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Terry & Dave Taylor

Icefields Parkway | Banff

Banff National Park: Not much to report today, as we had a driving day - but it was a drive often described as the most beautiful in North America - or possibly the world. The road from Jasper National Park to Banff National Park, the Icefields Parkway, is spectacular to say the least. Every turn reveals another rocky peak, glacier, river, meadow, valley, waterfall or tree-filled mountainside. In less than 200 miles you can stop at countless viewpoints, turn-outs, side roads and trail heads. We have driven this road three or four times now and never tire of the beauty.

The Columbia Ice Field
The Columbia Ice field

The Columbia Ice field covers over 200 square miles - the photo shows just the "toe" of the glacier. An ice field is a 'body of ice from which glaciers flow outwards in more than one direction'.  The Columbia Ice field cloaks the continental divide in the Canadian Rockies. In the Canadian Rockies, there are 16 "official" ice fields - this one happens to be on the freeway! Tourists can take a SnoCoach (like a big bus with huge snow tires) ride on the glacier - but we have always resisted. They seem to only mar the natural beauty of the glaciers! Stop this!

We had a lovely drive and lovely weather. It is nearly 90 degrees today in the Canadian Rockies! Goldie is now camped in one of only 800 campsites in Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court in Banff National Park - just above Banff Townsite. We have full-service hook-ups and I had the washing machine going within 5 minutes of parking! This is wilderness luxury! We spent the late afternoon resting (and doing laundry) and then went into Banff for dinner.
Banff is the most fun town site in the Rockies! Great shopping. Great restaurants. Tourists from everywhere in the world - including Japan. (That was a joke - every-other tourist in town was Japanese.)  DT has promised me an entire afternoon of shopping later in the week, so I just popped in to a few shops tonight... oh, the goodies available are very tempting! We ended up at The Maple Leaf, a rustic-looking restaurant that had been a Hard Rock Cafe three years ago. Full of timbered ceilings, stone stairs and plush pillows on the bench seats, The Maple Leaf is a cozy spot for a nice meal. We were seated at the bar to wait for a table and chatted up a nice English couple. They were here on 'holiday' and had read about "Deadmonton" in the British newspapers and asked us our opinion of The World's. DT had salmon, baked with wasabi and I had poutine. Poutine (pronounced Pooh-teen, or almost like Pooh-tin with a French-Canadian accent) is French-Canadian for French fries with cheese and gravy. They used white Canadian cheddar and it was divine. We also had salads, just in case you don't think we have a well-balanced diet. Our diet was also balanced with malt and hops of the Canadian extra-leaded variety.
We had planned to hike tomorrow, but the mercury will climb even higher and it is not good to hike at high altitudes in high temperatures... so we will have another driving day - looking for critters and birds and sightseeing - in the BC2. Also, there is a big forest fire just west of Banff and the air is quite smoky - so we are hoping for a long hike on Saturday.

Campground: Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court

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