Banff and Calgary - Canada Day
Banff, Alberta, Canada
Canada Day, very busy everywhere. People have Canadian flags painted on their faces.
Beautiful hike in Jasper, Valley of the Five Lakes. The first four lakes changed in colors in different shades of green, emerald green to jade green. The last lake was brown and had moss growing in the middle of the lake. This is due to the water not having a runoff. It rained a bit and hiking with a rain gear is no fun. First it is humid then you are confined but better than getting wet. I was prepared and I brought the rain gear. After the hike was dinner in town and retired for the night.
Wildlife spotting started early. By the end of the day, J scored an impressive “three” and she did it while driving compared to “one” for me. She spotted the elk last night at dusk just before we headed to camp. Then she spotted a baby deer on top of the hill as the sun peeked its way into the horizon. Not long after, we spotted a brown grizzly bear, black bear and another brown bear all within five kilometers radius. From there, she saw a baby elk on the road. We stepped out of the car to take shots. As we headed back towards our car, the baby elk came up the road and followed us. Then there were two caribous. About ten kilometers into Jasper, she saw a white wolf. Today was undoubtedly a great day being outdoor to have such close encounters with these wildlife.
The Columbian Icefield Glacier adventure is a must to see. Located about 100 kilometers from Jasper, we stopped out and took the Ice Explorer (IE) adventure. It is about two hour excursion. They claim that the glaciers are as thick as the Eiffel Tower tall. The IE that transported us into the glaciers looked like equipment used in Star Wars battlefield due to its odd size and enormity. Its tires are five feet tall. There are only 23 of these manufactured and 22 of them are placed in operation here. Each one costs $1.2 million. The IE is capable of climbing or descending a 32% grade without hurdles including passage to rock flour.
We arrived on the open area of the glaciers where some of the glaciers had “bluish” tint. Ben our guide explained that they look that way because the snow is so compact pushing all the oxygen out. As the glacier begins to melt, it changes color.
At the end of the trip is a visit to Calgary where I fly back home.
This has been the most organic vacation I ever had. As always, time flies when you are having fun. I am still in Banff but headed to Calgary soon for a flight back home. From there, only three days to spare to unpack and again pack for South America as I head down to Argentina, Chile and Peru in less than a week.
Calgary is celebrating its 100th Stampede July 8-20. Time to get out of here.