In search of the red chairs

Last week Lynda informed me that Adam was going to visit his girlfriend Randell and they would be going to Banff with Randell’s mom, Jennifer, for the day on Sunday, September 4th. Ok, I guess we’ll drop him off and find something to do I thought. Lynda wanted to go to Banff too she said. I had bought a park pass a couple months ago so we should get some use out of it. Now then, what to do and see while we were there? Parks Canada has installed red chairs in all the National Parks and we decided to go see how many we could find in Banff.

According to our map there were red chairs in a number of locations in and around the Banff townsite. The first one is actually as you head east out of the park back towards Calgary at the Banff Legacy Trail. We could see the chairs from the road and decided that we’d try to stop there on the way home.

We decided to do the Lake Minnewanka loop road as there are 3 set of chairs on that drive. The 1st stop was to be Johnson Lake but the entrance to the lake was closed as there is apparently a problem with the lake water.

So on to Two Jack Lake we go. We found the chairs easily enough. There was a guy sitting in one of them reading a book and he didn’t seem in too much of a hurry to move off so I sat Lynda on the other side and took a shot from the back.


I set up the tripod and he still didn’t seem to want to move so I did a tight shot of us on just one side.


After I had taken the photos and was putting my stuff away he asked us if there was a particular shot we wanted. I thought Lynda was going to smack him right there. We politely said no and left.

We had to wait for 2 Bighorn Sheep ewes to move off the road before we could continue to Lake Minnewanka. Once we got there we saw 2 more ewes and a baby sheep. And that was to be the extent of our wildlife viewing on this trip.

It was pretty busy at Lake Minnewanka and parking was a long way from the lake. We couldn’t see the chairs from the road and I was pretty hungry as it was 3 o’clock so we decided to just head into Banff to find lunch instead of finding the chairs.

After a very late but fabulous lunch at Balkan The Greek Restaurant we headed to Tunnel Mountain to find the chairs up there.

The map showed 3 chair locations on Tunnel Mountain with the first one being the Hoodoos. A couple ladies were sitting in the chairs so again I took a shot from the back first. Wow 11 mm’s is really, really wide.


The view there is ok  but you can’t even see the Hoodoos from the chairs.

I started setting up the tripod hoping to speed them up and it seemed to work so Lynda and I settled in for a few photos.


I thought I really should take a scenery photo before we left.


Next stop was just down the road at the Tunnel Mountain Campground Viewpoint. The chairs were easy to spot and no one was using them so we set up for a few more photos here then we had been doing.


I was starting to feel a bit narcissistic with all the photos I was in. On the plus side, Lynda no longer gets mad at me for pointing a camera at her, she is more than happy to pose for me.


We decided not to go find the Tunnel Mountain Summit chairs and opted to go to The Cave and Basin instead. It was almost 7 o’clock in the evening when we got there and the sign showed it closed at 5 pm. We figured the chairs would be somewhere where you could enjoy a nice view from them. Yeah, we were wrong.


We found the chairs easily enough but they are inside the locked complex on what would of been the pool deck back when it was still a pool and not a courtyard. Gonna be hard to get our usual photos of these chairs.


We looked around a bit and the light hitting Mount Cascade looked nice so we decided to get a couple shots with it in the background.


We were rapidly losing light to take photographs so we decided to start heading home. We did stop at the Banff Legacy Trail location to get a final pair of chairs before we left. It was getting cold and windy but a quest is a quest.


My gratuitous wildlife shot so I guess we didn’t just see sheep.


So our quest turned out to be only partially successful with only finding 5 of the baker’s dozen chair locations but it was so nice to be out with my bride with no particular destination to get to. We will have to do something like this again soon.



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