Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Banff - Jasper - Dawson

Lake Louise
Days 24 - 25
The next morning, Monica cooked a delicious breakfast including fresh fruit, pancakes, and bacon! I want to thank her and the men of the house for having me for the last couple of nights, it has been wonderful.

Next, please notice the title of this post.  Imagine it as a segment between three places--primarily in transit.  The Canadian Rockies are incredible, and not spending more time along the way may have been a mistake, but the goal was to reach Alaska in time to fish for salmon so I could not linger.  Anyway, I set off from Calgary to Banff.  The drive was scenic and starting to get primitive.  Along both sides of the highway is a large fence to keep out all the game, but wherever you would like to stop and explore/fish you just unlock a fence have at it.  The drive took me to Lake Louise!

Wedding at lake
It is a beautiful glacial blue lake that was formed by the glacier above it.  There is a hotel facing the lake and mountain that I think takes away from the beauty, but it was cool because a couple got married and were shooting photos by the water.

See the road!
That evening, I drove past the Lake Louise campground which is famous for having an electric fence around it to keep the Grizzlies out.  I stayed at a small pull out, trail parking lot, made dinner and tried to sleep, but within two hours I heard long legged hoof sounds scraping the gravel.  Every time I looked out of my car the animal/s would scatter.  It was tough to see out of my car because when its below freezing outside, my windows fog up from the condensation of my breathing.  I was too spooked when I began to hear breathing, although I never saw anything, so I drove about another hour until I got to another campground parking lot at 2AM.

Lake Montaine
On my 25th day, it sounds like a chapter in Around the World in 80 Days, and continued on to Lake Montaine, which was more impressive.  Maybe because I got a better glimpse of the mountains and glaciers above it, but regardless, it was awesome.  I continued on to Jasper National Park, which I did not get to see much of due to iffy weather, and then to Dawson Creek.  Dawson is a neat town since it is where Mile 0 of the Alaskan "Alcan" Highway.  Alcan was the name given by the US Army, who built it to solidify the route that the was formed by the airports that led to Alaska to fend of the Japanese in WW2.  My Grandfather was stationed in the Aleutian Islands during the war, so it was neat to drive by the small airports that remain in tact.  These airports is what the locals depend on and they are also more consistent than gas stations.  Sometimes, there can be stretches of the road that have gas stations 160+ miles apart.  That night, I crashed in an RV park in Fort St. John.

I forgot to mention, there were hikes that had signs that read: One must hike accompanied with three or more other people BY LAW.  The point is to avoid brown bear incidents, since bears usually do not attack larger parties of people.  But isn't it crazy that it is a law and if caught you pay up to $5000!

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