Rocky Mountain Road Trip 2017 (by Michelle) - Bonjour!
Day 3 - Sunday, August 13th
We got up early to continue our trek northwest. A couple interesting things we noticed about the Alberta highways: the signage was better and made for easier navigating. They had signs reading "Important Intersection Ahead". While we weren't sure that it would be important to us - like "could you be a little more specific?", there was at least some warning that we may want to slow down. In addition to all of the signs now being in English and French, we also noticed many of the warning/hazard signs not using any words at all, but pictures. For example, the sign that here would read "Bridge May Be Icy" showed skid marks and a low-reading thermometer. My guess on this is that maybe they can't fit multiple languages on those signs, so they just use pictures - I'm sure this is helpful for the international tourists as well.
We drove through Calgary, which was interesting as it was the site of the 1988 Winter Olympics (and possibly the 2026 games). It looked like a pretty city, but of course, we were anxious to get to our first reserved location. We knew we were getting closer when as we got just out of the city and started to see MOUNTAINS!!
We arrived in Lake Louise in the late afternoon and headed straight to our campground, where we were duly warned of bear safety and keeping a clean campground. When making our online reservation for this campground, I received and was required to acknowledge this warning a minimum of three times during the reservation/check-out/payment process: "Due to the presence of bears and other wildlife, and for the safety of campers, only hard-sided camping equipment is permitted on this site. Hard-sided is defined as a truck-camper, motorhome or recreational vehicle completely without any canvas, soft-sided pop-ups, or slide-outs. ALL soft-sided units (tents, tent-trailers, and units with soft-sided pop-outs) MUST camp in the Lake Louise Soft-sided Trailer/Tent campground." I was thinking at the time "what am I getting myself into?" - and being sure that Art slept closest to the outermost camper wall so any bear breaking in would get to him first! The soft-sided campground they refer to is surrounded by an electric fence and has an electrified Texas gate (or cattle grate as we call them) across the driveway.
We quickly setup the camper, grabbed our hiking gear and headed out to Moraine Lake. This had come recommended by my friend, Linda Tucker, and we were not disappointed!
You might be asking "Is the water really that blue?" Yes, yes it really is. No filters, editing, or Photoshop necessary. The cause is a bit of a science lesson - The lakes in northern Alberta are fed by runoff from the melting glaciers. As the glaciers move (they are moving sheets of ice) across rocks, they grind the rock into a sediment so fine it's called glacial rock flour. The glacial rock flour is carried by the creeks and streams to the lakes below, where it suspends in the lake water. The glacial flour absorbs all of the colors of the light spectrum, except for the one color reflected that we see with our eyes which is the color the lake appears to be. The color of the water depends on the time of year - how much water is flowing into the lake - and even the time of day. Since we wanted to see everything there was to see, we decided to take the 2.9 km hike back to Consolation Lake. To get there, we had to hike across a boulder field, then along Babel Creek through the timber.
We chose not to risk a broken ankle the first day by climbing across the very large boulders to get closer to Lower Consolation or the trail to Upper Consolation, but we were not disappointed with the first up-close view of a glacier - the Mount Quadra Glacier.
We headed back to camp to turn in for the night. Tomorrow - Lake Louise!
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Art, I would like to talk to you about this blog and some other things. Give me a call or email me.
Hope all is well with Michelle and you along with all of your family.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
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Wild Reflections Photography, a division of Art Helin Outdoors, specializes in photography of nature & wildlife and muscle cars, classics & motorcycles.