Dom: We chucked our bags on the back of Darryl's bright orange pick up and we headed along the scenic ice highway. After about 100kms we reached the Columbia Ice Fields. The glaciers here are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sun even came out for us. Suitably tired and snowballed-out we headed back to the pick-up.
For some reason Darryl and Bonnie thought the next 130kms to Lake Louise would only take half an hour. C and I kept our mouths shut. By the time they dropped us at our hostel in Lake Louise they were tired and had a 7 or 8 hour drive back the way they'd just come to get home to Edmonton! The good Samaritans had been a little too giving I think.
Lake Louise has a ski area which is part of the Banff ski area. It was just closing for the season when we arrived. The day after there was 20cms of snow. The place was beautiful in its new clothes. We prayed that in Banff, just 40 minutes down the road, they were getting the same weather.
We decided to go for a walk to Lake Louise. With a basic map we set off from town. The lake was only 4kms away. We ended up walking along the road for most of it as the tracks were covered in ice and snow, and because C had been scared by all the bear warnings in the area. We were told to clap and sing as we walked the tracks, I even sang some Ronan Keating but C wasn't happy so we got on the road. By the time we reached the lake a blizzard had set in. This didn't diminish the setting. If anything it served to enhance the rugged beauty of the area.
The hostel was like an alpine chalet hotel, complete with huge lounge and fireplace. I felt very relaxed and content hanging around there.
C - Lake Louise was always on the list but it was a very different lake to the postcards I had seen. I guess we were a bit too early and the 'Emerald Lake' was still hidden under 2m of ice. Still it was a good walk. I do admit the bear warnings had me on edge but when you go it to a visiors centre and get a list of how to at least try to keep the hungry killer grizzly bears away it's best to be aware!! Anyway - the road was faster and as he said .. Dom was singing Ronan?! Arggh
When we got back to the hostel a smug Aussie got his lap top out and showed us all the pictures of the Grizzly he had managed to spot next to the highway from his car and he had some really beautiful pictures of it chewing on roots. Funny how cute they look. I'm probably perfect lunch time snack size. Where on the highway was that ...?
Mental note: No more walking.
That night as Dom mentioned it snowed alot. I have never seen snow like it anywhere in Europe, it was probably just a light dusting to these guys.