Dateline July 19, 2011, The end of Walkabout Canada-Alaska, The Canadian Rockies – Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff

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View from Lunch at the Fairmont Hotel

As if Alaska wasn’t enough for our adventure, we continued on to the Canadian Rockies. Ever since John grew up in Seattle and always wanted to visit Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff.  At Mile Marker One in Dawson Creek two months after we started there, we drove to Grande Prairie, Alberta. We spent the night with the intent to play golf in the morning. Rain…rain…rain had been the weather for at least a week in Grande Prairie and it didn’t disappoint the ducks. The ground was saturated, so we took a pass on golf and used the day to catch up on laundry, wash the RV and pick up some supplies. Having visited the Visitor Center, we picked up a brochure on the local casino and went off to try it out.

Rainbow over casino, good sign

With the ball rolling to Janice’s numbers, we did win a little and then had dinner at the casino (couldn’t go wrong with the two for one steak dinner!).

We got an early start in the morning for Jasper. Leaving the Alberta plains back to the mountains was a beautiful drive.

Drive into Jasper

We arrived in Jasper in the early afternoon and parked to check out the city. Saturday was designated “Park Day” and the town was full of activities getting ready for the events. Jasper is like a movie set, with all the shops you would expect in an alpine village along with well-kept small homes that line the streets. We stayed out at one of the Canadian National Parks.

Jasper Campsite

We had a beautiful wooded site at the end of a loop. Sitting at the picnic table around 6 PM an elk walked right by the site, unfortunately the camera malfunctioned and we didn’t get the picture (according to Ruth, no picture, no sighting! But that is the story and we’re sticking to it.) We did have two prairie dogs

Our Prarie Dogs

on the site and had a lot of fun watching them play.

On Park Day we went into town early to walk around and see all the activities. The park wardens (rangers) but on an interesting display of their dogs capabilities. One of the wardens played a car thief and the dog pulled him from the car.

Native Dancers

There were a group of native dancers from Oklahoma that entertained the crowd. There was the usual assortments of tents offering fudge to junk for the purchase. The main event of the morning was to raise a new totem pole which we enjoyed.

New Totem in Jasper

We then left town to travel out to Lake Maligne. A sensational drive through the mountains ending up at the beginning of the lake. The

Maligne Canyon

Maligne Canyon and falls which we viewed on the way back to Jasper was a geological wonder.

Maligne Canyon..WOW

The bridges over the rapids and falls gave a view down the hundreds of feet to the flowing river. Back to the Whistler’s campsite for another great evening.

Singing Wardens

It included a group of Rangers that put on a show.

"The Elk" finally found an elk by the shower and got the picture!

We finally saw the Elk over by the shower area..In the morning it was on to Lake Louise and Banff via the Iceway Parkway Highway 93. There were many “photo ops” along the way.

Driving to Banff

Arriving at the Columbia Ice Field and the major glacier, Athabasca, sits on the continental divide and water flows to three different oceans, the Atlantic via Hudson Bay, the Pacific and the Arctic.

Columbia Ice Field
Bow glacier and Lake for another sensational view.

Continuing on to Lake Louise we stopped at the Bow Glacier. We continue to be in awe of the beauty. The experience continues as we arrive in Lake Louise. The town was so crowded that we took the surrounding views in and headed over to the ski area and had lunch. On to Banff on a back road we were taken back by the rocky peaks as we arrived in Banff.

Banff Mainstreet

A really cool alpine town that is a mecca during the summer for tourist. We checked into the National Parks campground on Tunnel Mountain with amazing views of the surrounding mountains. One of the favorite views from movies and pictures of Banff/Lake Louise is the Fairmont Hotel that was originally built by the railroad. We drove over and had lunch on the patio where you could see the golf course below and all the peaks surrounding you.

Fairmont Hotel

The beauty is astounding and WOW is a description that can’t be overused.

Crowfoot Glacier

It would be another unbelievable experience to see all of this during the height of the winter season, just great!!

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