Today was a special day. One of those days we had been waiting to journey since our decision to come to Canada – The Ice Fields Parkway. This is the ‘world famous’ road through the Rocky Mountains from Jasper to Banff.
We said goodbye to our lovely home in Jasper, and off we went into the park Southbound. We had the Ice Fields Parkway drive guide clearly marking what from what each mountain was called, how high to points of interest and hikes.
We pay another $20 to enter the park. They must rake in some dollars as the roads are packed with multicultural camera snapping map turning eager beaver tourists just like us.
Now anyone who was seen amazing shit knows photos just do not replicate the story. So here I go with my way with words of what we seen today, without the cliche ‘it was like a totally wicked set of postcards’.
Cliff faces and every kind of mountain formation. Mountain tops with a dust of freshly fallen snow, like a giants cupcake where he asked for just a like sprinkling of icing sugar. American desert cartoon mountains. Lakes in colours from mountain green, milky blue or crystal clear. Evidence of every kind of catastrophic world creation event. A class room excursion dream. I wish I was a Geologist to understand and appreciate each layer. I would be pointing out ‘and now to the left we have a classic example of the ice age when the dinosaurs went crazy and Noah said WTF’. I know, its like the bigpond add rabbit proof fence moment. Some parts resembled lost cities, pancake rocks, vertical towers, avalanche slides and sideways slate. There are sections standing tall, crumbling piles, pointy tops, rounded mounts, receding glaciers, shiny surfaces and pine forrest rising up the mountain sides.
Now I know why the Rocky Mountains are called ‘The Rockies’. I am sure you will all say ‘durrr’ thats obvious once I tell you… Its because the top of each mountain is only rock, with no vegetation. I know, silly right. Well its called the Rockies because its ROCK! Okay, lets move on smarty pants.
The glaciers are always a treat for any Aussie. Anything white, icy and snowy makes us go all gaga. We love snow. Glaciers are impressive, just beautiful and amazing to view from a distance and breathtaking to view right up close. A glacier looks like a frozen lake coming down from the mountain top to the bottom. The ice compacts over time to give it that beautiful blue hue. The are dangerous things too. People die on glaciers all the time, falling into the cracks and caves. They say you die of hyperthermia before they get to pull you back out. The last three rescues from people fallen into a crevasse (crack in the ice) at the Athabasca Glacier alone were unsuccessful because it only takes around 20 minutes for your body to shut down and 2-3 hours to get you out. The warning sign says ‘you do the math’. Its a good reason to stay on the designated trails I firmly instruct the children. Who asked ‘why’ so I made them read the sign again!
Some of our favourite things today we seeing more rock carving waterfalls, driving across the top of the Rocky Mountain range, views of the glaciers, weather changes on top of the mountains, little dusting of snow on the mountain tops, the animal corridors over the highway, icy cold glacier lakes, continual changes in the mountain formations and eating maple syrup lollies.
The kids completed their homework tasks that was to write about their day as if they were a news reporter. Despite a bit of initial hullaballa hey both did a stirling job in the end. We checked into the Bumper Inn for three nights. All super happy with the large comfy room. Even more happy eating out in the lovely snow town of Banff eating steak and drinking beer. Mmmmm…