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Mountain WoMan

*peers in*

Hiya!

Well, Holly and I are back after a weekend of camping in the Canadian Rockies. We haven’t showered in a while and reek of campfire. But we both agreed that blogging would come first ;) LOVE travelling with fellow bloggers!

Saturday started off with another one of our now famous maple-y oatmeal concoctions.

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I believe this was Nature’s Path cinnamon raisin oatmeal cooked with soy protein powder and a banana. Topped with maple fudge, cinnamon peanut butter and maple jelly. Every bowl of oatmeal now must be topped with fudge. I’m ruined.

Saturday was our first legitimately beautiful day weather-wise. Around 23 C and not a cloud in the sky.

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We couldn’t see the mountains very well when we first arrived, but they popped in the sunshine. Here’s another shot of the main strip in Banff with Cascade Mountain in the back. Never gets old!!

We hit up Evelyn’s Coffee Bar for our morning coffee. Holly and I are a little useless without that one (big) cuppa joe in the a.m.

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The heat called for an iced latte with skim milk, an extra shot of espresso and sugar-free vanilla syrup. Hit the spot, fine work Evelyn ;)

Somehow, after coffee, we ended up wandering into this tea shop called the Banff Tea Co.

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There were probably a hundred different kinds of loose teas lining the walls. Every sort of flavour you can imagine. The little canisters in the front were for smelling – I whiffed on a lot!

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I’m not a big-time tea person, but I definitely appreciate a spot like this. It was so cute!!

Karen is a huge soccer fan and was excited about Saturday’s US-England World Cup match. So we all agreed to watch some of the game at a local pub/restaurant.

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Navigating menus on this trip has been so hard. Everything looks absolutely delicious. We haven’t been doing much snacking – mostly just three big meals a day to keep us fuelled for long spurts of activity. Saturday’s lunch was chosen with just that in mind ;)

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Manitoba Bison Bruger? Yesplease!

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I haven’t been overly concerned with choosing low-cal or super healthy foods on this trip – but doing things like asking for the mayo on the side, or getting the bun un-buttered at least helps the cause a little.

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Omg. This burger was spectacular. Second favourite meal of the trip thus far (elk stew still sitting at number one) Bison is a really lean meat, so it can sometimes end up on the dry side. But this burger was thick, juicy, and perfectly seasoned with spices reminiscent of a sausage. YUM.

And let’s not forget our vegetables ;)

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Sweet potato fries count… right??

Dessert were goodies we spied with our little eyes at the Wild Flour Bakery.

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Raw desserts have always intrigued me, and cinnamon rolls are one of my fave treats!

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It came with a soy frosting. Unfortunately, this was not great. A little bland from being made with ground flax, and waaaay lacking on the cinnamon.

Karen got an almond square that was a little better.

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I think the chocolate coating was made partially with dates? And the base was coconut based. Oddly enough, after all the meat I’ve been eating, the raw desserts have so far been the most disappointing!

A guy working at the hostel recommended we go up and check out Lake Minnewanka just a short drive up the road from the town Banff. Karen had her car with her… so why not?

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My travel buds Holly and Karen:

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Moi et Karen:

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Minnewanka Lake is a glacial lake fed by the Cascade River.The water here is the most gorgeous shade of turquoise. I’ve been trying desperately to capture it properly on film, but it just won’t work.

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Even the gorgeous shimmers in the water are dulled on film.

We also checked out Two Jack Lake just a hop skip and a jump away. Everywhere you turn here, there is something more beautiful from the last!

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There were also an unusual amount of goats in the area.

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I think we saw around 30 altogether? Don’t be fooled by these creatures. They may look cute from afar, but their eyes are bright orange. Creepy.

After much wandering, we eventually hit the road for Tunnel Mountain.

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The Tunnel Mountain Campground is also very close to the town of Banff. Many of the trails in the area lead straight through the town.

However, we were more concerned about setting up camp.

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But we’re pros and got the tent up in no time!

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This is where I conveniently leave out the part that the folks at the mountain equipment store gave us a tutorial on how to set it up ;)

We also learned that coolers are not bear proof.

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No worries here though, for coolers are much too classy for gals like us ;)

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Holly claims she’s a dolt when it comes to campfires, but the old camp counsellor had one flaring immediately.

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My only experience in lighting fires is doing it in my kitchen :P

Between the three of us, we pretty much had enough snacks to forage together a meal.

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I opted for a sandwich – campfire style.

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One half consisted of gouda cheese and sundried tomato tuna.

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The other half was almond butter + gouda.

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Amazing combo you guys!!!! The unsweetened almond butter paired perfectly with the melty cheese. Don’t just take my word for it – try it!!

Karen also had the brilliant idea of pairing smoked salmon pate with Mary’s Herb Crackers.

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And of course – what’s camping without a brew??

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We opted for the Big Rock Pale Ale as a pale seemed perfect for some fireside drinking. Big Rock is an Alberta beer too – thumbs up!

Honourable mention goes to the seedy bread we enjoyed with dinner.

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Silver Hills Bakery sent me some coupons to try their bread a while back, but I couldn’t find any in New Brunswick. We found a wide array of their breads at Nester’s Food Market here in Banff. I immediately remembered those coupons and Silver Hills came to the rescue!!

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All of their breads are sprouted grain, but not frozen like your more popular ezekiel brand. The Hardy Hearty Harvest seemed like the perfect choice for hiking and camping, you can check out the stats and ingredients here. The bread is Susan, Holly and Karen approved! Can’t wait to try out some of the other varieties!

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A tired Susan, but a happy Susan :)

This is where this post ends… but I’ll be back with Part 2 of our Camping Adventure – Lake Louise!

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See you soon!!

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite camping food? Mine is beer by the fire. Beer totally counts as food.

P.S. For more trip pictures, check out Holly’s blog and Karen’s blog! We all ended up with a variety of shots!

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