Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wapiti CG, Jasper to Tunnel Mtn II RV, Banff, AB, 188 miles, Sept 18, 2010

We were on the road this morning by 8:30. Our plans were to be gone by 8 am, but several elements caused some delays. One was not wanting to get up at 6:15 as it was cold, both inside and out, two and three were wildlife sightings (Bull Elk and a Coyote) out the front window.

IMG_1897 IMG_4007 Our first stop today was to be the Columbia Ice Fields. But a few miles before the ice fields, just as we rounded a curve, stood these two Bighorn Sheep Rams. Bob was able to pull over so we had front row seats.


IMG_1904These Bighorn sheep come to the road area to lick the road cracks to obtain salts and minerals.

Soon we arrived at the Columbia Ice Fields. After paying our money for the ice fields tour, we were driven by motor coach out to an area where we boarded these specially built glacier snow coaches.

IMG_4030 IMG_4047

Here we are just about ready to head down a really steep lateral moraine to meet the ice of the glacier. In the center of the photo, see the reddish dot, that is one of these snow coaches and there are several already out on the glacier.

IMG_1939 In the above picture we are about a mile out onto the Athabasca Glacier, the depth of the ice here is over 1,000 feet!

IMG_1931 IMG_1929 Up behind each of us is a glimpse of the Columbia Icefield of which this Athabasca Glacier is one of the six major toes.

IMG_1937 Here is a zoomed section of the glacier up behind us.

IMG_4040 We were out on the ice about 20 minutes, thank heavens, as it was very cold. The driver kept telling us over and over how lucky we were that the sun was out today and there was ‘no’ wind on the glacier. They close for the season mid October, so winter is just around the corner.


Just had to take a photo of this lady’s hat. Looks just like one of those sock monkeys.

Now the hard part, choosing just a couple of today’s scenery photos, probably took over 50 along the Icefield Parkway today.

IMG_1963 IMG_1968 These picturesque bridges or underpasses are wildlife crossings. Trans-Canada Hwy #1 has over twenty of these bridges and wildlife is using the crossings. If you want to read more about these crossings check out the link, and scroll down to Banff National Park.


Tonight we are in Tunnel Mountain RV Park (II) (NP) $32.30/night. Interesting way to park, everyone is parallel parked with a nice wide center space. Check out Bob’s journal about today for the details of how we get to this park.IMG_4079

Tomorrow it is to rain, so we will see how much of what we want to see and do will get done.

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