Date: July 10, 2014
Total bear count: 11
Weather: still warm 23-27 degrees
We did not have a kitchen this time in the motel but we do have a coffee machine, so breakfast with strong coffee it was.
Attraction of the day was Johnston canyon. While we parked there we found out there are a lot of people over there including a lot of Chinese. To me this was weird because in 2001 they were all Japanese visiting the parks. Went all the way on a nice trail to the ink pots. Fist stop were the lower falls where we lost most of the Chinese. Second stop were the Upper falls where we lost the western people who eat too much. After the upper falls we met a nice couple on flip flops who told us that the Chinese are taking over all the shops in Jasper and Banff. So now we know why there are so many at all the areas of interest. After a nice climb we arrived at the ink pots. These were nice colorful pools in a nice landscape. Minerals in the water made it blue and sometimes green.
After the hike back we decided to continue to ride the 1A, where we shot pictures of the snowy mountains with a clear blue sky. We ate our lunch at the same spot as a couple of days ago. There we saw a couple of Argentinians that we congratulated with their win.
Next stop was Lake Minnewanka. That lake was not that wonderful. At a view point our car thought the same because it refused to start. After shutting everything down in the car it luckily responded again to drive us to the next lake: Two Jack Lake which was a nice picnic area in a beautiful surrounding.
Our last stop was a geocache at Johnson lake. This was a lake that the locals visit after a day of work. We walked around the lake to find the cache. It was located near a rope where youth swung in the water.
Afterwards we did groceries for tonight’s dinner since we had a room again in the same motel, This time we also saw a lot of Chinese walking around on the motel terrain. We even found out that we had Chinese TV channels. Also the hot tub was not forgotten,
Date: July 11, 2014
Total bear count: 11
Weather: Sunny around 25 degrees.
Today our last park in the Rockies were on the agenda, namely Kootenay national park. But first we stopped at two locations in The Banff park, one was a stop for a trail to Lake Boom which was a bit too far for us to hike that day. The other one was the continental divide. One side of the marker water floes to the Atlantic and the other to the Pacific.
When we entered Kootenay the first thing we noticed that it was burned to the ground. Apparently that happened in 2003 where 12% of the forest burned down. Thus after my last visit. Our first stop was Marble canyon in a burned forest. So everything was in open field. There was a path to paint pots with a weird sign stating that this path was the only way to go to the paint pots. We dediced to see if it was still reachable from the parking lot 3 kilometers down the road when we were done with the canyon. The canyon itself was nice with a lot of water, but the open field was just a bit disappointing to me.
Next stop was supposed to be the Paint pots, but yeah they were indeed unreachable from the parking lot because of a bridge being flushed away. So we continued our journey. We did a quick look at Numa falls and some other places along the road. We drove all the way to the end of the park to Sinclair canyon. It is not well highlighted. You park at the farthest parking lot in the park and walk a small trail to the bottom. This is still one of the most beautiful places on earth for me. The falls, the creek, the trees and the sound. All comes together in that location.
Then it was time to take the road back. We had lunch at dog lake and decided to do the paint pots from marble canyon trail. It was a nice trail through the burned woods. When we arrived at the area we found the Ogre beds first. These are fields of red clay. We had no idea where the pots were. We followed the path until trees were laying over the road. We stopped there and returned back. Afterwards we drove to the closed painted pots area again. It was officially closed but the signs were still there. Apparently the pots were 100 meters after the fallen trees.. So we walked more than 3 kilometers to miss them by 100 meters.. a shame.
A bit disappointed we drove to Canmore were we ate at Boston pizza in the 18+ lounge. Back in Cochrane we drank homemade wine that Gary made.
Date: July 12, 2014
Total bear count: 11
Weather: hot 28 to 35 degrees
Our last full day in Cochrane started with a quick coffee before we left again for our third pancake breakfast this holiday. This time it was organized by the church in Gary and Sandy’s neighbourhood. Since it was a church there was no meat this time.
After our breakfast we packed up for a scenic drive to Drumheller. The landscape was totally different than what we were used too! The roads were laying in a grid. There was hardly ant elevation and almost the whole land was yellow because of the rapeseed. If you stared in front of you you still could see the road many kilometers in front of you in a straight line .
We stopped at the Horseshoe Canyon where we got the first glimpse of the badlands. It is a heavy corroded landscape that is hard to describe. After a quick look we arrived in Drumheller where we first ate lunch before going to the visitor centre. Next stop was the Royal Tyrrell museum. Drumheller lies in the badlands. A lot of dinosaurs fossils are found in the area. The highlights of these finds could be found in that museum. Some nice dinosaurs where displayed there.
After spending quite some time in the museum we drove to the smallest church in the world. It can hold 6 people and is fully functional. There Gary texted us the final score. We won 3-0 against Brasil in the World Cup!
Last stop in the badlands were the Hoodoos. These were pillars with a robust stone on top that protected the stone below corroding.
Afterwards we went back to Cochrane for a BBQ but first we bought some beers and flowers for Gary and Sandy. Henry was also there, so we had a lovely final evening.