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Nice drive to Reno, Nevada yesterday.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Reno, Nevada.

Where are they going next? South, towards Death Valley National Park.

Friday, August 24, 2018

We didn't play tourist for very long!

We got up at 6:00am yesterday morning and started driving right away. We were only about 100 kms (62 miles) from Lake Louise, and we figured we would get there before the crowds.

Wrong!

Now, admittedly we were off by an hour... we had purposely not adjusted our clocks by the 1 hour time difference between British Columbia and Alberta because we were only going to be in Alberta for two nights. So really, it was 7:00am Alberta time when we got up and began the drive.

Still smoky.


 Scenery along the way.

We stopped and did a short hike to Peyto Lake.
The trailhead was from Bow Summit, at 6,900 ft, the highest point on the Icefields Parkway.

Scenery along the way.

Now in Banff National Park.

However, we did the short hike along the way, and ended up arriving at Lake Louise at just before 9:00am (Lake Louise time) and they were already turning people away from the main parking lot.

What a zoo!

We parked in a lower parking lot and walked about 1 km up to the lake itself.

We've both been here before, but Ruth was only 13 years old the last time she was here and she wanted to see it again. To me, Lake Louise is like Niagara Falls... you only need to see it once in your life.

Lots of tourists at Lake Louise

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

View from the hotel.

Hotel lobby.

But we did not play tourist for very long! We took the above photos and got the heck out of there.

We stopped at the Lake Louise overflow parking area 8 kms (5 miles) south of Lake Louise. There, we found one of three empty spots for an RV among a sea of RV's. They also have a car overflow parking area there that was quickly filling up. They then have a shuttle bus system to take people up to the lake.

We were only stopped there to have breakfast and get caught up on the internet. It's free parking though, and you are allowed to stay overnight for free provided the main campground is full.

Back on the main highway, which is now a four lane freeway running between Banff and Lake Louise.

They built some interesting bridges for the animals to be able to cross the highway.

Now on highway 93 through Kootenay National Park, we stopped at Paint Pots Trail to do another short hike, this one at 3.6 kms (2.2 miles).

Fancy pedestrian bridge to get you to the paint pots.

There are three "pots".

The pots are fed with underground spring water, and the natural and abundant ochre (ferric oxide) in the soil causes the vibrant orange color.

This pot is larger.

Bright orange color.

Our trail through the woods.

Ruth beside the Kootenay River.

Heading south on 93, the smoke was really bad.

Highway 93 has actually been closed on and off during this forest fire situation. They are still actively fighting fires in the area, and you can see where there has been recent activity.


Very recent fires.

Coming down into Radium Hot Springs, we saw some bighorn sheep!

Just young ones though. The one on the right may have been the mom.

We drove about 2 kms on a rough dirt road to find our overnight spot. Worth it though... quiet as can be, and only 5 kms outside of town.

Sherman, boondocking at GPS 50.63402, -116.117408
Radium Wetlands Recreation Site.
Sorry for the poor focus! This was taken at 6:00am this morning as it started to rain!

But the rain is definitely welcome. It's supposed to be showers on and off today, but ending mid afternoon.

We're only 25 kms (15 miles) to Fairmont Hot Springs. We have a $60 CAD ($46 USD) campsite booked at the Fairmont Hot Springs RV Resort for two nights. In 11 years of RVing, this will be the record high price we will have paid for a campsite!

But, it's so that we can meet up with our daughter Lindsey and her family, as well as spend time with some of my cousins who are also staying there with their families. Looking forward to seeing them all this evening!

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Nice price drop on Camco's Deluxe Folding Grill Table

And in Canada...




24 comments:

  1. A zoo for sure! But you managed to get some nice little hikes in. Enjoy the luxury at Fairmont Hot Springs, and the family…

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    1. Yep, we managed to do some nice hikes and overall enjoyed our time on the Icefields Parkway. We are however looking forward to this next little leg of the journey. :-)

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  2. Well, I've been to Niagara Falls more time than I'd care to mention, but never to Lake Louise. I suspect that judging from the droves of tourists, that might never happen. There's lots of pictures including yours. Thanks.
    Maybe Ruth can chime in about her "walking sticks". I saw many people using them in Europe. Sometimes even in town. Not all users were "older", but I'd say the majority were. I've read somewhere that they change your gate, or something. Comments?

