The Rockies

Kim and I spent a few days in the Banff-jasper area this past week.

The first day we did a hike up to the tea house at Lake Louise. We had the right shoes (more or less) but poles would have been helpful as the snow became more slippery as the day progressed. We hadn’t actually planned to go to the tea-house and didn’t know how far it was but we kept plodding along and when someone mentioned the chocolate cake we decided to keep on going. Besides –  people coming down from the tea-house all had smiles on their faces. Later we realized that they probably didn’t all have smiles on the way up. Of course there was that young couple who ran up and back in their teeshirts and shorts but it’s hard to relate to them. Some pictures at: LAKE LOUISE.

The second day we took a bus tour just so we didn’t have to drive and try to find parking at a few of the places we wanted to see. The tour included:

  • Moraine Lake.
  • The spiral tunnel in Kicking Horse pass where we stopped just in time to watch at train go through. The picture shows the train going in at one end and coming out the other end with most of the train inside the mountain. The tunnel was created to reduce the grade from a dangerous 4.4% to slightly over 2%. According to the guide, Kicking Horse pass got its name after Major Rogers (Rogers pass) was kicked by a horse and was presumed dead – until he suddenly sat up as they were in the process of burying him.
  • Emerald Lake for lunch with another stop at a place near Emerald Lake called the “Natural Bridge”.
  • 800′ high Takakkaw Falls; it was interesting taking a full-sized bus through the hair-pin turns which required backing out of one of the turns both on the way up and on the way down.

You will notice the bee coming out of the yellow flower in one of the pictures. The petals of the flowers turn in on themselves so the bees disappear into the flowers for some time before finally coming out to move onto the next flower. Pictures are at: TOUR.

Day 3 we went up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper – stopping for some photo-ops along the way: Bow Lake, Peyto Lake, Shushwap Falls etc. We didn’t do the Athabasca Glacier tour, opting instead for a shot with a telephoto lens. Pictures at: ICEFIELDS PARKWAY.

Day 4 we walked around the Maligne Canyon and drove to Maligne Lake. In the afternoon with the temperature at 31C we took the Jasper Skytram up for the view (temperature up there was 21C). Pictures: JASPER.

The next day we had planned to go to the Miette Hot Springs but with temperatures at 26C and a chance of thundershowers we decided to make it a rest day.

The final day was travelling from Jasper to a hotel near the Calgary airport for a last supper before parting ways.

The trip was one of those rare times that I get to spend a week with my daughter so it was pretty special.

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