Friday, August 29, 2014

Summer in Banff National Park - horseback riding and other random pictures

Our last day in Banff included a 3 hour horse back right through the Bow River Valley.  It was a ton of fun, but my rear end was a bit sore afterward!  :-)
Getting the horses ready for the day

The barn and stables ... it was a much large operation than we expected with nearly 300 horses

Waiting for our ride to start


Finally on my horse and ready to ride

The start of our ride along the bow river

Our guide (Gary) was over 70 years old.  He was quite a character!  It was just me and Ken and our guide for the ride.  Apparently the 1 hour ride is the popular option and we chose the longer 3 hr ride.  Worth it for a private guide and more time with the horse!

After riding along the river, we turned into the forest and enjoyed a shady ride through the trees.  The horses were so very well trained it was awesome!!!  My horse liked to graze though and I really had to keep tugging on him to keep him moving forward.  Sometimes I let him stop and graze just so we could gallop to catch up ... that might be why my bum was so sore! 
We actually thought we would be riding in the rain, but the weather forecast was way off!  It was the best weather we had the entire time in Banff.  So beautiful!

After we came out of the forest, we rode through a meadow and then back to the stables...

Back at the stable

With our guide

Ken had the better camera on the ride so this is the only decent one I got of him on his horse.  It's tough to get a picture on top of a moving horse!
 After our horseback ride, we enjoyed exploring downtown Banff.  It's a super cute mountain town with a great farmer's market and lots of souvenir shops, bars, and restaurants.
Downtown Banff ...
 Here are a few random pictures taken from the road ...

And the engineer in me thought these little tunnels were so cool!!!  They were built so the animals could safely cross the road!!!  The entire park is fenced along the roadway to keep animals off the road, but they built these tunnel bridges so the animals had the option to cross the road every few miles. 
We fell in love with the Canadian Rockies in the short time we got to visit and we look forward to returning again someday with the kids and again in the winter to ski Sunshine Meadow.  :-)

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