It was time to leave Radium Hot Springs, but I must admit I kept calling it Radiator Springs. This little town is known for its naturally-heated, mineral-rich hot pool between the walls of Sinclair Canyon. It is this canyon that reminds me of the Disney movie Cars and Radiator Springs. We hit the visitor center before we left town, where they had some great displays and a kids area with interactive animal sounds and info. We were even greeted by some Big Horn sheep right outside. Thanks to the girl working the desk, we headed to a most unexpected place. The Radium Woodcarver and his strange and whimsical tree house. He does his carvings with a chain saw, feeds goats, squirrels and skunks, and has trick water features that get you wet if you try to open certain doors.
Next up was the Paint Pots Hike in Kootenay National Park. This hike takes you to an unusual orange ochre bed which was important to many Aboriginal peoples who gathered the ochre for centuries for use in ceremony and trade. In the early 1900’s ochre was mined and shipped to Calgary, where it was used as a pigment in paint. Remnants of twentieth century mining are still visible along the trail.
Our final hike was up Marble Canyon to a series of bridges across a deep gorge with rushing waters. I am noticing a trend in this area of the world. Lots of amazing canyons that have been carved out by rushing glacial waters, each one more stunning then the last. We also found another set of the big red chairs!
We stopped for a very late lunch in Johnston Canyon, and planned to hike there as well, but the weather quickly took a turn for the worse. We aborted the hike and jumped on the bikes as the wind picked up and it started to rain. We headed south as fast as we could and made it to Banff before any heavy rain could get us. Another great day of exploring in the books.