Grande Prairie to just north of Lake Louise
May 9, 2005
|We departed Grande Prairie, Alberta for Lake Louise, but stopped 37 miles short in Banff National Park. It was almost 9 PM and we decided to stay in a pull-off next to a lake with the mountains in the background. In the morning we will continue on the Lake Louise.
We had very nice weather this morning. Sun, not a cloud in the sky. We expected that to change based on the forecast from Seattle. After a few hours we did get into cloudy weather, but we did not get rain. I would have liked nice sunny weather for photos and to accent the mountains, but we can not complain. We have been very fortunate with the weather on our trip.
On our drive from Grand Prairie, which was snow free, we went through areas in the mountains with snow on the ground, back to no snow about 3 times. It was a nice change from one to the other, all in the same day.
While we were in Jasper National Park, we came upon two mountain goats on a very steep hill next to the road. Lots of people stopped to take pictures and/or just watch how they could get around on such a steep grade.
Just a short distance down the road we came upon some Bighorn sheep. They were crossing the road. We had to stop and the crossed right in front of the RV. A big male was the last to cross. I think he knew we had to stop for him.
A bit more down the road we came upon another Black bear. I had to walk back from the RV as I could not pull over right away. The bear was eating grass and dandelions on the side of the road. Lots of people saw out RV and stopped to see the bear. Many people got out of their cars and walked closer to take photos. The bear did not seem to mind. He walked across the street and ate on that side for a while. A car came along and stopped in the road, the driver got out to take a photo and the bear started to walk toward the car and across the street. That driver got the best view of the bear, and got back in his car quickly. The bear then walked down the side of the road for a while. A tour bus came along and pulled to the side of the road and followed the bear for a little while. Once in a while the bear would turn and look at the bus, then just kept walking slowly. It was great to watch!
After dinner we saw 2 more Elk, a smaller one and a large one with long antlers. The antlers still have the velvet coating on them, but I imagine that will not last long.
The views have been great, even with the clouds. Dad and I stopped to see the Sunwapta Falls. The were very nice. Dad could see a little as they had a paved path to the falls. I walked around a bit and took some photos.
We continued south into Banff National Park and continued to see great mountain views and waterfalls.
We turned into a pull-off to check things out. I had seen a creek about a mile back and now saw a deep ravine. I wondered how the water from the creek got to the river below. I could hear a waterfall, but could not see it. I walked to the end of the parking lot and into the woods to explore. I found it. The creek dropped off hundreds of feet into the ravine below. I could not see the whole waterfall. I was a few smaller falls and then a larger one, I think. This was an area with not path and I had to be very careful. I was walking in snow and on some large rocks to get close to the sound of the water. I got to see the upper falls, but was afraid to get to close to the edge to see the big drop. This was an area that a slip would end your life. This was true even if you were near the smaller falls. I decided that I had the video and photos I could get without doing something really dangerous. My heart was really pumping from the excitement of seeing the falls and probably the fear of what could happen if I slipped.
Another great day. The view from the pull-off is amazing even in the clouds and being after 9 PM. Maybe I'll be lucky and get some sun in the morning.
Hello to all, and good night.