Monday, June 23, 2014

Jasper, Banff, and Lake Louise

Today we are camping at a national park park campground - Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta.  My grandparents loved this area and said it was their favorite place.  

This is part of one long park system where Banff National park merges into Jasper National park. We've had about 4 people we met on our trip passionately tell us that we should take the route through Jasper and Banff on our way home. And I'll admit they were right. This area is the prettiest we've been through since we started our trip. Even prettier than Alaska and the Yukon/British Columbia. The lakes around here have that beautiful turquoise color which is even prettier on a sunny day which we've been fortunate to have just about every day. The Lake Louise campground we're in has a high concentration of Grizzly Bears and has the tent campground completely ringed by an electric fence to keep bears from wandering into the tenting area.
Lunch by a Glacier
This beauty has a slight downside though. This place is absolutely packed with tourists. Roadside turnouts are crowded and there are very few places to get Diesel. We had to stop in the little town of Jasper to fill up and there were only 3 very small gas stations. Two did not have Diesel and the third had it but only on one pump. It was a 2 lane tight station with about 30 cars, trucks, buses in line. How I squeezed this monster into that pump and backed/turned /maneuvered to it was a miracle. Just after I backed the rig up to the door and was ready to make my turn into the pump area a little smart car zipped around me and took my pump. My hands in the air and body language conveyed my frustration so the ladies quickly mumbled something about they were just turning around and moved out of my way as I squeezed into the pump area without taking out any structural parts of the gas station.

This part of the world is a place that I recommend everyone take in once in their lifetime. The mountains are much higher than what we've seen on our trip with pronounced peaks covered in snow. Waterfalls are magnificent with nice walkways. One waterfall had a walkway going out over where the water started spilling over the edge. It was amazing and you could feel the mist, the energy and force of the falls while standing there.

A couple days ago we camped in a provincial park outside of Jasper yesterday the campsite was in a heavily wooded forest. In the morning when we were getting ready Yvonne looked out and saw a Caribou behind the rig about 50 yards. Earlier that day we took a side trip to Ft. St. James which is on a road about 35 miles north of the main highway. There we visited an restored Fur trading fort /museum with people in the buildings explaining routines of life back then. It was a worthwhile stop and after we went into the town and found a nice place for lunch.
Fort St. James

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