Canada, eh? The Icefields Parkway

Upon leaving Banff, Eric and I continued north along the Icefields Parkway.  We opted to take this scenic route north through the Canadian Rockies while it was still open for the summer season.  Many places in Canada and Alaska close for “winter” in mid-September, and the Parkway is one of them.

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First stop: Lake Louise

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Eric and Holly at Lake Louise

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Glaciers surrounding Lake Louise

There is nothing that compares to the turquoise blue waters of lakes formed by glacial run-off.  The entire journey along the Icefields Parkway weaves between mountains, and these wonderful photo opportunities are literally on the side of the road.

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Another glacial lake along the Icefields Parkway. I believe this one is Peyto Lake.

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Peyto Lake

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Cold, cold H2O.

The Columbia Icefield is a remnant of once-massive glacial fields that covered most of the Canadian Rockies.  Surviving glaciers continue to retreat and shrink due to effects of climate change.  Here, we took a mile-long hike up to Athabasca Glacier.  The temperatures dropped swiftly from comfortable mid-40’s to below freezing, with strong winds and gusts.  If you wish to attempt the hike, bundle up!

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The beginning of our hike to Athabasca Glacier.

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Le sentier du front du glacier Athabasca.

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Athabasca Glacier: we couldn’t get too close because of an icy river that has formed at the retreating edge.

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Happy, but cold – look at those pink noses!

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A marker showing the previous position of the glacier’s edge, in 2000.

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The glacier’s boundary in 1992.

1982

1982.

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Scratches on granite, left by rocks being drug along the bottom side of the retreating glacier.

Heading back to the Parkway, we encountered a new-to-us species of wildlife!

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Drive-by!

Here are a couple more scenic snapshots, taken from a moving vehicle:

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Finally, we made it to Jasper!

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The campsite in Jasper.

Hungrily, we stumbled into town in search of refreshment.  It was happily found at Jasper Brewing Company.

eheh

Our waitress’s shirt.

Here’s to Canada, eh?

-H

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