Since this was our last day in Banff, the family deferred to us regarding activities for the day. The obvious move was to check out Lake Louise, so we did. The plan was to leave at 9:00 am, but we received a text at 8:30 telling us that Nola was still sleeping and it would be at least an hour before they could hope to have her up and ready. So we decided to get a head start and meet everyone else there. Since we had extra time, we went off the interstate and took the scenic route.
We ended up stopping and photographing an aspen grove. (One of my many photographic obsessions) Between that and the slower speed limit, we ended up arriving at Lake Louise about five minutes after the rest of our family. Which was a good thing, because they literally shut down the parking lot just a few minutes later due to it being completely full. On a Thursday at the end of September. I can’t imagine what it’s like during the summer here.
After spending a few minutes walking around Lake Louise, we decided to do the hike to the tea house. I had read about it and, while it sounded a little arduous, I figured we would be unlikely to get all the way to the top with Nola as part of the group. Boy, was I wrong. Nola ended up being carried by her dad for a significant portion of the hike and the rest of us were all too stubborn to quit.
It took nearly an hour and a half, but we all made it. We lingered at the top, squeezing in at a shared table at the tea house and ordering tuna sandwiches, brownies and lemonade. The bread was stale and the lemonade was watery, but I was so thirsty it tasted wonderful. That, and a quarter of one brownie ended up being my lunch. I was kicking myself for not having grabbed a bottle of water and a snack before starting the hike.
By the time we got back to the bottom it was nearly 4:00 and I was astonished to see people just beginning the hike. Have fun coming down in the dark people. We were spent, so my husband and I drove directly back to our hotel, while the rest of the group made a short trip into the town of Lake Louise. We met again for dinner at a restaurant called The Meatball (totally not kidding). The most memorable aspect of it was the muzak – at one point they played the theme from Shaft. After the day we had, McDonald’s would have made me happy.