After we crossed the Canadian border last Friday, July 19th, and traveled through the beautiful farmland outside Calgary, Alberta, we started seeing the jagged peaks of the majestic Rocky Mountains of Canada.
Here again, we couldn’t stop taking pictures as we drove closer and closer, and finally in among those huge masses of steep, bald-faced rock.
We arrived in Banff National Park, Alberta Friday evening. My sister Luci from Vanderhoof, BC was there with her family as well as my sister Sylvia and her family who had flown into Calgary from VA that day. We had all arrived at our designated meeting place, Tunnel Mountain campground, on the chosen date – my parents, my three sisters and their families, and the seven of us – 25 in all!
We drove to Lake Louise Saturday where we ate a picnic lunch and took a hike. I remembered seeing this beautiful lake with my family when I was 13 and we took a month-long trip across the country much the same as we are doing now.
The turquoise color is caused by minerals and “rock flour” carried down by the melting glacier.
Anthony took Carmen back to camp along with those who didn’t want to take the strenuous 6 mile hike to the top of one of the surrounding mountain/cliffs surrounding the lake and back down again. The four older kids and I took the hike. At the head of the lake where the glacier water was entering, that ice-cold water had spread over the beginning of the trail. So we took off our shoes and socks and tip-toed over the rocks, trying to avoid staying in that foot-numbing water too long.
The wildflowers along the way were beautiful.
Fireweed, Columbine, and Indian Paintbrush.
The view of the lake and hotel from the top. Those log looking things are canoes.
On Sunday we left the campground in Banff and traveled north through Banff and Jasper Parks, stopping to see a couple amazing sights along the way.
We took the opportunity to take some family pictures while at this gorgeous lake. Here’s one of the four of us sisters. We did this for old time’s sake, because while we were on our big family trip 23 years ago, we had stopped at this very spot and had our picture taken just like you see here — only then we were 20, 18, 13, and 11! From left to right, oldest to youngest: Karen, Lucinda (Luci), Myself, and Sylvia.
And here’s one of the whole gang. My whole family, gathered together at this distance — amazing!
And here are the two youngest members, Carmen (3) and Annaliese (2), sweet cousins and best friends. 🙂
Columbia Ice Fields
We took the walk up to the edge of this huge glacier.
We could see the scratch marks on the rock made by the grit and stones carried along by the glacier as it moved.
This falls is like a mini Niagara as it thunders its way over rocks and through a narrow channel before it flows wide and free again as the Athabasca River that empties into the Arctic Ocean.
We ended up just outside of the parks at a campground next to Mt. Robson, BC.
It was at this campground that we saw a bear — a real, live black bear! He’s the black something in the bushes right in front of those birch trees there. (Trust me!)
Monday we drove to my sister’s home in Vanderhoof, BC. More on that in my next post.