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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Glacier fed Waterfalls and Lakes

If you've been following my blog, you'll know we celebrated Canada's 150th birthday in the scenic mountains of Alberta. Canmore is a stone's throw from the provincial boundary so we packed another picnic lunch and headed for B.C. 

During our travels in Alberta, we had seen a number of wildlife overpasses. Months ago, hubby and I watched a documentary on these structures being built in Alberta. I know, I know, you're thinking, seriously? But these bridges/overpasses have a special purpose. Wire fences line the highway and lead to lush grass and tree covered bridges. 

This allows an enticing and safe crossing over the busy highways for wildlife. What a fantastic idea. A safe haven for the animals, and prevents automobiles from swerving to avoid a collision. We did not see a single fatality by the side of the road. Nor did we experience a road closure for an accident. That's a win win. 

Road construction slowed our progress shortly after we crossed into the province. As we got closer to the road crew we realized B.C. had an animal overpass in process. Congrats. Hint hint, we need more of them, Canada. Protect our wildlife.

Our journey west continued toward Kicking Horse Pass National Historic Site. We parked at the spiral tunnel lookout. An engineer had designed a route for a drop in elevation that zigged and zagged railway tracks through the mountains and around a thick forest of trees. A train had just passed when we arrived.

Continuing along, into Yoho National Park, we began steering the car up along a sometimes steep, narrow road through the mountains into the heavens. At least I thought we were heading towards heaven. The view of snow capped mountains had my jaw hanging. Spectacular doesn't begin to describe the scenery. Hubby steered up and up and up, pulling to the side when able and giving way to the odd oncoming vehicle. "There it is." I pointed. My voice rose with the excitement of a three year old, getting my first glimpse of the narrow but high falls. 

We parked our car in one of the three almost filled to capacity lots. 
A young med student from the southern USA joined us for lunch and a great conversation. With our full bellies, we hiked toward the cascade.  

Even from a distance, the heavenly mist damped my face and body. A welcome relief on a warm day. As we trekked closer, the overwhelming force of the waterfall created a powerful wind as it plunged to the river below. A small person alert. The wind caught the tip of my baseball hat, sending it airborne. Thankfully, my husband caught it.

Check out this picture. The climbers. The mountain rock is sandstone. Sand cemented into rock. It can crumble. Not the best for this sport. 

Leaving B.C, we gave Lake Louise one last chance. I wanted to cheer with delight when we were guided to a parking spot. Following the signs, we strolled through a small forest and saw the hotel. Not as grand or stately as the Banff Springs Hotel, we veered to the left and spotted the lake, nestled discretely behind. 

We stepped onto the boardwalk and stood in awe at yet another glacier fed turquoise lake. Seeing the sunlight glisten on the glassy surface, time stood still as we took it in. 

Out came the cameras. My bucket list received another tick mark. 
Next month, our vacation continues as we headed east. 

Heather Greenis

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