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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Can it get any better?

Yes it can!  We were blown away by the beauty when we drove north along the Columbia Icefields towards Jasper.  I had to brake hard to avoid hitting a young grizzly who darted across the road and climbed a steep embankment.  It happened so fast that Cindy was only able to get a quick shot of him.

We stopped at Trangled Falls which was impressive.

Then we stopped at Sumwapta Falls which was amazing for the amount of water struggling to get through the rocks, then Athabasca Falls which was just as impressive.  I can only imagine the fur traders having to portage around these falls "back in the days".  The river is really fast and if you don't know what's coming….I don't think anyone could survive going through these falls bouncing down and along the rocks.

We drove up to Jasper for lunch and walked around town a bit.  Jasper is a tourist town and the northern entrance to the parkway.  Really pretty town but quite a tourist trap.

Then we drove out to Mt. Edith Cavell, named for an explorer who was also a Canadian hero during WWII.  This was quite a hike up a narrow rocky path to Angel Glacier.  We had to stop a couple times to catch our breath.  But it was worth the trek.

 Then we drove back down the narrow winding road and continued down 93-A which was the original road.  This was neat since there was very little traffic and we followed the river along the way.  We stopped for a quick break at "Meeting of the Rivers" which was a convergence of 2 rivers where the fur traders would meet.
Then back to the coach for our last night of dry camping at the Columbia glacier.
Then we drove down towards Lake Louise.  This drive was just as amazing if not prettier than the drive north.  We passed along numerous turquoise blue lakes surrounded by snow capped mountains with glaciers reaching towards the lakes.  Like I said in my previous post "I'm out of adjectives" to describe the astounding (there's a new one) beauty of this area.

We pulled into our campsite at Lake Louise and was disappointed to see the layout of the campsites were backwards.  Whoever designed these 80-100' pull-throughs didn't think it through very well.  The electrical hookup is at the front of the site and it took all of our cord to reach it.  I do carry a 30' extension but was barely able to hook up.  The guy sharing our site is parked with his door facing us rather than his picnic table!  But at least his hookup is at the back of his site.  Yes the hookups are at different spots which makes no sense whatsoever.  Whatever, it's still a nice area but unfortunately we're here for only one night.  There are 2 different campgrounds.  One for hard-side campers and another for soft-sides and tents which is surrounded by an electrified fence to keep out the grizzlies.  Seems the campground has grizzlies roaming the area.  Didn't see any, but didn't go looking for them either.
We drove out to Lake Louise which everyone who I talked to when planning this trip said not to miss.  It was beautiful but crowded with tourists and there is a Fairmont hotel right along the only level ground on the lake.  Then Cindy suggested we drive out to Lake Morraine which was nearby.  Wow!  This is definitely a must-see.  Not as crowded and with a much smaller hotel/cabins there.

After spending a while admiring the beauty we drove back into the village where we had internet while sitting out on benches.  With jackets on!  Finally I was able to get caught up with yesterday's blog. Being in remote areas is really nice but we had no communications for a few days.  While getting caught up with email I received a picture from Scott which said "it's gonna be a girl!"  Congratulations to him and Bevi.  We're looking forward to being back home when Ella's baby sister will be born.

Today we move to Cardston for a few days where we hope Tom & Darlene will catch up with us.  Tom has been fixing leaks in his radiator system and hopefully has it all repaired and can meet us in Cardston.  We'll probably be back in Montana by the weekend.  Canada has been a great trip with great friends and we're so thankful that Tom asked us to join them.

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