Icefield Parkway... beyond wow!May 4 in Canada
Words can hardly express the ‘wow’ factor for the 230 kilometre experience. Travelling north and then south three days later, we found ourselves amazed, speechless, exhilarated to exhausted by the many amazing vistas.
I won’t bore you with the detail, just the highlights. Sadly I am limited to six shots for the article, as long as you know they severely under state the magnificence, beauty and power of this place, this experience, this two days of our lives.
Seeing frozen lakes became common, beginning with the magic of the well featured Lake Louise. None of this perfect blue skies, pristine waters, green grass and red canoes. Oh no, there was more than a metre of snow in places, with ice rinks still noticeable on the lake’s surface and heavy skies in the background. But given all of that there was still something special about taking a selfie with the very recognisable vee of the mountains.
Heading north saw us experience increasing snow, with the highest point of the trek being over 2000 metres. Bow Pass was special, especially on the way back. I struggled for twenty minutes up a snow-covered road to get a view of the famous Peyto Lake. Missing its blue mystique Peyto was was still well frozen!
The action of water has led to amazing rock formations and waterfalls. Mistaya Canyon, Sunwapta and Athabasca Falls all highlighted the incredible powerful force of water over time. It is amazing, and photos don’t really give its true power and dynamic.
Parker Ridge highlighted a ‘whoopsie’ in the road [a technical term for large corner and gradual climb] offering awesome views north through the valley.
To experience Athabasca Glacier was amazing. We found the commercialism somewhat distasteful, so we ventured through some snow [not good for Sheree’s knees] to a viewpoint. With a strong breeze coming off a glacier, deeper than the Eiffel Tower is tall, it gave us an inkling of the uniqueness of this spot... it was freezing!
On our return journey gloriously clear skies were enjoyed much of the way. Plus we were blessed with wildlife - black bear, grizzly bear, large horned sheep, elk, deer... to name a few.
By the way, how do you define a traffic jam along the Parkway? It’s cars stopping and photographing wildlife. Sheree came within five metres of the black bear or should I say the bear came that close to her open window. [I had to hold her back]
We are glad we have had this experience. And as a tour director / bus driver from Melbourne told us from his thirty years experience coming back here annually, “...this is the best time of year to come.” There is still plenty of snow [but not too much] and the tourists numbers haven’t grown to the mammoth proportions of summer time.
Thank you Icefield Parkway... you are beyond Wow!Read more