4th May 2015 – Banff to Jasper

This morning we drive through Banff, across the Bow River and around the Banff Springs Hotel which is very grand. The doorman was most interested in our trip which gave us an opportunity for a photo.We continue on to the Bow falls and when we line up in front of the falls for our photo shoot, the Japanese tourists stop taking photos of the falls and take photos of us instead, quite funny. We only have 224 kilometers to drive to Jasper today through the Banff & Jasper National Parks along the Bow Valley Parkway and the Icefields Parkway. National Geographic rate this road in the top 10 drives in the world. We have a magnificent clear blue sky and it’s a balmy 2 degrees as we head out of Banff.We stop at a picnic ground at Muleshoe for our granola and banana breakfast and the temperature has gone up to 3 and rising as the sun peaks over the mountains. It’s lovely, we’re all rugged up and the squirrels pop up out of their holes to join us and bask in the sun and the Canadian geese fly in and land on the river.After breakfast we stop to look at Castle Monument on the Bow Valley Parkway.We stop again at Bakers Creek which has gorgeous log cabin accommodation on the creek, this would be a beautiful holiday spot in the summer.The drive along the Parkway is beautiful as the sun is now shining on the snow capped mountains. During the war there was an internment camp in the park and there is a monument to the people who were interned here that we stop to read about.When we arrive at Lake Louise we drive through the Fairmont Chateau grounds to the carpark.The paths down to the lake are icy and very slippery, we have to watch our step, fortunately no one falls as we grab onto trees. Lake Louise is still frozen and the surrounding area is covered in snow. It looks very pretty.We continue our drive north on the Icefields Parkway slowly, enjoying the magnificent scenery, looming mountains, icy lakes and glaciers constantly keeping a look out for wildlife. We see deer dart across the road into the woods. We come across a group of big horn sheep. We stop to have a closer look at the Athabasca Glacier which is quite close to the road.The scenery just keeps getting better.We finally see our first black bear about 10 meters off the side of the road on a ledge eating a yellow flowered plant. He is munching continuously, not at all interested in us watching him. He has a lovely shiny thick coat that gently moves in the breeze. We stop at the Athabasca Falls where the Athabasca River is forced through a narrow opening that drops down into a tranquil green pool, very pretty.We arrive in Jasper with time to walk around town in the light before dinner.

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