We had another one of those "WOWSER" days today. We drove to the Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure and walked on top of Athabasca Glacier. Here is a post from their website explaining what we did.
"The Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure™ reveals the most unique attraction in the Canadian Rockies. Massive Brewster Ice Explorers, specially designed for glacial travel, take passengers on a remarkable excursion onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier. Each 80 minute journey is lead by an experienced driver-guide, who shares a wealth of fascinating information about glaciers, icefields and their impact on our environment. Mid-point in the tour, passengers can safely step out onto the glacier and stand on this powerful ancient ice. Tours depart every 15-30 minutes from the Icefield Center on the Icefields Parkway."
When we got to the top we were allowed to play for about 20 minutes. The guide took several pictures of us on the ice and then we walked over to the fresh flowing water to fill our water bottles. The icy cold water was the best tasting water we have ever tasted. They said it does not get any fresher or cleaner anywhere. After about 10 minutes exploring the glacier, it started to snow. It only snowed for a bit, but it sure made it even colder than it already was. :-) They say the temperature here in the winter is 50 to 60 below zero. Yikes!
The drive to get there, The Icefields Parkway, was almost as exciting as walking on the glacier. It has about everything anyone can ask for. We saw beautiful waterfalls, emerald lakes, alpine meadows and snow-capped peaks. The Columbia Icefield is located on the boundary of Banff and Jasper National Parks. We had to pay $8.50 each to enter the National Parks, it was worth every penny. This is the first time visiting Canada that our American dollar was worth less than the Canadian dollar. The Canadian dollar is worth about 5 cents more now.
Our critter count for the day was a bunch of single sightings. We saw one deer, then one Grizzly bear on the side of the road and then a few miles later, one black bear. He was eating something on the side of the road and ran off when we stopped the car. Then we saw one elk, we almost always see elk in herds, but it was only one today. We tried to get good photos of the bears but they move too fast. I am adding the best one I could get of each bear.
It was another perfect day in Canada, we highly recommend visiting the Columbia Icefield and driving the Icefields Parkway if you are in this area.