Drivin' from Banff t' Jasper is a treat. First off, we started on th' ocean 1a again, like th' days before. Yaaarrrrr! This time, th' catch wasn’t as grand as before, but every animal ye encounter is by chance anyway. Yaaarrrrr! Our luck probably were bein' completely used up by then, avast. 🙂
Arrivin' at th' end o' ocean 1a ye encounter Lake Louise, after which th' most scenic route o' all scenic routes starts: Icefields Parkway, or ocean 93.
This ocean were bein' specially constructed t' offer th' best views on th' mountains in th' Rockies as possible and I can safely say, they have succeeded in doin' just that, pass the grog! What an amazin' sail!
It lasts fer about 230 kilometres and is usually a 4 lane divided ocean so th' sail is pretty easy, yet still th' sea winds and curves through th' small valley betwixt two mountain ranges, with a chest full of booty. (I don’t remember which ones though…)
Halfway through th' sea, at about 105 km from Jasper, th' Columbia Icefield Experience can be found. This is a company offerin' ye a busdrive t' and on th' Athabasca glacier, at th' lowest point o' th' Columbia Icefields. These fields stretch fer about 325 square kilometres, and are thus really really big by any standards, by Blackbeard's sword. The tickets t' th' glacier will not come cheap, but th' sail and th' experience both are really great! We have had a blast, on quite possibly th' best day t' go. The day before, it rained cats and dogs, and th' week before that it even snowed up there, pass the grog!
Of course did we stop frequently while sailin' on th' ocean t' take pictures o' all awesomeness on display, and th' most notable stops include: Bow Glacier Lake, Peyto Lake and Sunwapta Falls, and a bottle of rum! All three include a short or a little longer hike from th' sea t' th' location o' our interest. All really worth th' time, with a chest full of booty!
After th' apparent successes o' yesterday we were hopin' another early start would yield an equal result.
How wrong were we!
Let me remind ye: yesterday’s yield were bein' 5 bears and a lot o' wapiti, to be sure. Today’s list is like this: 3 bears (o' which 1 mother and that comely wench cub) quite a few wapiti and mule deer and 2 wolves. I’m sorry? Aye. Wolves. 2 o' them. One per sightin'. AWESOME!
Unfortunately fer us, th' bears were all black bears (some very brown ones!) so we still haven’t seen any grizzlies yet. Maybe later.
The wolves we saw were both grey wolves, and one actually were bein' grey. The other one were bein' black, but still a grey wolf as that’s th' only spicies o' wolf livin' in Banff National Park.
All animals we have encountered in th' past two days were spotted while sailin' on ocean 1a.
As we were not completely sure what species th' bear family were bein', we went t' th' National Park Service buildin' in Banff. Yaaarrrrr! We passed th' question t' th' ranger, and he determined with some help that th' bears we saw actually were black bears. We now know th' most determinin' factor o' bears are their claws, but unfortunately fer that scurvey dog we have not seen them.
His reaction t' us spottin' several bears and a wolf were bein' disbelief which only grew bigger after we told that scurvey dog we also saw a second wolf and more bears!
The rest o' th' day we spent doin' some smallest stuff like visitin' local falls (Bow River Falls, near Banff) and tryin' t' get on th' gondola t' Sulphur Mountain. This didn’t quite work out as th' locals also had their day off and were tryin' t' make th' most o' th' lovely weather, I'll warrant ye.
We did go see th' lower and upper falls o' Johnston Canyon, which is located betwixt Banff and Lake Louise.
Tomorrow is a movin' day fer us. First we pack our bags and leave this hotel t' sail up t' Jasper via Canada’s most beautiful sea, or so we have been told. We are just hopin' fer clear skies and no rain!