Camping in April!

Apr 25, 2016

After a beautiful weekend in the mountains celebrating our anniversary, Ryan and I had finally enjoyed a taste of the mountains after a long time away.  We longed for more... so back we went the following weekend!  
The spring weather we've been spoiled with has been unreal so we've been trying to take advantage of it. (Except for right now, because it's cold and rainy and miserable outside.)  The end of winter always brings on the urge to camp, but with 2 kids and a tent we aren't ready to brave it quite yet.  However, Ryan's parents have an RV and are always game for camping, rain or shine. It didn't take much convincing for them to pack up and head west! We'd have the best of both worlds... cooking over the fire and hiking by day, and going to sleep at night in the comfort of our room at the Holiday Inn.   
Friday was a long evening of driving.  We are fortunate that our girls are such amazing travelers, but by the time we arrived in Banff we were all done with being in the car for the day. We dropped off the dog, visited for a short while and headed for the hotel.  We all needed a good night's sleep, but Briley missed the memo. I woke up longing for coffee, so we packed up for the day and drove to the campsite knowing that I could always count on my father in law for my caffeine fix. 

 We cooked our first campfire breakfast of the season and I ran loops around the campground with Aaralee.  It was a beautiful, sunny morning... warmer than some of the mornings we've woke up to in the middle of summer! 

 After breakfast we drove off to Johnson Canyon for a nice, easy hike.  Ryan and I tend to get overly ambitious from time to time, so we made the decision to carry on past the waterfalls and all the way up to the Ink Pots.   With the kids content (and at one point even napping) on our backs and Ryan's parents happy to join, we made our way up some steep, muddy, ice and snow covered trails. It was a long trek, but the views at the end made it completely worthwhile... at least for me! Ryan may have had a different opinion at that time.  

Once we'd ate our snacks and snapped our photos, it was time to turn around and do it all over again. Fortunately, the return journey was far easier.  Our tiny dog Niko was a trooper and hiked the entire trail with us. The kids also did amazing, but really... what is there to complain about when someone carries you all day long? 

We were exhausted from the hike, so we said goodbye to Ryan's parents and headed into Canmore.  Our friends Carley and Ryan happened to be spending the weekend there as well, so we met up with them for a poutine dinner and to collect a very important item.  In the rush to get out of the house on Friday we'd somehow left without Aaralee's most cherished possesion... her blanket. We failed to notice its absense until over an hour into the drive. Carley and Ryan saved our weekend by stopping at our house to pick it up and bring to us.  We'd made it through one night without it, but we weren't willing to risk trying another.  It was a very, very happy reunion for Aaralee.
We returned to the hotel for an early night. I tucked the kids in, left Ryan to watch hockey, and headed for the hot tub.  It was pure bliss to breath in the fresh mountain air, soak in the hot water, and be too far away to hear if my kids were crying.  I reluctantly headed back to call it a night. It was another night filled with too much time awake... partially due to our baby, but mostly due to our noisy neighbours congregating in the hallway.  Morning rolled around and we sleepily packed up the room, checked out, and went to the campsite for breakfast.  I ate more pizza pies than neccesary, stocking up in case our next trip isn't for awhile.  


We had a long day ahead of us, so it was time to begin the drive.  We stopped in Calgary to visit some friends in their beautiful home and to give the girls plenty of time to get rid of their energy before 4 more hours of driving.  Eventually, we made it home. We were tired (and sore) from a busy weekend away, but at the same time we felt refreshed. 
There is just something about the mountains. It's really a shame that we don't live closer. Please let me know if you'd like to hire my husband for a job in Canmore.  We'd happily ditch the city life for that.  


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