Skip to main content

Most Beautiful Road in the World

On our second day in Alberta, we traveled to Banff. We had seen beautiful pictures of the impossibly turquoise Lake Louise and of the surrounding area and so we had set our hopes pretty high for the day.

So, um, nobody told us that the lake freezes over in winter.




Our plans for a long hike around the lake shattered*, we stopped into the Chateau and perused the info pamphlets.

Oh, look, this one proclaims that The Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper is "The Most Beautiful Road in the World." Sure, why not, let's give it a spin...

Ho... ly...  Wow....





These Canadian Rockies just dwarf their US counterparts. And they go on for miles and miles. We traveled nearly two hours north from Banff and still hadn't reached their end.

I tried finding ways to visually capture the scale of these mountains. Take a look at the two-lane road going through the first panoramic shot or maybe try to find the skiers paths on the left side of the second one.

Maybe a video will help. 



Video Link

Nope. I took nearly a dozen of these windshield-cam shots, but none of them do the mountains justice.

After driving to the visitor center... sorry...  centre... near Columbia Ice Field, we learned a bit more about the mountains and glaciers in the area. Here comes the science. Just a little. It won't hurt.


The ice field towards the top of this picture is really, really deep. Three Calgary Towers (or Statues of Liberty) could fit underneath. It feeds six major glaciers around it, including Athabasca, pictured here.


If your travel budget allows (ours did not), you can take one of these bad boys out onto the glacier itself.


While at the Centre, we hugged a Mountie and asked a helpful ranger for a nearby hike suggestion.


The ranger recommended Stanley Falls. Perfect.




Video Link

We finally got our beautiful turquoise water.

Moral of the Story: Sometimes unexpected turns lead you to the most memorable places.

-----
* The avalanche warnings didn't help either.

Comments

  1. Amazing scenery.

    I'm not sure if you two are fans of Tim Ferris but I thought of you while reading this post... http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2010/05/12/living-well-vs-doing-well/#more-2747

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jay - thanks for the link! We do indeed like Tim Ferris and Rolf Potts as well, both of whom influenced our current situation. That post reminded me of a TED talk (that I am pretty sure I'm going to do a post about) that talks about happiness. Super interesting: http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kahneman_the_riddle_of_experience_vs_memory.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful, but I'm disappointed that Jon did go brown bear on Stanley Falls and take a dip.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know, I know... I'm going to have to be more daring. My audience demands it!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I spy...

I was looking for directions on Google Maps today when I realized that Google had just added "birds-eye" views for Fort Collins. So, of course, I went to see what our home looks like. Much to my surprise, I found that Google just happened to catch us on the morning of March 29, 2012. Our moving day!



So, you better think twice before deciding to run around naked in your back yard. You never know when the aerial photography plane is going to fly by!

Relaxing on The Eastern Seaboard

While we've been comfortably relaxing here in Southern Maryland, we've been neglecting the blog a bit. (Translation: Jonathan is way behind in his recap posts.) So, we'll try to make sure you all get back up to speed with our travels over the next few days.

After Montreal, we headed east to Quebec City.  QC looked even more European than Montreal, but felt a bit more touristy. And, none of those fantastic rental bikes to be had. And, we failed to use personal recommendations or Yelp to locate a restaurant for dinner. You'd think that it would be difficult to make bad nachos and pizza, but Le Cafe Buade succeeded. Lesson learned.

One interesting bit of history about QC is that the old part of town is a walled city.



Link

After departing QC, we took the Route du President Kennedy on back to Maine. Other than the agent having a fantastic northeastern accent and him actually looking around inside the van, there was nothing too spectacular about our last (for the near future)…

Westward: Snow to Sin to Sand

Last time I was at Bryce National Park was during an "out West" family road trip when I was eight years old.  During that vacation, the Boeke family also used a Ford Econoline van for transportation (but not to sleep in).  Unlike the last time at Bryce, we are now visiting when there is snow on the ground, and that element makes for a really beautiful contrast of color and texture in the park.



Also, I remember only hiking down the trail just a little bit when I was eight.  This time, we took a three mile loop hike that got us down into the canyon.  It was the only open trail that did not require snow shoes or crampons.



Video Link


Next stop was Las Vegas, Nevada.  Not too much to do in that two horse town except throw money away; which we did.  Seriously, though, we had a good time playing some video blackjack at the bar in the Tropicana while listening to a great cover band play some classic hits.  Before we knew it, it was 3 AM and we found our way back to the Excalibur park…