Saturday, 2 August 2014

When it's Summertime in the Rockies

The drive through the Rocky Mountains was just astonishing - excellent roads and around every corner there were spectacular views. There were many signposted places to stop and marvel at Mother Nature's work and we did too and took masses of photos.

Mostly we had blue skies with fluffy white cloud weather, with only one rainy day in Revelstoke which didn't bother us too much.

With the roads cutting through the wilderness areas, it was interesting to see the provision made for wildlife to safely move from one area to another and, despite the quite heavy holiday traffic (RVs, caravans, coaches, etc), there didn't seem to be any roadkill at all. Many overpasses have been built with wire fences hidden in the trees all along the roads - all very discreet and beautifully managed.

Speaking of wildlife, through the entire Rockies trip, we didn't see one bear or one caribou. A few mountain goats, a deer or two and lots of these cute little creatures.
There were quite a few of these gophers around the Pinewood Lodge Resort high up near Radium Springs. (I took advantage of the mineral springs there for a lovely soak one day).

We stopped in Banff and it is a very pretty town however very geared to tourists with many souvenir shops and eateries - and therefore many, many people. (Interesting to hear lots of different languages spoken).
We find we much prefer the smaller towns near to these famous resorts. Accommodation is easier to find away from the big name tourist spots.

Jasper was another place we decided not to linger in. So busy and a similar plethora of tourist shops from which to keep away.

We tend to travel economically and this means using mostly 2 star hotels and motels, Hostels International and B&Bs. The hotels and motels are varied - some with fridges and microwaves and all with the inevitable coffee maker. Unfortunately for moi who loves a cup of tea (English Breakfast - black tea) in the morning, very rarely do we find an electric kettle. Sometimes, we are loaned one when I look desperate and refuse to use the hotwater from the coffee-maker. It surprises me that with Canada being part of the British Commonwealth for so many years, the making of tea is not more widely known. The main variety available seems to be Orange Pekoe which I rather liken to the by-product of kittycats. Luckily I found a rare supermarket which sold a large box of English PG Tips teabags.We have also shopped and have a supply of bread, butter, cold ham, tomatoes, salad, cereal, milk, yoghurt and fruit for breakfast and lunches. We keep the dairy items in an insulated carrybag and we also have a Thermos for when we can get boiled water to make mugs of Cup-a-Soup at lunchbreaks. Speaking of Cup-a-Soup there is certainly not the range that we have in Australia. Here you get a choice of Chicken Noodle, Cream of Chicken, Chicken & Veg. and Tomato. That's it! Think the Aussie brands of Maggi & Continental would do well here.

Three of the five glaciers to be seen from this spot.
Back to the wonderful scenery that greets us at every bend of the road. The massively big rugged mountains, astonishing glacier-fed blue/green lakes, spectacular waterfalls and glaciers were really becoming quite commonplace after so many days and it is so hard to them describe it in a few paltry sentences. Here are a few photos which might give you a bit of an idea of this amazing part of the world.

Just one of the beautiful aqua glacier-fed lakes.

The Tangle Creek falls

It wasn't all driving. At Lake Louise we stopped for a walk around and at the beautiful lake fronting the Fairmont Chateau, we just had to take a turn in the canoes available for hire. It was great fun and although it is many years since each of us has been in a canoe, we bravely paddled out and over to the opposite side of the lake and back. Thoroughly enjoyed the unexpected experience.

Now that we are through the Rockies, the countryside is getting quite flat and we find that we are missing those wonderful mountains and forests. We look foward to the next stage.

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