Sometimes we all just need to take a day off of life and do something that makes us happy, right? Obviously the fact that I have no children, no spouse, no school on Mondays, and I didn’t have a shift at work yesterday, all played a role in my ability to abandon my normal routine and take a brief solo trip to the mountains, but still, I think we all deserve a break every now and again. I was craving fresh mountain air and the peace of being in the Rockies… so I went for it. On Sunday I drove down to my Aunt’s house in Airdrie (~1 hour from Canmore) so I had easy access to the mountains yesterday when I woke up.
I did a short 3 mile shake out run on her treadmill before I hit the road because I wanted to shower before I left. It took a lot to get my legs going yesterday morning, perhaps driving 3 hours after running 13.1 miles isn’t the best idea? I had no real intentions for my time in the mountains. I originally wanted to go skiing, preferably cross country because it is hella cheaper, but the warm temperatures lately have left the trails close to bare! I decided just to hang out and take a million
selfies photos, relaxing in the sunshine.
It was the absolute perfect day to visit the mountains. So warm, so sunny, so ridiculously gorgeous. I drove around Canmore and had breakfast, then headed into Banff, walked along the Bow River, checked out Bow River Falls, drove up to Johnson Lake, Two Jack Lake, and Norquay, then drove along the Vermillion Lakes Road. Breakfast most definitely consisted of a chocolate chip bagel from Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. It’s a treat for sure and it’s a good thing these bagels are a solid 4 hour drive away from me.
I think I added 5 years to my life just being in this area for 5 hours. I couldn’t stop smiling. it was a bit cold and windy when I got there (but sunny) and by the afternoon the wind had died down and it was so warm! At one point I was standing at Johnson Lake and you know what I heard? NOTHING. It was glorious and incredibly peaceful.
Look at all of the smile lines I developed just being there for the day. #worthit
By about 1:30pm I was super hungry so I went to Wild Flour Bakery and Cafe in Banff. I had read about it online and it seemed to be one of the best local joints so I ordered the “Light Lunch” of a soup, salad, & cookie. Beet soup + millet and arugula salad + spicy chocolate cookie = HEAVEN. The beet soup was the prettiest colour! Remind me to eat beets more often. I also enjoyed a latte because my hands were a little cold from holding my camera all morning!
I highly recommend Wild Flour! It was delicious, reasonably priced, and did I mention delicious? I think I chose the best possible menu items because everything I tried I said “mmmmm” out loud. 😀 The sun was incredible and made for a fantastic drive home. The progression of mountains to smaller mountains, to foothills, to prairie fields is actually pretty neat. I also saw the gorgeous prairie sunset as I was entering Edmonton!
I am so happy I drove out to the mountains. I always say I will do spontaneous fun things but I never do and as the saying goes, ‘you never regret the things you do, you regret the things you don’t do.’ I reeeeeeeally wish I had brought my hiking gear because Mount Yamnuska was almost free of snow and I have hiked it before and would have loved to do it again! I thought I would need ski equipment to go skiing but winter looked to be leaving early and I needed my spring hiking stuff instead! This trip did however make me even more anxious for summer hiking season.
Oh, and I didn’t run into Leonardo Dicaprio when I was there. Dang it. I was just about to write “I am going to plan on being more spontaneous in the future” but I guess that kind of contradicts spontaneity 😉 I love the mountains and no matter how many times my mom asks me if it’s worth the 4 hour drive each way, gas, etc. it’s always worth it.
Have you ever taken a solo road trip?
Where is the place you go for peace?