Last week Rom and I joined Link in the Canadian Rockies for a family reunion. Due to distance and cost, we hadn’t seen everyone in five long years. Twenty-four of us, from age 20 to 80, converged at Radium Hot Springs, BC, in Kootenay National Park.
Rom had never been to the Rockies and hadn’t met Link’s extended family before. This is Link’s dad’s family and very much my family too. Everyone was delighted to see us and to meet Rom. It was a fun, chatty weekend. The family includes 5 engineers, 3 farmers, 2 teachers and 4 students, among other roles! We ended up discussing tech, LEGO and board games, MTG, animé and manga and other common interests like Pokémon Go 🙂 Another feature of the weekend was traditional Mennonite foods such as rollkuchen (fried dough drizzled with golden syrup, always served with watermelon) and farmer’s sausage.
This is the first time we’ve taken vacation time and travelled in the summer in many years, and the first “non-city” vacation in ages, too! It was also a short trip: 2 travel days and 4 activity days. We flew to Calgary (5.5 hours – which is longer than going to London UK) and then rented a car and drove through Banff to Radium Village (3.5 hours drive).
We stayed overnight in Banff and saw the sights (click any image to launch slide show):
To get to Radium, we drove through a steep, narrow mountain pass. As we arrived, we were barraged by hail. Fortunately it was only-crumb sized and didn’t damage the car! The main attraction in Radium is a natural hot springs which has been commercially developed. Although it is possible to drive up, I hiked up with some of my intrepid relatives, a 275 metre (900 foot) climb. The water in the hot soaking pool was 38C and in the swimming pool it was 28C!
After many shared meals and celebrations, we headed back to Calgary, this time stopping at Lake Louise. It was well worth the mid-summer tourist traffic:
A very memorable vacation!
As an aside, or two:
- Shopping-wise, the Rockies are full of souvenir shops, rock and gem shops, retro candy shops, and rugged outdoor equipment shops. I decided I would buy either things I was looking for and planned to buy anyway (certain clothing items) or consumables. I was partially successful: I bought candy (obviously), lip balm, soap, tea, a pair of plain moccasins (made in Canada) and an inexpensive ring with a cloudy pink chalcedony stone.
- Canadian airlines have only been charging for checked baggage on domestic flights for a year or so, and we’re still not accustomed to it. Since it was a short trip, Rom and I shared a suitcase. Wonders never cease! The casual outdoorsy wardrobe was a big help. I might fly carry-on only one of these days.
I hope you’re having a good July!