The #1 Thing to Do in Banff, Canada

IMG_6522.JPGAre you planning to visit Banff, Canada? Are you ready to have a little adventure? Then you have to make make time for the Via Ferrata. IMG_6524.JPGThe Iron Road is a series of ladders, holds and cables which are set in the mountain and are used to climb to the top of The Norquay cliffs. Our good friends, Greg and Joyclynn, immediately said Yes! when Superman sent an email asking if they’d like to join us.

IMG_6519.JPGThe certified guides helped strap us in our harnesses, helmets and gloves. (Even ones with pretty little flowers on them…You Da Man Greg!) We took the chairlift to the start of the four hour adventure.

IMG_6532.JPG(photo via http://summer.banffnorquay.com)
The first step out of our comfort zone was the swinging bridge. (Note to self…do not be the person immediately in front of Superman on this bridge. He is obnoxious.)

IMG_6515.JPGAlthough there are rungs and foot holds to grab onto if you wanted, this is a moderate climb for the average Mary. No one is pulling you up. You use your upper and lower body muscles to get yourself to the next level.

IMG_6523.JPGAnd when you do get to the next ridge and you take a look at the scenery around you….the beauty will take your breath away. The higher you get, the better the view.

IMG_6505.JPGHey, Look at me Ma! One hand!!

Even though I’m not completely comfortable with heights, I never felt scared. Safety is the Via Ferrata’s number one priority.

IMG_6504.JPGAs an added bonus, we saw this beautiful double rainbow!

This little adventure sure has been the talk of the conference. Most people have been flabbergasted at the idea and others want to sign up right away. As I would like to quote Superman

You never know how much you are capable of doing until you get out there and do it.

He’s definitely opened my eyes to what this old body can do. In fact, I think my body can do just about anything, it’s my mind that trips me up. I’m glad he’s around to keep challenging me.

Thank you Joyclynn and Greg for another great memory! Superman- You Rock! And thanks to you for dropping by,

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Lady! We Ain’t No Ordinary Tourists

Superman and I are on our next adventure in Banff, Canada.IMG_6454-0.JPGGORGEOUS!

After a lonnnng travel day of cancelled flights and hours upon hours of waiting in airports, we made it here late in the night. Because there’s no rest for the weary, Superman had us up bright and early the next morning for an “easy” hike.

Me: So how long is this easy hike?
Superman: Its a 6 mile hike. Shouldn’t take us long to do.”
(I even made him show me the trail on the map.)

IMG_6443-0.JPGWe had a wonderful breakfast, then headed out to the trailhead. About 20 yards onto the trail, we see this sign. Must have 4 people in your group! Punishable by fine of $5000! Jail time…blah, blah, blah. Huh. There’s only two of us. Do we wait for more to come? Now, if you know Superman, he looked at this sign for about 2.1 seconds and moved on. And if you know me, I saw it and started shaking in my boots and ever so quietly asked him if maybe we should rethink this idea. He just kinda looked at me like I had three heads. I guess we were moving on. (Who are we going to call for bail money?)

IMG_6466.JPGGlad we did. Look how pretty!

IMG_6462-3.JPGThank You Superman! Is there any other husband out there who would do this to his sweet loving wife?!?! He thinks he’s hilarious! So there you go…when a girl has to go, a girl has to go.

IMG_6464.JPGWe come to this beautiful lake. This is where the trail is suppose to end for us today. We meet up with four older ladies and their leader asks where we are from.
Us: South Carolina.
Lady: Wow! So where are you guys hiking to?
Superman: We’re going through Sentinel Pass.
Me: (?????)
Lady:Wow! Most visitors don’t hike this route. Have you done much hiking?

Lady, we ain’t your ordinary visitors! Have we hiked before? Oh brother, now it was time to show her how a couple of rednecks from South Cackalacky do it. (Needless to say, I had no idea what I was getting into, but there was no way I was going to let four grey haired ladies show me up!)

IMG_6465.JPGTrust me. Superman was not going to let them get ahead of us.

IMG_6451.JPGWe’d take quick breaks to fuel up on delicious nutritious snacks.

IMG_6453.JPGThe larch trees just blazed.

IMG_6450.JPGWe made it above the tree line to see this! See that spot wayyyy up there? That is where we were going. And Yes, it is as far as it looks.

IMG_6512.JPGDo you see the larch trees in the background? Yup, that’s how far we had climbed so far. Can I just be honest with you? It was steep. It was rocky. It was long. It was sometimes scary for me. In some areas there were large rocks and boulders that needed to be scrambled over and other areas where there was hard scrabble. The hard scrabble could sometimes be slippery with the small rocks giving way.

IMG_6511.JPGThis is me climbing up. Oh wait! You don’t see me?

IMG_6513.JPGThere I am! Superman-aka Mr. Mountain Goat, of course, shimmied right up the mountain, while I struggled for footing, strength and breath.

IMG_6457.JPGWe made it. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like Superman too much. I was in pain. When I looked bak on what I had just accomplished I felt pretty proud of myself. But I knew I was not going back the same way I got here. This is what it looks like on the other side of the mountain. Do you see all the people? There was even a dog who made it up to the top. Surely this was an easier way to go. I knew what I was going to do! I was going to hike down this way and wait for Superman to pick me up if I had to.

IMG_6468.JPGLuckily, he agreed.

IMG_6459.JPGCan you say flat?

IMG_6458.JPGYup, I can do this.

IMG_6441.JPGBut the adventure hasn’t ended. Since we came down the other side of the mountain, we are going to have to hitchhike back to our car or walk 6 miles away. We stick our thumbs out. I feel like we’re Bonnie and Clyde breaking so many rules!

IMG_6448.JPGMike graciously gave us a ride.

IMG_6447.JPGWe drove to Lake Louise for a celebratory refreshment.

IMG_6446.JPGJust gorgeous.

Thanks for dropping by!

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P.S. The “easy” 6 mile hike turned into a 13 mile epic adventure. I like to think that I can add a few points due to the steep elevation and crazy terrain we had to traverse.

P.S.S. Superman is a Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!!!