22 May 2012

Ian, I saw a moose!

Yesterday and today were spent in the national parks. We left Radium Hot Springs and immediately entered Kootenay National Park. As we went through the end of town, we saw a small herd of deer in someone's yard. Three minutes later, right as we entered the park, we had to slow way down so that we could share the road with a bunch of big horn sheep. They are shedding their winter coats and look so ratty, poor things. I wonder if the other wildlife tease them.

About two minutes later, Josh tells me there is a car stopped on the side of the road. I look ahead and see it and say there are people out of the car, it looks like they are with their dog. A few seconds later, Josh says, "That's not a dog, Louise. That's a bear." it was a baby black bear, and it was so cute. We drove by at a slower speed, but we're not as stupid as the other people who stopped. I may never have seen a bear in the wild before, but I watch enough PBS to know that where there is a baby, there is a mama!

We only went about 84 miles yesterday, and stopped at Lake Louise. As it turns out, camping was only open to hard sided vehicles and not to tents. So we were directed to a Hostel International, made a reservation, and headed up to the lake. With about four million other people because of the holiday weekend.

Here we are, at the lake that was named after me, Princess Louise!

I am sure the lake is amazing and that shade of blue that only glacier fed waters are, but it was still frozen. We should have brought our skates! We hiked the upper trail to Mirror Lake, but it wasn't mirroring anything due to the fact that it was frozen also. It was quite pretty there, however, and much more peaceful than down at Lake Louise.

We had a nice night at the hostel, and got on our way this morning in the rain. It was COLD today! I actually plugged in my heated gloves today and used them on and off. We did several mountain passes in the rain, and a couple that were dry. The mountain ranges here go on forever! Range after range after range. It is quite amazing, and not something you can really understand until you see it. So, I encourage you all to travel this way.

We drove along the Icefields Parkway (cold), past the Columbia Glacier (cold), and wound up in Jasper for lunch (soup!). After talking to a nice lady in a gift shop, we changed our route for the next day or so. We took a different route out of town, and then turn at the big highway sign that said "SCENIC ROUTE TO ALASKA." Well, okay. I like scenic routes. We are staying tonight at Grey's Lakes Provincial Park. There are 4 campgrounds in it, and we are, once again the only people in our campground. It is a little after ten and still light out. But the animals know it is night time and there are all kinds of wildlife making all sorts of noise. Kinda freaky, but really cool too.

Speaking of wildlife, today alone I saw another black bear, a caribou, had to share the road with some big horn sheep again, and best of all, a moose. Josh called back to me and said there were cars stopped up ahead, and that people were out staring at a tree stump. I rode by and said, "That's not a stump, Josh. That was a moose." At least when I mistook an animal for something else, it was another animal!


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