Glacier-Banff Continued...and today we made it to Mile 0
Jun 17, 2012
I'm back...now 1st about Many Glacier...we took a wonderful afternoon hike to Red Rock Falls (2.6rt). On the way in we stopped when we saw a couple coming the other way had stopped and soon saw why. A mom bear and cubs were coming towards us on the path. We only saw one but had been warned that there were two cubs. We kept our distance but she kept coming then when Joe whistled veered off to our left. Whew! but what a treat! On the way out we stopped again when Joe spotted a young moose grazing along the trail. He was a young bull with his antlers in velvet. Another treat. The falls were terrific too. All in all a great hike.
We left St. Mary and Glacier NP on the 13th of June and headed for Banff/Lake Louise area. We decided to stay at Lake Louise National Park rather than in Banff itself which we'd been told was very commercial. The Canadian parks don't offer full hookups like we're used to so we carried water and had no TV or Wifi for our stay there. On the way over we did see two cowboys on horse back herding cattle from one side of the road, through a tunnel/culvert to the other side.
Neat to see. It was a windy, raw day and the route took us through part of Calgary. We did see the ski jumps used for the Olympics (ours are nicer looking) and passed the athletes village.
The road closer to Banff follows the Bow River and was very pretty with the mts being very jagged and dramatic as those of you who've been there know. We checked in at Lake Louise and found ourselves sharing a campsite (that's just the way they are, two vehicles one going each way to a site). Turned out the couple, Wade and Linda were from Texas and were thrilled to see the snow and pine trees. The park borders the Bow River and there's a nice 2.5km walk along it in a loop. We did this walk with Colden the next morning. That night we found our way to the"Main Train Station Restaurant". A wonderful original Lake Louise train station, with pretty gardens (at least they will be in another month) and a couple of restored Canadian Pacific dining cars. The furniture was mostly Arts & Crafts style and there was a wonderful case of Canadian Pacific silver (polished unlike mine). Dinner was great! We went home to finish the pie we'd bought at St. Mary's the morning we left-blueberry, blackberry & raspberry. It was homemade, it actually finished baking while we had breakfast at the Park Cafe.
Lake Louise is lovely (just like my Mom was). The color is what gets you and the mts. There's a Fairmont Hotel,originally built by the railroads of course. We went in but didn't do much else there. The second day we went into Banff. Got some Canadian currency and had lunch in a great Irish pub that'd actually been brought over from Ireland and reassembled where it stands. If you've never had a smoked salmon with capers, red onion and herbed mayo on sourdough bread, you're really missing something. Bounced in and out of shops for a while bought nothing and headed back to Lake Louise.
Checked out Moraine Lake where Colden had the chance to roll in the snow. It was CHILLY but again dramatic and lovely.
On 6/15 we said good-bye to Lake Louise but not until the area was cleared of a mom grizzly and her two cubs that were sort of sleeping by the bathroom/showers area. A couple of rangers coaxed her to the other side of the river and we headed out for Jasper/Hinton area. Driving out the Icefields Parkway was incredible!!!! We'd had rain the night before we left but there it was a new layer of pristine snow. Trees were coated and the mt tops were white. Followed a tour bus up a windy, steep grade. When he stopped so did we. The views back were breathtaking.
As we were coming into Jasper there was a critter jam. Turned out there were several sheep in the road and about 5 lambs on the hillside. People were taking pictures. I tried but by the time I figured out what we were seeing, we were almost past. Hope to see many of these guys in Alaska.
Decided to stay at the Jasper/Hinton KOA which it turned out was about 50km out of Jasper and only 4 from Hinton.
Didn't matter. It was the cleanest one yet and the most pet friendly. Got a dog biscuit and note to Colden from the local dog/cat population-near idea. It was on a farm/ranch. The entire field in front of the sites with in bloom with dandelions. A glorious sight! Colden rolled in them and we both got yellow dandelion dust on our pants. The owners were planting pansies. Just goes to show you how far behind us they are.
Well, I've kept you long enough. Happy Father's Day to the guys. Will type one more tonight...don't worry, it'll be shorter.
Love to all,
Ingrid, Joe & Colden