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Vancouver and the C Rockies

40th anniversary year trip to see western Canada and visit Paula & Danny and family
Currently traveling
  • Day23

    Landed and home

    June 9, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    After a delayed departure due to a warning light that needed ground engineers to clear, we had a good flight, bit bumpy at times, in a B787-9. Seats ok but not as comfortable as Air India, food and service below average.
    Landed on time then had to wait to get into our gate. We got through passport and baggage in record time just 30 minutes from plane to wait for our taxi home. Weather just like we had left in Calgary.Read more

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  • Day22

    Canmore and Calgary Airport

    June 8, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Sunny start promising warmth we left Banff which we enjoyed very much, towards Canmore. Here we stopped for a walk along the Bow River and over old railway bridges built for the coal extraction which reached a peak in 1914. Beautiful day and we really liked Canmore-could spend more time here.
    Coffee in the Mountain Merco and a visit to the gift shop and art gallery. We then took our lunch by the river before hitting the 1 towards the airport and home. 27 degrees this afternoon so the weather has really warmed up.
    Great trip - best ever?!
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  • Day21

    Banff Gondola & Hot Springs

    June 7, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    The weather was very fine for our trip up Sulphur Mountain in the gondola. We were booked for 11.10 though arrived early and went straight up 800 m gain in height. The views on the way and from the top were a breathtaking panorama. It was warm up there too. We wandered around soaking up the views. A got the paints out with L Minnewanka in the distance.
    We had lunch just before descending which interested a ground squirrel who ran up Janet’s leg to get at a sandwich- obviously hadn’t read the warnings!
    Down below we visited the Upper Hot Springs for a relaxing dip.
    We concluded our last full day out with a drive up Mt Norquay to give the view back towards Banff from the other side and then along past Vermillion Lakes before heading back to pack and finish off various bottles and cans.
    A great stay.
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  • Day20

    L Minnewanka & Banff AB

    June 6, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Complementary breakfast in our hotel then off to Lake Minnewanka via the loop with big horn sheep on the way. We arrived early to check in so had 20 mins or so for a sketch of the lake.
    The cruise was good, about an hour, with interpretation from Marshal all the way. No wildlife though, only hikers, despite the grizzly warnings. And swallows nesting on the ticket office.
    After we stopped by Two Jacks where there were more big horn sheep chewing the road(no wonder there are potholes) and chance for another sketch. Back via Tunnel Mountain loop and lunch on our balcony accompanied by ‘ construction ‘ on the adjacent junction.
    Park distillery tour next, with chance to see they are branching into Whiskey soon. Cookies from the hotel before a walk round Marsh loop, the other side of the river, which involved a street market with more gone, this time Wildlife, to be tasted ( which made up for the absence of the furry kind)!
    A relapsing jacuzzi bath with Henkel bubbles almost rounds off the day.
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  • Day19

    Bow Summit & L Louise

    June 5, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    Bright sunny start, if cool, at Deer Lodge so we decided to head back up the 93 to Bow Summit where the snow had wiped out the views the day before. On the way a bear jam result in mum and cub by the road. As we pulled away there was another just a few metres along.
    The summit car park was busy and still snowed up in parts. The view point was busy but awesome, however we then went on to an upper view almost on our own and with spectacular view of L Peyto and surrounding mountains. The spring flowers were just appearing which added to the interest.
    We set off back to L Louise where we went for a stroll alongside the turquoise lake with views of Mt Victoria before returning to the Chateau where we were booked for afternoon tea. Nathan looked after us very well as we celebrated our Ruby anniversary trip in style. The views of the lake, glacier and mountains changing by the minute as the sky cleared.
    From there it was a short drive down the 1 to Banff where we checked in to our Lodge Suite - amazing and comfortable space right in the centre of things.
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  • Day18

