Thursday, May 30, 2019
It was hard to leave Canada. We enjoyed the places we stayed (in Canmore, here), the places we visited, the people we met, the diversity of the people, the time we spent outdoors, the longer daylight, everything! Thank you! Merci!
On our way today, we saw this waterfall while still in Alberta.
We had to drive in the narrows in British Columbia.
We crossed the border at Roosville crossing (Grasmere, BC, and Eureka, MT). We were in a line but it only took 10-15 minutes.
The skies started to clear some in Montana. We just heard on the news that the Northern Alberta wildfires are affecting the air quality in western Montana. Looks like we'll keep our haziness.
Before we left Banff yesterday, we went up the mountain towards Mt. Norquay, a ski area. About 1/2 mile before you get there is an amazing overlook. We found it when we were in the area 4 years ago and I think it is one of my favorite places. There are 2 red chairs. The current red chairs have a built-in table between so they aren't as close as the 'old' ones. We still wanted a selfie like the one from 2015. (Canada Tourism has placed oversized red Adirondack chairs at some very scenic places around their nation.)
Our view from the red chairs - a little hazy bur nice.
Last night we walked to our favorite bridge for sunset photos. it was a gorgeous evening.
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Going to the mountains is going home.
This morning we headed for Lake Minnewanka near Banff, AB. We made it in time for the boat cruise. The lake has beautiful scenery although we still have haze from the fires in northern Alberta. (We cannot smell smoke though.)
There's our boat - we had about 50 people on our cruise.
Here is a picture from the dock.
That's us on the boat.
In front of us were 3-year-old Abby and her 12-year-old brother. We enjoyed watching Abby's reactions to things especially when the boat started.
We learned some pretty interesting stuff. Did you know that one grizzly bear eats about 200,000 buffalo berries a day? Even more interesting - how does anyone know that? Someone counts the berry seeds in the bear scat. What a crappy job!
We enjoyed the mountains and the very calm lake.
When the cruise ended, we headed into Banff for the Banff Mountain Market. You might recall that I love farmer's markets. This one did not disappoint and it was all day - 10AM to 6PM. My only problem was that I couldn't buy much because we head south tomorrow and cross the US-Canadian border - the customs agents aren't happy if you have produce.
We bought a small container of strawberries that came from British Columbia. (Most produce today was from BC.) When I thought to take a picture, this is all we had left. They were wonderful!
We ordered lunch from one of the food trucks at the market. I had a specialty grilled cheese on sourdough - two LARGE pieces of sourdough bread, Gouda cheese, strawberries, and fresh basil. Ray also had a specialty grilled cheese on sourdough - two LARGE pieces of sourdough bread, aged cheddar cheese and bacon. We'd definitely order there again!
We sat on the side of Bow Creek to eat. It was a gorgeous day. It was sunny and in the 70s. This guy and his dog were enjoying their canoe.
The market is in Banff's Central Park. There were many people sitting and enjoying lunch.
The only parking we could find for the market was the parkade downtown. We were trying to figure out where to pay. Well, if you are displaying a National Parks pass in your vehicle, it is free. Nice! If you don't have a pass, you get fined. Banff is in the Banff National Park. Since we had a parking place for up to 8 hours, we decided to spend a little more time and walk down Banff Avenue. It is so pretty with the neat buildings and the mountains.
It was very warm so after a few blocks, we found the jeep and headed to Bow Falls Viewpoint. This is the Bow River. The temperature was 10-15 degrees cooler at the viewpoint.
This is looking the other way.
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
No matter how sophisticated you may be,
a large granite mountain cannot be denied –
Today has been gorgeous - sunny and warm. The temperatures were cold when we got up but reached 71 later.
We drove to Lake Louise, about an hour trip. We had heard the lake was not frozen but it mostly was. It was pretty but not the iconic image that you see in their publications. We have a gorgeous photo that Ray took in 2015; photos from this trip will make an interesting contrast.
There was lots of ice.
We took off our hats and sunglasses for a selfie. The sun was bright.
We were amazed at the number of people and buses. We were told that the Canadian government is trying to get more Chinese tourists. It appears to be working.
Our next stop was Moraine Lake. The canoes are still on the shore.
The sign said to wait there for a canoe attendant so Ray waited
It appeared that the lake was VERY low - we have been concerned about other lakes too. We talked with our waitress at lunch and she explained about Moraine Lake. It is glacially fed. At some point in the fall/winter, the glaciers lock (freeze) and stop discharging water. However, the lake continues to lose water and Moraine Lake goes dry. In the spring, when the glaciers begin discharging water, the lake still loses water but enough water is fed in that the lake fills. Interesting!
After lunch, we started home at Highway 1a, the Bow Valley Parkway.
The sky kept getting more and more hazy. I continued to take a few pictures.
Driving on the Bow Valley is a slower, more scenic drive. Although wildlife is common, we saw just 1 deer and 1 elk today.
We eventually had to leave the Bow Valley Parkway due to construction. So we got back on Highway 1. I had to show you a picture of some of the Hoodoos near Banff. They intrigue me.
Last night we walked back toward town and stopped on a footbridge to watch the sunset.The sky was cloudless so there wasn't a lot of color but what was there was pretty.
As we left to head home, I took a picture of this complex. I loved seeing the Three Sisters at the end.
We are making a plan for tomorrow. It will be another great day after all we are in the mountains!