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A few of my work friends decided to go to Banff and Lake Louise to get away from it all. After a pretty uneventful drive through the rockies we drove right into Banff after staying in Golden for the night. Banff was hovering around 4 or 5 degrees and was quite foggy. We rented kayaks (Dirigos) from Blue Canoe on a relaxed part of the bow river. The crew set us up with paddles and PFDs, and a random guy on the site handed me a pair of binoculars. Just around the first bend, there were osprey nesting and you could hear them from the shore. We sat in the kayaks and the employees just dragged us over the gravel into the water.



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Our original plan was to head up into the Vermillion lakes, but the route was closed because of low water levels. Instead we traveled up the scenic bow river - and awed at the views and turquoise water beneath the boats. Apparently a certain type of sediment turns the water into a surreal teal/turquoise hue when the sun hits it. The fog disappeared not 10 minutes after we hit the water revealing beautiful clear skies. We paddled against a weak current up river, and found something new around every curve.



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Wildlife was everywhere. This elk was spooked by a passing train on the opposite shore. I saw numerous rodents and birds all sharing the riverside. We paddled about as far up river as we could in the time limit and we turned around to see all of the mountains lit up with the last of the morning clouds drifting by.



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Look closely at the bow of my friend's boat in that shot. The water in this part of the river is made of some sort of deep, deep magick. We headed back down the river getting a helpful push from the current. Just before we returned to shore, we spent a while locating and watching the osprey nest. It was in a pretty conspicuous location and the birds were making all kinds of noise while staring right down the binoculars. Just as we landed, my friends wanted to explore the passage to the Vermillion Lakes in case there was actually a way to get there. Within a few minutes, they found it impassable and returned to the shore. We handed back the gear and binoculars and went to find some lunch. I will definitely be back for Bow River and Lake Louise.


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