The Dragon Wagon

The Dragon Wagon
The landscaping changes often.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Picas and Sheep and Bears, Oh MY!

We were lucky and saw a fair amount of wildlife on our drives in the area around Jasper.

We caught this one trying to get into Bob and Di's rig.

As we were leaving Jasper, we came across this sow feeding alongside the road.  It turned out that she had three very young (and playful) cubs.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Jasper National Park

Because we like the smaller town of Jasper much more than the larger, more tourist oriented town of Banff, we are spending most of our time in the Canadian Rockies near Jasper.

After finding Lake Louise still frozen over, we knew that Lake Maligne near Jasper would still be frozen, but we still wanted to make the drive to the lake.  On the way up to Lake Maligne, the road passes Medicine Lake.  The floor of Medicine Lake has channels that allow water to leak out.  When the inflow is less than the leakage rate, the lake empties.  In the spring and summer, snow melt produces enough water to overcome the leakage and the lake fills.  The native people feared the area due to the "great medicine".

This fellow was feeding along side the road near the upper end of Medicine Lake.

As expected, Maligne Lake was still mostly frozen, but still spectacular.

Another side trip was south to visit the Athabasca Falls.  This is a view of the Athabasca River along the way.

There were snow flurries moving through the area.

At a pullout near the river, we came across this group of kayakers getting ready to paddle down the Athabasca.

We think our friends Larry and Renee should get a pair of these!

The Athabasca River drops into a narrow gorge at the Athabasca Falls.  Because of the narrow gorge and limited public access, getting images of the falls is a challenge.

Icefields Parkway

One of the most spectacular drives that we know is along the Icefields Parkway.  This is the highway that runs from Lake Louise in Banff National Park to Jasper in Jasper National Park.  Here are just a few of the views we enjoyed during this trip.

The Weeping Wall

Bridalveil Falls

Tangle Falls

The Endless Chain

Friday, May 18, 2012

Banff and Lake Louise

Our favorite part of western Canada has to be the Canadian Rockies, and especially Banff National Park, Jasper National Park and the Icefields highway that run between them.

The most famous landmark in the town of Banff is probably the Banff Springs Hotel.

We always see Clark's Nutcrackers here.

Having only visited Lake Louise in mid-summer, it never occurred to us that that lake might still be frozen in mid May.

We hiked to the upper end of the lake and had this view of the Lake Louise Chateau.

On To British Columbia

After Palouse Falls, we headed to  Grand Coulee to pick up some forwarded mail.  On the way we stopped at Dry Falls.  When the cataclysmic ice age Missoula Floods happened, they temporarily created the largest waterfall in the world at this location.

After Grand Coulee we headed up US-97 into British Columbia.  The border crossing was one of the easiest and quickest that we have experienced.  The first camping spot in Canada was at Kekuli Bay Provincial Park.   This park has a large population of the Yellow-bellied Marmots.

Finally when driving through Canada's Glacier National Park we get into the Canadian Rockies.