Date: July 4, 2014
Total bear count: 6
Weather: Sunny with clouds and hot: 27 degrees
The motel did not offer breakfast so we went for our awesome salami pickle sandwiches. We fixed our caffeine problem at the MacDonalds.
First stop for today was Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper. Sadly the end of the trail was closed because of flooding hazard. That means we could not go to the little lake that was near a glacier.
Next stop we saw saw when we got down from Mt. Edith Cavell was a short trail to Lake Moab. It was a long drive over a dust road. There was not much to see at the lake accept forest recovering from a fire 14 years ago.
Next stop was Athabasea falls. We ate lunch at the parking lot surrounded by a lot of people including a lot of Japanese and people with ipads taking pictures. There was a spot extremely near the falls not much people where there. I did… and was soaking wet.
The next point of interest was Sunwapta falls. Another falls with a bit less people. In theory it had a trail down but we could not find it. For some reason this spot does not have signs. We tried a trail but did not trust it for being the right one so we returned.
It was time for the lovely road between Banff and Jasper called Icefields Parkway. Lots of beautiful mountains and lakes can be seen. We passed the new glacier skywalk. It is a cat walk with a glass bottom over a ravine. You can only get there by shuttle bus and was extremely crowded. That was too much hassle for us. So we proceeded to the glacier near the Icefields Centre. It was a short but steep trail to a place near the glaciers. We were not allowed to go on the glaciers unguided. But apparently a lot of people ignored that warning and went on it. We even saw families with small kids..
We left Jasper and entered Banff. We saw a forest fire right away. Maybe it was controlled? We hoped so. We wanted to see two things since the weather was decent (Sometimes clouds before the sun). Lake Peyto and Lake Louise. I cannot recall the parking lot being that far down for Lake Payto. It was quite a steep but short path to the view point. This time I was less impressed by the view than I was in 2001.. No idea why. After this we went to Lake Louise. Sadly there was a cloud that stopped me from taking a good picture. Also there were canoes on the water.. Those were not there in September 2001. That was also quite a disappointment.
When we left the park we saw a bear after seeing warning signs on the road. It has a necklace and his ear was marked. So that is why they knew it was there.
Then we needed to find our booked hotel.. It was in Golden and we found it by using the coordinates in the GPS… This was by far the worst hotel I have had. The main reason was the bar/dancing below with live music. But there was way more wrong. If you want to know more. Just look on booking.com for the ‘Big Bend Hotel’ in Golden and read the reviews. The worst part is: we were there for two nights.
To escape the hotel we had a nice dinner at a restaurant around the corner on a small island in the river. We had a lovely waitress that eased our pain.
Date: July 5, 2014
Total bear count: 6
Weather: Sunny with clouds and a bit cooler: 22-23 degrees
After a horrible night with loud music and a party in the room next to us we had some sandwiches in our room. We needed gas so we went for the gas station next door. Luckily they had awesome Brazilian coffee. So that made it a bit better.
Today we left for Glacier and Revelstoke national parks. At the first stop we did in Glacier we saw that they had a trail called Hermit trail. It was a extremely steep climb 829 meter over 3.2 kilometres. We thought that would be doable so we started the climb. Well… It was extremely steep! Every step became a challenge. But the surroundings also got better. The path went through some small bushes with small creeks. And the view was terrific. A lot of glaciers to be seen. A view I missed in 2001 because of heavy rains while driving through the park. Sadly we did not manage to get to the summit. The path was covered by snow. Without any gear that would have been too dangerous. I made it to the top at the exact time our Dutch team started their soccer match in the world cup against Costa Rica. So I changed to the orange shirt. The decent was just as challenging as the climb. Every step needs to be placed well and firmly. After a trip of around 5 hours we arrived tired but satisfied at our car.
Next stop was the visitor centre where our Dutch friend kept us up to date of the match by text messages. And we won by penalties! Next stop was Hemlock grove where we did a board walk between large trees. Cathedral Grove on the island was more impressive.
Next stop was in Revelstoke where we did another board walk through Red Cedar trees. To us it was not that impressive any more. Next on the list was Skunk Cabbage board walk. My brother and I did that one in the rain. It looked better in the sun!
Lost stop for today was Meadows in the Sky Parkway. It was a road that should me lovely. We drove a lot of it but did not see something interesting. We drove a lot until a sign stopped us: snow from this point on, you cannot continue… again!
We returned to our horrible hotel in Golden after a stop at the MacDonalds where we found out that the crew had done nothing to our room. Beds were still messed up, no cleaning was done and the towels were not replaced.