Too much lovin’

In Banff National Park we were amazed at the number of day trippers coming to Lake Louise, and this was echoed on our last morning in the Park. We had heard if we wanted to see Moraine Lake to get up early as it gets very popular and once the car park was full the rangers would close the road. So we headed off at crack of dawn (before, actually), and even at that time of the morning there was a stream of cars in front and behind as we headed to the lake. Once we got there it was crazy – we got one of the few remaining car parks, and the place was completely overrun, people trying to get the best spot for the sunrise. We took a few shots and then hit the road, not bothering to stay for the sun. It’s the travel paradox of too many people wanting the experience means that the experience is not as enjoyable as it could be.

20170905_07102720170905_07231020170905_07240720170905_073201

Advertisements

Best road tripping – Banff National Park

Staying at Lake Louise for a couple of nights gave us time to explore the area. We had a beautiful clear day when we headed down the Bow Valley and Ice Fields Parkways. Glorious views and we felt lucky the smoke had cleared to give clear skies.

IMG_6727IMG_6731IMG_6737

Lovely, pricey, Lake Louise

Lake Louise is famous – and justifiably so – it is gorgeous. However, it is also totally overrun with tourists, so don’t expect much tranquility along with the wonderful scenery. We were lucky enough to stay there – not in the famous, huge Chateaux, but the rather homey lodge behind it. So we didn’t have to day trip. I’m still staggered by prices for canoeing on the lake – $105 (plus GST) for an hour on the lake, or $95 for 30 minutes! And just about every canoe was out on the first afternoon we arrived. Wow. But wow, what a place.

20170904_174242IMG_6714IMG_6716

IMG_6707
View from the lodge

More Waterton

We had three nights in Waterton NP. It’s a gorgeous location and even though we had some smoky days we had a great time going on a guided walk and canoeing on Cameron Lake. Some of the tracks were closed due to a bear having approached people at a camping area. From what we were told it’s usually humans that cause the problem, leaving food out so bears learn humans = food.

IMG_6658
State of the art alarm systems at the lodge
IMG_6653
Smoky view from Prince of Wales Hotel

IMG_6631IMG_6632

Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Lakes is a gorgeous area where the praries and the Rocky Mountains meet. We visited in August 2017 and the air was smoky due to the bushfires, but there were still beautiful views to be had. In mid September, Waterton Lakes NP had its own fire that burnt out 38% of the park. The park is working hard to make areas safe again for wildlife and for visitors.

On our way into the park we checked out the Bison Paddock, where a herd is kept in a large enclosed space. Big enough for them to hide from the road that loops around the paddock. We did get a glimpse. Amazing to think that thousands roamed the Praries.

IMG_6615IMG_6618IMG_6619

 

Nelson – funky town

Nelson is a known both as a historic location and a bit of a hippy hangout. We liked it. En route we passed through the historic town of Greenwood, where the film Snow Falling on Cedars was filmed. Some of the film set facade is still standing in the main street.

IMG_6552
Barn, Okanagan Valley

IMG_6563

IMG_6562
Cool historic main street of Greenwood
IMG_6565
Film set still standing from 1999 – time to move on, Greenwood!
IMG_6585
Nelson
IMG_6582
Nelson museum – the sturgeon canoe
IMG_6575
Market night, Nelson style

Manning Park to Oliver

From Manning Park we headed to Oliver, the ‘wine capital of Canada.’ As we only had one night in Oliver we could only fit in visits to three of the multitude of wineries in the area. These looked very much like Aussie wineries – except that sometimes you can’t go walking in the vineyards due to bear alerts.  Apparently most BC wine is purchased and enjoyed by BCers so no need to find markets elsewhere. We had no idea. We tried Tinhorn Creek, Gehringer Bros and Hester Creek – all excellent.

IMG_6538
Vaseux Lake, Okanagan Valley. Bears had been sighted earlier in the day. 

IMG_6539

IMG_6544
A 15 year battle still ongoing to establish a park in Okanagan Valley – preservation v productive farm land
IMG_6547
Okanagan Valley vineyards

 

EC Manning Park

After a short stop in Vancouver to say farewell to friends, we headed up Highway 3 to our chosen destination for 3 nights, Manning Park. Most of the friendly staff were from Kalgoorlie, which was rather unexpected. Mornings we headed out early to see wildlife, and were not disappointed. Incredible mountain views – I would love to see it in winter.

IMG_6418
Cascade Lookout

IMG_6422IMG_6427

IMG_6437
Yellow Bellied Marmot
IMG_6444
Heather Trail
IMG_6450
Cascadian Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
IMG_6459
Pika
IMG_6470
Lightning Lake

IMG_6476