Slept pretty good after the monster day yesterday. I walked the few feet from my car to a Laundromat around 8am to drop clothes off, then proceeding to a diner for a decent meal. I was back on the road by 10 and heading south, returning back through the Icefields Parkway towards Banff and the USA. I was a full 3 days ahead of schedule.
Coming from the opposite direction I had a new perspective on the majesty of the surroundings, again stopping frequently to snap pictures.
Below is a shot of the Spiral Tunnels in Yoho National Park. Apparently it is one of the only places you can see a train enter a tunnel while at the same time exiting at the other end. I did not see what the big idea was, and was surely not going to hang out and wait for a train like these other folk.
Driving further West into Yoho, I parked at Takakkaw Falls and walked with the masses to a viewing platform
Each step was painful today. My feet looked like they went through a meat grinder and I walked like I was in a full body cast, unable to use my joints. I was about 5 miles short of my 100 mile goal, meaning I would have to limber up here at some point. From past experience I knew that the best medicine was getting back on the trail.
I headed back Southeast into Kootenay National Park. I had scheduled a hike up to Stanley Glacier. It was described as a mix of old and new growth as a result of a fire that came through a few years prior.
I met some people up near the glacier that mentioned a natural hot springs. That sounded like just what my body needed. I knew about the one at Radium Springs about 30 minutes down the road, but the one they told me about was a bit further. They did not sound too sure of its existence and I did not want to risk missing the opportunity to soak my wounds so I headed towards the sure thing at Radium after a quick canyon stop
It is called Radium Hot springs because there is Radium in the water. They promised that I would be safe and only have a faint glow in the evenings from here on out.
I followed the elderly through the locker rooms and dipped into the Fountain of Youth. I have crossed by tons of Hot Springs in my travels through Latin America, but this was actually the first time I have stopped. It is basically a large hot tub. I lounged on the side of the pool for an hour and then decided I would try and hustle back to Kalispell and catch a flight out ASAP back to Detroit.
I arrived in the US around midnight. I did not use my cell phone until hitting the border because a few days earlier I learned that all the texting I was doing in Canada was getting charged International Roaming at a rate of like 50 cents a character.
I was able to book a flight that left at 530am the next morning. I pulled into the car rental lot, set my alarm and climbed into the back for a couple hours of sleep before my flight.
I would consider the trip a success. I don’t know why it took so long to make it out here, or why I have not heard more about this area of Canada. I would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful spot in North America.
100 miles hiked, 10lbs lost, and a new appreciation for what my body is capable of when pushed hard enough. Not that I plan on making that regular occurrence.
Until Next Time…from Asia!
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