Monday, July 16, 2012

Canada Trip – Part Four

Forewarning: this might have been my favorite day... but it's a pretty close call.

Per usual, we woke up early and hit the road! Before leaving Radium, Chris filled the car up with gas and I ran over to Meet on Higher Ground for our essentials. Since we’d already seen everything along this drive the day prior, we didn’t need to make any stops this time. I will note, one stop I really wanted to make was at the Paint Pots. It was closed, probably because of flooding, but it had gotten really good reviews. Next time, right?
We arrived at Lake Louise around 9:15am. My travel research said to arrive early because parking can get quite bad. Thanks research, we had no problem finding a spot! After a few photos of the lake and the hotel we hit the trails for our 3.5km hike up the mountain to the Lake Agnes Teahouse.
One of my favs

Today's Chateau Lake Louise has been completely rebuilt from the original, due to a fire in 1924.

As we learned from our experience in Hawaii, Chris is not much of a hiker. His parents didn't drag him up mountains when he was a little kid like mine did. However, this time, we were both mentally prepared to make it to the finish line. He practically raced up the mountain, stopping along the way to take photos of the unbelievably beautiful surroundings.
Mirror Lake, about 1K from the end.

Our hike ended at Lake Agnes and it’s neighboring Tea House. We spent about an hour enjoying a pot of Mango Tea and the natural beauty. Lake Agnes was awesome.
Most of the supplies from the teahouse is carried up the path by backpack or horse. Once a year a helicopter will fly back and forth carrying the bulk supplies.

On our hike back down we started hearing thunder rumbling, and moments later it began pouring rain. We were unprepared. No matter how quickly we hiked down that mountain, we were soaked. Thankfully, the Chateau Lake Louise is not a bad place to recover. We ducked into the Glacier Saloon and enjoyed steaming bowls of soup and crisp Rikard's White Ales for lunch. After our lunch, we explored the hotel a bit more and Chris grabbed some coffee for the road. Our destination was Jasper, many, many, kms away.
The road from Lake Louise to Jasper is called Ice Fields Parkway, one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The rain we got in Lake Louise followed us for most of the drive, and although that wasn’t ideal, the scenery was still incredible. We stopped frequently along the way at many of my book’s recommendations, but our first stop was rather unexpected.
First bear sighting!

It’s a grizzly.

Peyto Lake

Question: What kind of bear is best? Black Bear

The Weeping Wall

Bear #3

Athabasca Falls

We arrived in Jasper just after 6pm, hungry and tired. The All Dressed Potato Chips as an afternoon snack hadn't quite done it for me. We checked into the Best Western Jasper and headed immediately to Something Else Restaurant for some take-out gyros. Later that night we hit the hotel pool, steam room, and sauna. Chris felt so refreshed by the wet sauna, but I could only sit in the room for about 65 seconds. Not a fan.

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