Canmore, Alberta was on our list of “must-see” places when we first started planning our adventure. We had been seeing amazing photos on instagram from Houda and Fitzy for well over a year. I assumed that those photos were taken hours away from where they actually lived so I had to see this amazing mountain town for myself.
When we were at TransRockies Run this year, we told Houda that we were going to come see him on our road trip. He mentioned that he had a trail race on Sept 16 so he said if we can make it he would get us entries to the race. Being the (at the time) jobless cheapskates, we made sure we could work in anything that was free. (note: we’re still cheap, just not jobless anymore)
Canmore is a mountain town about 25km from Banff. It’s not exactly a cheap place to go/eat/drink/sleep. We checked out the RV parks in town and they were either full, closed, or had terrible reviews. Fortunately we found a place called Mt. Kidd RV Park about 40 minutes from Canmore and it had great reviews, was affordable, and they had space for us. Mt Kidd RV Park is located about 20km south of the Trans-Canada Highway and I think both mine and Kayla’s mouths were hanging open on the entire 20 minute drive. It was mountain after mountain and then a bright teal blue lake, and then more mountains.
When we arrived we found out that Mt Kidd RV Park is literally at the bottom of Mt Kidd, a 9,705ft peak that looked like it went straight up. We were pretty thrilled about our accommodations for 3 nights.
The trail race was on Saturday morning at 10am. It was quite possibly the most fun race I have ever run for the simple fact that we didn’t have to get up at 5am. We slept until 7am, ate breakfast, walked the dogs, and casually drove the 40 minutes to Canmore. Every race should start at 10am. The race was called the 5 Peaks Canmore and it was a 13.4km trail race through Canmore. We had a blast runnning and then hanging out with some Transrockies friends at the finish line.
On Saturday night we hung out with Houda and the race crew over burgers and beers. It was great to see Dia before his European adventure and finally meet Jenny. As hard as it is to believe the stuff that comes out of Houda’s mouth sometimes, he does in fact live in a house right by the river and below the peaks in Canmore, we does wear the red flannel at every race event, and he does actually have an awesome girlfriend named Jenny.
We parted ways with Canmore and headed to Golden, British Columbia. We spent a rainy day doing laundry and working from a coffee shop. It definitely felt nice to have a day that was just kind of normal.
We decided, weather be damned, we were going to see Lake Louise and Moraine Lake regardless of the conditions. Pictures don’t do it justice and from what I’ve seen on instagram, clouds and snow don’t do it justice either. It was still incredibly beautiful to see such bright blue lakes, however most of the mountains surrounding the lakes weren’t visible due to snowy conditions.
After three nights in Golden we headed south towards Glacier National Park in Montana. Let’s just say our experience crossing back into the U.S. was less friendly than crossing into Canada. The Border Patrol Agent rapid-fired questions about what we had be doing and how we knew people in Canada. He didn’t even let me answer before firing off two more questions. After a few minutes he let us through and casually spit out “welcome home” as I was already driving away. Thanks for the hospitality, eh.
Our time in Glacier was relaxing but not all that exciting. Due to forest fires, over 17,000 acres on the west side of Glacier National Park had burned or were still burning. That meant that Going to the Sun Road was closed on the entire west side of the park. It also meant that the roads you need to drive to get to all the best hikes were also closed. We ended up getting a nice 7ish mile trail run/hike in up to Apgar Lookout over Lake McDonald. We also ate some delicious New York style pizza at a place owned by one of Kayla’s friends from high school who now lives in Whitefish and we drank some local Montana beer.
Pizza and beer fix everything.
We’re currently heading south towards Idaho Falls, ID to see Save-a-Bull Rescue friend, Kassie (and pick up all the crap I ordered off Amazon and shipped to her) and make our way over to Grand Teton National Park. Hopefully there are still hints of summer or early fall in Idaho because it has been chilly in Canada and Montana!