Friday, July 13, 2007

The Ice Field Parkway

We continue our journey into deepest, darkest Canada. Today we'll be driving the Ice Field Parkway, but before we do we pay a visit to Lake Louise.

Lake Louise is a popular tourist attraction here in Banff National Park. It's turquois colored water draws thousands of tourists every year.

Had this been in the states, we would have put in a theme park and a roller coaster. I think its kind of cool that people come here just to enjoy the view.

Chateau Lake Louise is an impressive old hotel on the Eastern edge of the lake. It was built in the late 1800's by the Canadian Pacific Railroad to entice people into taking train rides to Western Canada. It became so popular that people continued to come long after trains had been replaced by cars and airplanes.

You wouldn't believe how hard it is to get a picture than doesn't have a thousand tourists in it!

While exploring the hotel, I met Graham, the manager of one of the restaurants. The hotel being so far from civilization creates some interesting challenges for those who work here. For instance, when he recently purchased a new car, he had to check into a hotel for two days. He drove to Calgary, checked in, bought the car, stayed another night, then drove back the next day. And that was nothing compared to the $18 tuna melt he decided to make. The can of tuna costs $10 at the local store, and the cheddar run $18.

Once again we encounter the Lamer's bus. Maybe a name change is in order...

Lake Louise was beautiful, but the Ice Field Parkway awaits! Entering the park we got stuck behind this diesel camper for about twenty minutes. From all the black smoke it was beltching out, it makes me wonder if there are any emissions standards in Canada!

Fortunately we eventually get around the guy, and get back to our regularly scheduled road trip.

Here's Paul and Jill doing their best to look like a BMW commercial.

Isn't it hard to believe that its the middle of July?

When you look to the left, you see mountains with inconceivable amounts of snow and ice. On the right, a sign that says "Avalanche Warning" I can't help but think, "You don't mean today, do you?"

It feels like we took a detour to the Swiss Alps.

After hours of driving this beautiful road, we get to the top of the mountain where we find the Glacier.

Darn! I forgot my parka! I guess we won't go walking on the Glacier.

Oh well, its time to head down the mountain towards our stop for the night, Jasper.

Are we there yet?

Paul was convinced that this blog should be called "This doesn't suck, part three"

If Yellowstone was amazing because of its wildlife, and Glacier was amazing for its grandeur, then the Ice Field Highway is just amazing. This is definitely one of the best rides in all of North America.


BC said...

I believe the company that owns Lamers also owns this company...

Lhaffinatu said...

If you think that place is cold in the middle of July, you should try visiting some time in the dead of winter!

Maktub said...

Did you not visit Lake Minnewanka? *titter titter* sorry for the Benny Hill humour.

Thrashes Rakes said...

Banff is just awesome! Did you note the lovely hamlet of Radium (!!) in the vicinity?

Peter Kevin Reeves said...

I did make note of the lovely town of Radium, and their associated hot springs. Hmmm... I wonder if one is directly related to the others... ;)