432. Wednesday 3rd June 2015. Calgary to Banff to Golden to Kicking Horse Mountain…

Monday 1st June
Today was a lay day here in Calgary especially as it was cold and wet.
Newly married Simone and Lazar offered the use of a night in Lazar’s parents chalet on Kicking Horse Mountain near Golden in the Rocky Mountains. From that premise we planned a trip through the Rocky Mountains. Alecia returns to work on Wednesday so the plan was to borrow her Toyota 4Runner and head west that day.
Tuesday 2nd June
Another cold and wet day and therefore another lay day.
Wednesday 3rd June
After driving Alecia to the airport we went back to the house, breakfasted, packed and were out the door by 10am on our new adventure somewhat dampened by the rain and heavy cloud cover in the direction we were heading. Once we started into the Rocky Mountains the drive may have had incredible views but the low cloud only allowed occassional glimpes of tall craggy snow capped mountains, a road perched above a river rushing with snowmelt. All wonderful stuff if only the sun were shining.
Sigh!
First stop was famed Banff   http://www.banff.ca/ and we were looking forward to walking around town and magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. The low cloud prevented any views and the constant drizzling rain meant no photographs anyway. After a cup of coffee we decided to leave Banff for a possible future visit…in the sunshine.
Next stop was the small town of Golden.  http://www.golden.ca/   The road meanders up and through the mountains following the raging river way below in the valley.   ( we have now crossed from the Province of Alberta and entered British Columbia Province – the time zone has changed again) where we bought some groceries and started up the  mountain to Kicking Horse Mountain Ski Resort and Chairlift.  http://kickinghorseresort.com/  At this time of year the skiers have long gone (as has most of the snow), the resort is empty save for a few people planning on hiking the higher peaks accessible only by the chairlift or gondola.
Our wonderful accommodation was large and spacious and warm although the low cloud meant no view and we were the only people staying in the chalet section of the resort it felt a little lonely.

This is the private chalet we stayed at on Kicking Horse Mountain. Note the "spikes" on the roof. These are to stop snow falling off in one big lump and injuring somebody walking below.

This is the private chalet we stayed at on Kicking Horse Mountain. Note the “spikes” on the roof. These are to stop snow falling off in one big lump and injuring somebody walking below.

The lounge room. Note the genuine polar bear rug hanging on the wall.

The lounge room. Note the genuine polar bear rug hanging on the wall.

We walked over to the the village, resort and gondola. All empty save for about three guests but the Gondola was still working with nobody in any of the gondola’s.

The empty gondola on the hill above the resort shrouded in cloud.

The empty gondola on the hill above the resort shrouded in cloud.

The village store, specialty shops, cafes etc were all closed.

This was one of five empty resort blocks waiting for summer guests after farewelling winter guests.

This was one of five empty resort blocks waiting for summer guests after farewelling winter guests.

There are signs everywhere warning this is bear country, brown, black and grizzly and how to avoid an unpleasant confrontation should you meet one. Cooking, food scraps and other waste must be disposed of in bear proof bins. The gondola operator mentioned a black bear was seen earlier that day near the resort.
Sometimes bears have been seen wandering through the private residence area – where we are staying . We kept looking through the windows but luckily or unfortunately, we did not see a bear. By 10pm it was still light outside.
Due to the lack of regular internet and a computer along with our trip through the Rocky Mountains I will post daily reports for the next few days as and when we have facilities. I am sure there will be more and more photos each day.

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