Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lake Louise sunrise, Alberta, Canada 8/02/11

We stayed in the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, an eloquent hotel. Across the aqua-colored lake is a large glacier that has warm lighting at sunrise.

Icefields Parkway 8/01/11

We drove along the Icefields Parkway, where there are numerous glaciers helping create the natural beauty here. Look at the photo of the Athabasca Glacier. You will see a diagonal line about half-way up the glacier. The several small dark rectangles are the large Snowcoaches shown in the next photo. Their small size in the glacier photo shows the large size of the glacier.

We were able to ride a large Snowcoach to the middle of the Athabasca Glacier, thereby giving us the opportunity of a lifetime to walk on the glacier. Only 23 of these specialized Snowcoaches were made and 22 of them are here (the other one is used at the North Pole for U.S. Arctic research). Prior to driving onto the glacier, the Snowcoaches drive through a pond to clean the tires so as to not bring stones and dirt onto the glacier and cause faster melting.

We also saw the turquoise-colored Peyto lake with the appearance of the head and body of a dog. Each of these gorgeous-weather days brings another magnificent sight of the Canadian Rockies.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jasper Park 8/01

Our day started with a trip to Maligne Canyon, a scenic limestone canyon with waterfalls. We then had a cruise on Maligne Lake, the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies. It's only source of water is snow melt and glacial melt, so the lake is a beautiful green because of the glacier "flour" runoff. We saw more glaciers, then Spirit Island, with its post-card photo scene. We saw a Big Horned Sheep from the bus. The high temperature is about 70F.

Canadian train 7/29-7/30

We were touring in Vancouver for most of 7/29. After dinner we boarded the VIA Rail Canadian train. Our sleeper unit was very small but contained bunk beds, a toilet, and a sink. We were on the train from 8:30pm (7/29) until 4:15pm (7/30). It was very nice viewing the scenery from a dome car and the panorama car. Although we saw low mountains with forests and streams for most of the train ride, the Canadian Rockies started in the early afternoon of 7/30, with a glacier. The food in the dining car was excellent. We left the train in Jasper, Alberta, Canada. We are at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge for two days.