We started off the day saying goodbye to the HI Athabasca Falls and had a proper send-off from Huron, aka the puppy I wanted to steal. We stopped at Maligne Canyon along the way, then John took us to Panther Falls. In order to get to the waterfall we had to take a trek through a patch of snowy woods, then along a cliff’s edge where we basically needed to hug the cliff wall to avoid getting too close (John’s only request before we started this hike was “Whatever you do, stay away from the edge.”). The falls were spectacular. We were all huddled in this little cave overlooking the falls, and us being the motley group we were, started playing with the huge icicles that had formed from the cave’s ceiling.
After Panther Falls we drove to Peyto Lake. We had just arrived and piled out of the van when we noticed these funky icicles that had formed on the van’s wheel. They made the wheel look like a porcupine in a funny way.
Peyto Lake has a great overlook that you can hike up to for an amazing view, so we trudged through ankle-deep snow to the lookout spot. John has this tendency of kicking tree trunks in order to create a mini avalanche of snow from the tree’s branches. He especially likes to do it to unsuspecting victims passing by the target tree. I managed to get a good shot of the tree shedding its snow. It’s pretty in the picture, but a pain in the ass when you’re standing underneath it.
Peyto Lake was gorgeous. It has that nice blue tint characteristic of a glacial lake, and sort of looks like a wolf’s head if you look closely enough. After spending some time taking pictures and fooling around we made our way back to the van to commence our drive to Banff.
Upon arriving in Banff, we settled ourselves into the Samesun hostel on Banff Avenue. The great thing about Samesun is most of their locations have a pub on-site, all of which are named “The Beaver” (this name made for some witty comments from the foreigners, let me tell you). We enjoyed an evening in the pub where we had some dinner and a few rounds of drinks. We even imbibed in a little Agwa liquor, a drink that I’ve only ever seen at The Beaver. Although this drink is easy to go down, it’s sneaky in its ability to creep up on you. Everyone had more than one go at these little buggers, which made for great fun and an awesome way to end the day. Lesson learned: Agwa+camera=silly pictures.