07.03.2018 - 07.06.2018
For Part 1, check out https://arrrblog.travellerspoint.com/61/.
After leaving Canmore, we relocated to a chalet halfway between Field and Golden, British Columbia, in Yoho National Park. We were steps from the beautiful Kicking Horse River.
The best part? We finally had a fire pit again! We had our first outdoor fires since Apalachicola! Of course S'mores were in order.
This was our launching point for Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and trail adventures. The road to Golden is one of the most beautiful we drove along and definitely worth a detour if you are ever in the area. Glaciers, jagged peaks, high passes, winding mountain roads, railroad tunnels through the mountains, and the extra-wide Kicking Horse River valley where the river branches constantly creating a flat basin. Not to mention lakes and waterfalls.
Spiral Tunnel Mountain
We set out for Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. I was last here 10 years ago at the end of August with my mom, dad, brother and his family so I thought I knew what to expect. NOPE! Having planned to do Moraine Lake first, we got to the turn-off and realized it was closed due to the high volume of visitors. Not deterred, we headed on to Lake Louise. After parking in the furthest lot, we made our way through the throngs down to the lake. Here's the crowd in 2008. In 2018 you couldn't see the lakeshore for all of the tourists!
We made the best of it though. Hard not to in such a beautiful place! Scott and the girls hiked the lakeshore trail and Cadeau and I wandered a bit and then sat in the shade.
That's Mount Victoria at the back of the lake with Victoria glacier. Close ups follow here.
Fairmont Hotel - originally built in the 20's.
We headed back to Lake Louise Village for lunch. Note when you stay up to watch it get dark at 12:30 (AM!) you get up at 10:30 and have breakfast at 11:30. That puts lunch at 5:30! After "lunch" we headed back to Moraine Lake and finally got in, it's about 7:00 now, and just as we did they closed it down again! So worth the effort though! The girls decided on a rock scramble and Scott and I hiked the lakeside trail (Cadeau slept peacefully in Ruby).
This has to be one of the most beautiful spots in the entire park. It really is more beautiful than the pictures!
After another fire, more S'mores, and a good night's sleep, it was up early for...
We split up with Morgan and I doing a beautiful horseback ride in the Blueberry River Valley in the morning and Scott and Courtney doing an ATV adventure in the afternoon. Everyone was happy! In between, we had lunch at an outdoor cafe in Golden and visited their famous covered pedestrian bridge.
Morgan argued that horseback riding was best! (Of course she didn't want to ride an ATV - ha!)
This was the normal state of Morgan's horse!
Here's a short video. Thanks for Mrgan for the Taylor Swift soundtrack ha!
Courtney argued that ATV riding was best! (Of course she didn't want to ride a horse - haha!)
Here's a short clip - you can mostly see over Courtney's handle bars haha!
Scott and I would have preferred to do both! We actually made it home in time to cook dinner at home (thanks Courtney and Scott!) and have a nice fire. We went to bed early because we had planned to drive the Icefields Parkway and had booked the Glacier Adventure for the following day but...
WHY DON'T WE USE MILITARY TIME!
We woke to a text message from the airline inviting the girls to check in for their flight! WHAT?! Oh no, that pesky 12:19 AM Saturday flight. Is that today or tomorrow? Yikes! That's today, well tomorrow, but tonight - well you get it. Rather than needing to get to the airport just after midnight Saturday night, they needed to be at the airport just after midnight Friday night! Phooey!
So, change being the only constant, and relying on our adaptability and resilience, we packed up and headed out to trek back to Calgary. All was not lost however! On the way, we stopped at the natural bridge and Emerald Lake. Being in Yoho, the crowds were substantially less and the views just as beautiful!
The weather, however, was proving a challenge. Canoe rentals had been on the girls' bucket list but the lines and cost at Lake Louise had been prohibitive. Canoes at Emerald Lake were available and reasonable. The rain was intermittent, though, and they weren't letting canoes out in it. So the girls went on a hike around the lake, Cadeau had a nap, and Scott and I had lunch. By this time we had all settled into our comfort zones! After much patience and pestering of the attendants, the sun came out and they got their paddle in while I FINALLY beat Scott at Cribbage.
I was proud of us all for making the most of a bad situation and so grateful to the Canadian Rockies that missing one adventure is just an opportunity to experience a different one. The trip down to Calgary was beautiful and uneventful and after a nice dinner we dropped them at the airport, said "See you in Mexico!", and closed out a wonderful vacation.
We'll be in Colorado tonight and as I finish this up in Ruby she's saying the temperature is 100 degrees out there in Wyoming. Guess we're definitely going to be warm again!!
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