    Glacier, Skywalk and Lake Louise

    June 4, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ❄️ 0 °C

    Wow - what a day!
    No trains in the Station to start. Left Jasper with clouds clearing headed south on the 93. First stop, Athabasca Falls where this large river squeezes and thunders through a tiny gorge. Next , Sunwapta Falls, much wider at the top and in full flood.
    Farther down we stopped to admire Stutfield Glacier. To be honest we could have stopped every 10 minutes the whole way to see the changing landscape and the Endless Chain Ridge on our left, which boasts length and around 70 peaks.
    The highlight has to be the Glacier adventure. We parked in sunshine with a cool breeze blowing off the glacier on the other side of the road. After checking in for our tickets the weather had changed and snow falling! We put on all our layers as we watched the glacier disappear from site. The 13.30 bus took us up to a transfer station where we boarded specialised six wheeled buses. Ours was driven by Sam who had a wealth of knowledge, dodgy jokes and tales and could drive us through the moraine and tyre wash onto the Athabasca glacier. Fortunately the sun had come out and the views all round were amazing.
    Our next bus took us a little ways back up the road to the Skywalk, where a steel and glass structure has been built for visitors to walk out some 300m up over the valley. There is also good information about the eco and water systems of these parts and views of the Colombia Ice Fields which sit some 100m on top of the peaks. A great and informative experience.
    We set off around 16.00 for our next accommodation at Deer Lodge, Lake Louise. On the way the views remained awesome, sometimes obscured by clouds and snowfall, and when we crossed Bow Summit persistent snow and temperatures down to 1deg.
    Arrival was a relief and our anniversary gift was a plate of cheeses which we shared with some Monsters 2014 Merlot. What better way to end a fabulous day?!
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  • Day17

    Maligne Canyon and Lake

    June 3, 2018 in Canada ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    We watched the Rocky Mountaineer depart at 8.00, early start! After Mass and a little brekkie we set off for Maligne Canyon where we stopped for a short walk down to 3rd bridge. It’s a river running deep in a limestone gorge creating shapes and colours hard to imagine.
    Further up just at the start of Medicine Lake we spotted a ‘Bear jam’ so pulled over to watch mum and large cub playing in a meadow by the lake. Great fun.
    A little further on we stopped for a deer by the roadside.
    Maligne Lake at the end is surrounded by snow capped mountains and really picturesque.
    We returned to our room for a quick lunch from the local bakery with Ribstone Creek ales from Edgerton, Alberta. Very tasty.
    After a short wander round town we met Jeff from Sundog Tours for an evening wildlife trip out.
    First we headed back to the Maligne Valley and almost immediately saw big horned sheep, elk and Colombian ground squirrels. Later we saw a bear where we had been earlier on Medicine Lake along with an eagle nest. Later we headed east along the 16. In total Jeff showed us a dozen examples of wildlife and brought out big sheep horns and elk antlers.
    We ended an excellent evening in time to scuttle to the Jasper Brewing Co for a thoroughly enjoyed pasta and a pint as the rain fell gently down.

    Sundog Wildlife Adventure
    Sunday 3rd June

    Mountain pine beetle
    Mule deer
    Female elk just given birth
    Columbian ground squirrel
    Osprey nest
    Wild big horn Sheep live on cliffs
    Grizzly bears eat 20k buffalo berries a day!!
    2 brown bears
    Bald eagle and chick just where we saw 2 brown bears earlier
    2 more brown bears!!
    White tail deer
    Loon - true Waterbird not able to walk on land - takes off and lands on water (on one dollar)
    Male young elk
    Canada goose
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  • Day16

    Jasper

    June 2, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    We had our excellent complementary brekkie at the Boathouse with all the hummingbirds. Then set off up the 16 towards Valemount. On the way we stopped at Blue River for a possible wildlife experience but it seemed too busy and costly for what was on offer.
    At Valemount we found a nature walk down toto Cranberry Marshes where we saw a couple of new birds as yet unidentified.
    We planned a picnic lunch but scuttled for the car due to a passing shower. A little further on we stopped for coffee and excellent homemade blueberry muffins at Don’s Social. Valemount itself is in a basin surrounded by snow capped mountains.
    The drive from here was spectacular, notable views of Mt Robson. Then into Alberta where we were surprised by the park fee of some $120!
    Jasper is amazing. Again surrounded by snow mountains. We checked into Whistlers Inn, opposite the station,then headed out to walk round Lake Annette (N&J tip) which was beautiful with still waters and amazing colours. Back to the Inn for hot tub, then complementary anniversary drinks. We lost an hour with the clock change so it seems strange to be writing this in full daylight at home ten. We wandered a little to find food, stopping at Jasper Brewing where some very pleasant folks from Portland Maine, Chris and Paul Corviveau’s , six weeks into their road trip invited us to share their table and conversation.
    All with spectacular scenery as backdrop.
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  • Day15

    And then we saw a bear, where, here!

    June 1, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    After our gourmet supper with Fern Walk 2016 Pinot Noir we thought a wander to the jetty in order. The evening had turned a bit grey and a strong breeze was coming off the lake. We heard coyote calling in the hills. We were hopeful of seeing a bear on the meadow but nothing doing.
    Returning to our shack I spotted a small dark shape in the distant grass which as we got closer was moving about in bear like fashion near to lodge 203. It wasn’t very large and was busy munching in the long grass. We watched for quite a while joined by the occupants of 203 from their bedroom window.
    This quite completed our stay at Alpine Meadows.
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