More sun, snow, & Glaciers

Sunday, 24 July.  The morning was sunny and cool.  I was able to get some coffee and an English muffin in order to get a start on the day.  I then loaded up the car and prepare to set off down the road.

The entire drive was on one Canadian highway, 93.  The initial part of the drive was on a high plain with mountains on both sides.  Patches of snow capped many of the mountains.  As I approached Radium Springs, the mountains closed in on the road.

The entrance Kootenay National Park is quite spectacular.  The road is at the bottom of the narrow gorge with sheer rock faces climbing high into the sky.  For the rest of the drive through the park the road winds at the base of the Rocky Mountains.  It is quite spectacular.  Obviously, only a small percentage of the drivers on the road for tourists.  Driving at the speed limit so that I could enjoy the view, I had to pull over and let drivers raced by going somewhere but never looking to the side or up.  It was a most enjoyable drive.

In 93 joins Hwy 1 at Lake Louise for a short way.  Highway 1 is the Cross Canadian Highway.  I was now in Banff National Park.  They parted their ways, and I continued up 93.  This very shortly became also known as the Ice Fields Highway.  Over the past four days I’ve gone from one spectacular road to another.  Two of the roads I had previously driven.  This is not detract from the glory of either of those two roads.  The Ice Fields Highway is a feast for one’s eyes.  The Rockies rise sheer, jagged, and bare.  Their tops well above the tree line.  At each turn a new glorious view appears.  One notes that in addition to the large snow packs are in some cases huge ice packs of the glaciers.  It is a sight to be relished.

Just to the north of the Saskatchewan River Crossing is a lodge/motel, called The Crossing.  I remembered seeing here several years earlier when I drove the Ice Fields Highway with my friend Lee Troutman.  It is relatively nice, though expensive as it is the only place in many a mile or kilometer in any direction.  I was able to get a room for only C$151.

Actually, we had to find a room for me as the initial room was located next to the pub and over something that every five minutes would turn on and thump away before turning off.  I finally got room in another building.  When I tried to turn on the heat in the building, it wouldn’t turn on.  I found out, when the maintenance man brought me a space heater, that as the temperature had gotten up to about 75° the owner could turn off the heating system.  That the temperature was dropping into the lower 40s this night was not a factor.

While the room warmed up, I headed over to the club and grilled myself a buffalo burger.  You get to be the chef and grilled your food as you like it.  The buffalo burger was not bad at all.  The prices were little high but such is the economy in the backwoods.  The gas prices are equally high.  When I add a few liters to the tank tomorrow, of the paying well in excess of six dollars a gallon.  Oh well, this is still only about two thirds of what I will be paying in Europe if my trip comes off next spring.

I got back to my warm room, goofed off for awhile, and then went to bed early.


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