Welcome to Katie's Travel Blog. This is really Jenny-doesn't-get-to-travel blog where I (mom) keep track of Katie's adventures so I can have some vicarious enjoyment! Here's a look at what one globally-aware kid from little Santa Cruz, California gets to do these days if her mom's willing to keep working!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 6, Saturday, July 16: Banff, Alberta

So windy she looks bald! (Go UCSB!)
No word from Katie last night other than a text during the day saying Smashed In Buffalo Head was amazing and weird. She also sent along this picture.

She said it's incredibly windy (that's why her badge is plastered to her neck). She's also wearing a new turquoise turtle necklace she got in Calgary. It looks pretty cool.

We didn't get any word from Lyly on Friday and then a two-fer came through this morning. I added her Friday note to the Friday's blog (
read it here) and then here's the one for this morning!

Note from Lyly:

On morning two at Tipi Camp we headed for the Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.
At the museum, Edwin was our guide. Edwin is 100% Blackfoot and very knowledgeable. He took us on a tour of the museum and then onto the "Kill Site". The museum is built into the cliff directly next to where the buffalo were run over the side.
Edwin taught us how the People would take several days to set up the path that the buffalo would run. They would dress in wolf and buffalo skins to slowly guide the herd towards the cliff. It took a lot of time and patience. When they were close enough, everyone would jump up and start yelling and running. The herd would stampede right over the cliff and then the People would run down to kill any buffalo that were still alive. Although graphic, it was really interesting to listen to Edwin.
After lunch we saw a dance demonstration. There was an older woman's dance, a young woman covered with bells, and a warrior dance. Each dancer was covered from head to toe in full regalia and the colors were beautiful. We also had a special visitor. It was a little girl, less than 2 years old, who also danced around with the adults. Her father told me that she can't even talk but she loves to dance. She was so cute. I was able to video tape every dance so you will be able to see the demonstration.
At the end, our students were given the opportunity to try dancing. There is nothing better in life than seeing children laughing, dancing, and enjoying themselves. I loved it!
We spent the last few hours before dinner going on a hike and learning native games. Elijah, the warrior dancer, took us on a hike across the vast acreage. Along the way we saw an old buffalo pond and the windy hill. The windy hill was at the top of one mountain range. You could look down over the cliff and see the river winding through the valley. It was such beautiful scenery. However, the students favorite thing was the wind. The wind was so strong at the top of the hill that if you opened up your jacket, the wind would catch it like a sail and pull you backwards. The students antics were hilarious to watch. Then we went back to the camp for games.
Riel, the camp owner, taught the students two games. One was a yelling games. Students would run as fast as they could , yelling at the top of their lungs. Whoever crossed the finish line first won. The other game involved sticks and bones. Be sure to ask your child all about it when they get home.
After a dinner of buffalo stew and bannock (fried bread), students enjoyed sharing their favorite event at tipi camp around a roaring fire. We all laughed, danced and shared great stories. Students went to bed eager to travel to Banff. 

People to People Itinerary

Say goodbye to your new friends as you leave the tipi camp behind. Along your journey to Banff, stop to see the massive glacial erratic known as the Okotoks Rock.

Once you arrive in Banff, settle into your accommodations before you take the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain. If the views on the way up aren't enough to do it, the landscape you see from the top will surely make your jaw drop open in amazement.

Dinner tonight is in the Summit Restaurant, surrounded by the crest of the Rocky Mountains.

That's the rock!
Yep, that's the gondola!
Okay - my kid is going to freak!

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