Western Alberta and Banff National Park

July 22, 2009    Hello from McBride, British Columbia,   Western Alberta was an incredible experience.   We started by passing fields of bright yellow canola, oats, wheat and hay.  Our
cloudy day added to the drama of the landscape as we headed into the foothills and mountains.  At some points, we were literally driving into the clouds.  The clear blue skies of the following days created a spectacular background for the dynamic mountains, etched by glaciers and waterfalls of the past and present, as we drove into Banff Natl. park.   Camped in a primitive site and shared a campfire, marshmallows and tales from the road with a family from Alberta.  Broke camp the next morning to head for Johnston Canyon.

We pulled off the side of the road to fix breakfast in a spot that provided an overlook of a boulder filled river, surrounded by pine forest and snow capped mountains.  Shortly after our departure, the RV gears were not engaging. Somewhat miraculously,  we were able to coast into a rest area and make a cell phone call.  After our call to AAA and a 120 mile tow to Calgary, we spent the next two days "camped" in the Amaco Transmission Service parking lot.  We were within easy walking distance of the city, so as our transmission was being rebuild, we explored.  A clean and easily walkable city, we enjoyed checking this area which had not originally been on our agenda.   Thousands of dollars later, we were back on the road to Banff.  First stop on our return to the park was Johnston Canyon.  A short walk led us up to Lower Falls.  At top there is a platform created by carving a tunnel in the mountain which allows you to walk out almost over the top of the falls, very powerful.  Lake Louise was our next stop.  We reserved our campsite and waited until after 4 PM to visit the lake so we  could avoid the crowds at this popular destination.  The crowd was still there but the Lake is still a special view,  a cloudy, pale green lake with glacier topped mountains in the background. Beautiful.

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