I'm pleased to say, Banff turned into an annual event for us! Today we returned to the Bow river for a nice relaxing paddle around the Vermilion lakes. The River was at a lot higher level this year compared to last, so the little tributaries and lakes were open for paddlin'. We decided to see how far we could get along the back waters, as about 4 lakes make up the Vermilion lakes and they're all interconnected.


The morning started with a brisk drive from Golden to Banff - one of the nicest drives out there. We got to town and were met with a bustling place. Banff was hopping! We visited Blue Canoe again and were given the same Old Town Dirigo 12 foot boats as last time. They're pretty fun and maneuverable boats. We got to test their muster this time around.


We launched into a stiff running current in the Bow river. Just as we left blue canoe's little hut we kept to the right and into a maze of little creeks and grasslands. Needless to say the view out here is spectacular. The large mountains that surround Banff loomed and the weather was made for t-shirts. As we made it into the first of the lakes, we realized that the water level wasn't _that_ high after all. The lake level was under a couple of feet deep and large weeds had grown all over the bottom making for a bit of a fight.


We played around in the lake looking for the path to the next lake. We eventually found it - impassable. We were totally not making any progress over the silty bottom. We had to pole our way out of the muck. We tried our best not to disturb the bottom, because a shovelful of mud out there smelled exactly like pure sulfur. It was time to go back to the main river to get a photo of the trains that frequent this place. We had to fight our way back up some of the tributaries that had counter-currents flowing through them.


Though the current in the river made for a bit of slow going, it was still really peaceful. We waited to see if a train would come by, but no such luck. Instead I took some photos of a family out on horseback beside the river. I'll have to give that a go one day. It was time to head back to the rental place, so we turned around and let the current take us back. Just as we got to the shore, Greg shot ahead and grabbed his camcorder and got some footage of us drifting back to the beach.


After a good day of paddling, we rewarded ourselves with a giant plate of Nachos at wild bills in Banff. If you need nachos, this is THE place. Make sure to add chili!

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