We head into town the next day, our creaking joints begging us to stop our slow, painful parade down the streets of Canmore. The first place we stop is a bagel shop called the Rocky Mountain Bagel Company. We both get a breakfast bagel and sit in the shop watching the mist roll over the mountains and hearing the soft patter of a light drizzle hit the large bay window we are seated next to. Our breakfast complete, we continue our meandering down Main Street.
We duck into a quaint little book store that makes me nostalgic for the Sing Lee Alley Book Store back in Petersburg Alaska. I grew up exploring the many rows of literature there, indulging in my love of all things penned. Book stores and libraries are some of the few truly sacred, rare, and magical places left to us on this ever-shrinking planet. We each buy a special little book to remember our journey here and move on down the street.
As luck would have it, we seem to be in Canmore on a day when a farmer’s market is getting underway. We walk through taking in all the sight, sounds, and smells. There’s the scent of coffee, spices, baked goods, and meat in the air. The sound of multilingual people, all chatting, laughing, and calling out to flaunt their wares rise up all around us. Crafts all the way from jewelry to clothing and preserves to art pieces catch my eye as we stroll through. There’s even a woman belly dancing and hula hooping in the middle of the square. Altogether, it makes for a pleasurable assault on the senses.
Our lunch is at Tavern 1883, and my goodness, I am so in love with the Canadian food scene! A burger for West and fish tacos for me makes for full bellies and happy hearts.
We drive back to Banff to try and hunt down the two touristy things we make sure to get wherever we travel; stickers and t-shirts. After slogging our way through the drizzle, which has since turned into a full-on downpour, and after fighting our way into at least four different souvenir shops all without luck, we finally find it. A shop shoved partially under street level, and inside we find a treasure trove of stickers and tee shirts that aren’t awful!
After loading up on loot, we head back into the rain. Once we got tired of being wet, we decide to head over to a brewery we had heard tell of. Banff Avenue Brewing is a sprawling space on the second level of a building near Bow River. The beer selection is amazing and the atmosphere is one of a kind. Beer bottles from every corner of the globe line the walls, and the brewery flight we get is solid. Overall, the experience was enjoyable and memorable even though we had to restrain ourselves from buying any more gear from the brewery, as we had literally just bought a ton of stickers, hats, and shirts.
We head back to camp, nurse a fire into life in the off and on rain and reheat leftovers for dinner. After dawning many layers of clothing, we tuck into our sleeping bags and turn in for the night, another day done and more adventures on the horizons tomorrow.