We’re All Canadian For A DayShare
July 1st Canada’s birthday in case you didn’t know. Not at all far away from the one I’m used to celebrating and I got to do it at Lake Louis – Banff National Park’s biggest attraction with plenty of others. See I don’t always complain when people are around they’re nice to see a few days of the year.
The day certainly started out right as the park ranger that checked me in late the night before gave me the lowdown on the free pancake breakfast the next morning. Score! I will admit to expecting a big maple tree with a tap stuck in it next to the grill which didn’t happen.
I rode up to see the lake next and what the fuss is all about. Well, I know what the fuss is about, the color, wait I’m Canadian today, colour and the setting. All week long I’d been seeing lakes and rivers turquoise and bright gray (if there is such a thing). Lake Louise just happens to be a bit brighter with a fantastic backdrop. The colors come from the glaciers grinding the rock into superfine particles some of which stay suspended in the lake and reflect the blue light waves back.
Just as I arrived there was a canoe race starting with what I think was summer workers. Unsurprisingly, the one canoe with three guys in it won by a long shot. Not sure why they got an extra person. I hadn’t planned on much of walk at that time, actually I had no plan at all. But once I saw the lake all I wanted to do was see more of it and the area so it just sort of happened.
I didn’t wander all the way out to any of the tea houses instead I ended up on top of the Big Beehive getting a stunning look down onto Lake Louise. I didn’t get to find out why it was called the Big Beehive until the way back.
I put in a good nap that afternoon finally putting the drinking session behind me and headed down to the music and barbecue that replaced the pancake breakfast. It was more of a small time gig. Again with lots of summer workers and volunteers, but everyone was in good spirits and happy to adopt to me for a day.
I was off to Jasper, Banff’s neighboring park to the north, the next day. I had a few stops picked out from the park map at Bow Summit and Parker Ridge. Bow Summit divides the water runoff east-west in the park and had the small, but even more stunning that Lake Louise in my opinion Peyto Lake. This time you start with the high view that I worked so hard for the day before.
Parker Ridge led to the Saskatchewan Glacier, my first good sighting of a definitive glacier. This was a short, 3 mile roundtrip, uphill all the way hike and worth it. Aside from the glacier itself which was still a good ways off you don’t realize how big all the mountains around you are until you walking up one or on top and seeing just how many of them are out there. Absolutely stunning country!