Day Seven – September 16, 2012

Got up early today, but slow getting around. Got away from the camper a bit later than I wanted to – I wanted to beat the crowds and thought it was my own damn fault. Got to Lake Louise (the actual lake and not the town) and was pleasantly surprised there was hardly anyone there for the first few minutes I was there. Had some cold but good quiet time at the lake and got a few pictures. I got out of there and headed for Moraine Lake.

Flowering shrub in Banff
Ground cover in Banff
Ground cover in Banff
Lake Louise – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Moraine Lake was not horribly crowded for the first few minutes either, but just like the first spot it did not take take long. What a beautiful place that was, too. Got some pictures as I hiked around the lake. It was a beautiful turquoise color that became brighter and more vivid the farther I hiked around the lake. By the time I left there it was a circus, especially with all the tour buses, and there were a lot of them.

Moraine Lake - Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Moraine Lake – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

I then stopped to get gas. It was ridiculous – $139.9/litre. That fill up was 9.77 gallons for $51.74 CDN. The exchange rate right now is pretty much straight across, and possibly even to US $ benefit I was told.

I then took out for a short drive over to Yoho National Park in British Columbia. It is on the backside of Banff, so much of the same type of dramatic mountain scenery. The river over there was a slightly milky turquoise color. I believe that is from glacial sediment run-off.

On the way over there I saw this historc site so pulled over to check it out. It is a “spiral tunnel” for the railroad. This brilliant engineer actually carved a pair of spiral tunnels in the mountain to get the elevation needed for the train to get over to pass. Pure genius. I wished that I could have seen how the train does this.

Just so happens that after I left the tunnels on the way through the park and turned around, a train was making its way to the tunnels. I raced up the mountain in my mighty Ford, V-8 raring to go. I made with several minutes to spare and got to see it. The train goes into the lower tunnel, circles inside the mountain, and comes out above the lower tunnel. Then, making cool even cooler, the train then circled over below us, so the train engineer can actually look to the side and see the train going into and coming out of the tunnel. Way cool.

Spiral Tunnels - Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada
Spiral Tunnels – Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

After that I headed back toward camp, but went past to explore a bit more before returning for supper. I got to see more lakes and two glaciers and take another short hike.

Glacier in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Glacier in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Returning to camp I got some food and sent for a spin on my bike. I ended up chatting with a guy and his wife who were from Edmonton. They were extremely nice. He was curious about American politics and I was curious about government healthcare so we had a very good and interesting chat about those things and some other subjects for about an hour and a half. We had several laughs and parted ways with a handshake. Good talking to you, Dan and Grace… eh?

Tomorrow is my last full day here. This place is just so damn big… from Lake Louise to the top of Jasper is 230km – 142 miles. Add to the size of this place the price of things is so damn high it costs a lot to drive and explore, so back to the States on Tuesday. Plus, when I get back stateside I need to set up the website for this blog so I can get things posted for those of you who are interested.

Until then, I will be exploring the icefields tomorrow. I will have to come back at some point to see some more.

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