa time, we went back to the room to do some yoga and shower. 12 o’clock check out time came quickly, and we headed out the door to…well we didn’t exactly know. I needed to get some work done for a few hours so we found the sweetest coffee shop called “Little Wild” that worked out perfectly.

Jake left at about 3 to go do some laundry (best fiance ever) and came back at about 5:30 with some premade salads to eat until we figured out what we were doing. We found a free place to park overnight in Canmore but weren’t sure of what to do until then. So we headed to the Christmas store like tourists! Of course. I had been excited to see it ever since we passed by. It didn’t dissapoint. Such magic. Afterwards we picked up a few more gifts and then had a drink at the very fancy bar of the Maple Leaf. Still no plan. The bartender suggested that we go check out the Fairmont and use their swimming pool and hot tub for a low cost. That sounded good to us! First, groceries and dinner. On our way to the grocery store to pick up a few things, we heard someone mention ramen. We were planning on cooking to save money but Jake couldn’t resist. The Ramen place had the longest line, so instead we went to a Chinese restaurant close by. Aside from the view and my green tea bubble tea, the food was a fail. It was a weird thing to do in Banff.

We drove up to the castle that is the Fairmont and once again, it was like the whole wierdness of the day had led up to this magical moment. The receptionist at the spa was the nicest and gave us the local rate, and we headed into our very fancy changing rooms. Seniorita by Justin Timberlake was playing in mine and I danced the whole time I was changing. It was fun pretending like we could afford to be here. We made our way out to the outdoor pool, which we found out was a giant hot tub. It was so lovely. We used their bathrooms to change into our pajamas and get ready for bed, then headed to the overnight spot in Calgary. We weren’t sure about the safety of the spot, but were pleasantly surprised when we found a crew of car campers all huddled together in the parking lot outside of the downtown. Our people!