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    1. I use the trek poles all the time when hiking and/or traveling. I have weak knees and it helps a lot for stability and takes the weight off knees onto upper torso. Before trek poles were 'in,' I used a hiking stick which were always easy to carry on trips. Now I condense the trekking polies into my luggage. I have collected several stickers attached to trekking poles of areas I've hiked. I've been using hiking stick & now trekking poles since I began hiking in my early twenties...I'm 73 years old now and still hiking.

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    2. I bet late May or early October would be a couple of the best times to see Lake Louise, it really is beautiful especially without the crowds. If you get a chance you really do need to see it, just the once! :-)

      I do like using the hiking poles and actually Kevin's cousin who is a physiotherapist said they are really good to use and as Rita says, they take the stress of the knees but you need to use two poles, not one according to her. I like them because I find that they really help keep me stable on the steep downhill stretches, especially if the terrain is gravelly. I do find the odd time that they get in the way if the path is a little overgrown and they do also help with the uphill sections. Not sure that they change my gait but they do seem to make we walk a little quicker for some reason.

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  3. Love the scenery. I usually travel in late August or September when all the kids are back in school. Tourist are back home with kids in school. Anyway, nice drive and love the hotel. BTW I'm following a couple of cyclists who toured Columbia (A-cyclette) & at Valle de Cocora they visit the palm trees you toured. West of Bogota. They give up close and detail areas they have visited.

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    1. That's "Colombia"... the most misspelled country in the world.

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  4. Colombia, just like the Laredo bridge crossing! Beautiful colors!

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    1. You are correct Chris, we made the mistake once ourselves but once we were told we never made that spelling error again! :-)

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  5. Yow! I thought the price for the resort outrageous, until I noticed it included admission to the hot springs.

    So it's not as bad as it could be, provided you dump, refill your water, take lots of hot showers, etc etc. Thanks for teaching me something here.

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    1. The price for the resort is outrageous and no it doesn't include the admission fee to the hot springs if you are camping. :-( We have never paid that much for a campsite in our lives but because we were meeting up with family it was the best location for us all to meet and one that had availability. However because we will be six people it makes the per night cost seem better if you look at it as an overnight charge per person.

      We are making sure that we use every bit of the resort that we can for that price. Electricity for our little electric heater instead of our propane furnace, electric for the fridge, their nice clean showers with lots of hot water and yes, we will be filling the water tank and dumping our black and grey tanks before we leave. It is just nice to enjoy the family time together, and for this once we will make the best of it. :-)

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  6. Hahaha! I will have you beat, but just barely. In 16+ years of fulltime RVing, the most I ever paid for a site was $44.23 with tax, back in 2013 when I renewed my South Dakota drivers license near Mount Rushmore. The state requires fulltimers to stay at a hotel or commercial campground for a single night, in order to provide a "real" address (which does not go on the license). Dumbest rule ever, I know!

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    1. It is really funny because the majority of people who stay in an RV Park or Resort would look at a $45 a night fee and think that is pretty much the normal going rate!

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  7. Interesting sights despite the crowds:) We now try to avoid these must see sights, it helps that we have seen most of them before:)

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    1. Yep, we still had a great time once we left that busy area and even with the smoke we still enjoyed what scenery we could see. We always like to make the best of any situation. :-)

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  8. Some nice scenery and missing the crowds is a good thing if you can do it. I travelled and saw Lake Louise and Banff back in September 1975 on my cross Canada adventure with my tent trailer to the island and back through the northern states.

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    1. Sounds to me like you are due for another trip out west, 1975 was a long time ago now. ;-)

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  9. Ruth , I trust that your age was a typo.You are not 73. If so you Robbed the Cradle as I think Keven is only 63. cheers

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    1. Not sure where you are seeing my age as 73? Kevin did mention that I had visited Lake Louise years ago when I was 13 years old. And BTW, Kevin is not 63 either! :-)

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  10. The color pots are interesting, did you check if they are hot water?

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    1. They were interesting, we wished there were a few more of them but there were only three. Yes, we did check and no, the water wasn't hot.

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  11. Great drive but so smoky. Lake Louise is always beautiful. Will have to visit the paint pits one day they look interesting. Enjoy your family reunion. Be safe.

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    1. It is a beautiful drive when you can see the gorgeous scenery unfortunately we didn't see as much of this gorgeous scenery as we would like to have, it was still a nice drive though. Lake Louise is beautiful but there are just too many people there for us, we don't enjoy places like that as much when they are so busy.

      The Paint Pots were interesting, especially the colour of them.

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