Wednesday started with a shock. At 4:45 a.m. Jordon and I were sleeping soundly when we were awaken by something sniffing around. Marley was sleeping with her head on Jordon’s shoulder (she’s a baby who manipulates us) and she woke up, sniffed, and almost buried herself in Jordon. We then heard snarling and growling. It was not an elk.
It was a wolf that was sniffing within inches of us. So yeah, this warning poster that was up all over the place was pretty accurate.
That got the adrenaline going. I saw it walk by the picnic table and then move into the campground. So seconds after the giant wolf leaves, Jordon goes, “I need to reply to a text that Darren [Hill] sent last night”. He then sends back a reply.
Later that day, he goes to me, “You know that if that wolf had eaten me, the last four people who I had contact other than you and the boys were all Saskatoon City Council members. What a way to go.” Zach Jeffries had invited Jordon and I to the Ward 10 barbecue, Pat Lorje had emailed Jordon, Darren Hill had texted, and Ann Iwanchuk had tweeted about Johnston Canyon. It was pretty funny. Well only funny because the wolf didn’t attack anyone.
For those of you who don’t know, the manager at Don’s Photo in Saskatoon is Glen Grambo. His wife Becky has a book on wolves that is according to others is really good. Jordon kept saying he needed to pick one up for a couple of months before the trip but never did. So he is laying there after texting Darren and goes, “I really should have picked up the book and read it before now.” I was like, “Yeah, I need to read it too.”
If I had any doubt in what I saw, that would have been laid to rest by Parks Canada staff and other campers who were all talking about the wolf. EVERYONE saw it.
We had breakfast (this Salmon Scrambled Eggs recipe is amazing) and then rushed up Sulphur Mountain where Jordon dropped Oliver and I off to get tickets for the Banff Gondola. It wasn’t busy but PCL is working on the Gondola so they had half of the parking lot. Jordon and Mark parked just past the Rimrock Resort Hotel and walked up with Marley. Yes, we brought Marley on the Gondola.
Marley made more friends in line for the Gondola. All of the kids were running up to her for a quick pat and occasionally a lick or a wagging tail to the face. Of course the big question was how was she going to be on the Gondola?
Jordon had Mark pick her up at the last minute and carry her on. I am sure Marley wasn’t thrilled with that but she was fine on the way up (where she didn’t look down) and the way down where she seemed fascinated at the journey.
Mark, Oliver, and I walked across the boardwalk to Sanson’s Peak. The wind was cool and we were freezing the entire time. Mark was near death as he forgot his hoodie. He went ahead, took some photos and then rushed back to Marley who had made bunch of new friends, this time from Australia and Germany. There were children to entertain and be pet by. Of course there were more selfies with strangers. For a dog that isn’t overly friendly, she looked like she was on a campaign trail according to Mark and Jordon.
After we got back to the car, we drove down Sulphur Mountain and went into Banff and explored Main Street. Jordon wasn’t feeling good and his blood sugar was low and he walked into Skoki’s Waffle and Frozen Yogurt and ordered a Montreal Smoked Meat Crepe because it was the only thing close that wasn’t a McDonald’s.
They also had some horseradish mayo for it and the combination was amazing. Jordon immediately felt better and I ordered one for Oliver and Mark. I also ordered a variation of it for myself but I had spinach with mine. It was one of the best things I have ever tasted.
We did some shopping. I bought Jordon a historical Canadian Pacific poster at Banff Mountain Art Gallery. Mark got him some 5×7 prints of posters from About Canada.
We gave Oliver some money and he got a rubber band pistol and Mark bought him a Parks Canada t-shirt. He was happy. The guys got me some ear rings while out shopping which was great fun.
Mark wanted a t-shirt and ended up with three, including a great North Face one. Everyone was happy.
We called it a day and had a nice dinner back at the campground. We had planned to have dinner in Banff but with Marley and her fans in tow, it was impossible.
On the way back to the campground, Jordon took a different turn and took us up to Mount Norquay to check out some of Banff National Park’s famed red chairs. On the way up (and down), we met his fella.
We got up there and as we were parking a car stops and yells at Jordon. The topic? What kind of dog is Marley? How old is she? Is she part pit bull? (no she isn’t as far as we know) Can we pet her? (sure, everyone else is). So weird.
Later that night, Jordon and I finally made it into Banff and took advantage of the Banff Upper Hot Springs. It was busy and kinda fun but nothing really worth writing home about. There was one couple of teens who sat in a corner reading the entire time. A bear could have jumped into the water and they would not have noticed it unless he got their books wet.
We went home, cleaned the campsite (it was clean already) and then Jordon laid a stick and our hatchet beside the door of the tent. We never did see the wolf again but if it did come back and was aggressive, we would had a chance.
For Jordon, he wasn’t worried about us, it the dog either taking off petrified or Marley taking a stand and dying. Either way he wanted a plan.