7 Jun 2015--We are in Hinton, Canada...238 Miles northwest of Canmore, and in order to get here we had to drive 165 of those miles thru Banff and Jasper National Parks. Great scenery and wildlife, so although it took us 6+ hours to get here, there was plenty to look at. Check out how they make these artificial animal crossings...you can see when I zoomed in on the overpass, they have planted trees, etc., so the animals stay safely in their natural habitat. I thought that was totally cool, even though you have to wonder how the animals know they are supposed to use it! haha
In the past 2 days we have seen 6 black bears, numerous mountain goats and elk, and even a bald eagle...but I didn't get a picture of the bald eagle yet (Patti...I tried!). You have to be careful driving, cause these animals walk out like they own the place. haha
Like the western US, western Canada is breathtakingly beautiful!!! Because I was curious, I googled a couple things to compare them with the US. Did you know that Canada is bigger than both the US...and even China...by landmass? Yup! Canada has about 3.85 million square miles to the US's 3.7! BUT, I think there are more animals than people...They only have about 35 million people, compared to the US's 300+ million. And we don't know where all the people are, cause we haven't seen them! haha
We stopped at a "very high point on the mountain" overlook and took pictures and a video, but I am just posting the video. When I went back and looked at the pics, I didn't even know what I was looking at. Hard to explain, but you really couldn't capture it in a pic.
By the time we're thru with this trip, I am sure we will have no more followers...hope you don't get bored with the landscapes and animals, cause we love them!!! haha
We stopped at one of the most, or THE most, famous part of the parks for a few pictures. This is Athabasca Glacier on the Columbia Icefield. It's hard to perceive how vast this area is, but when you see the video you will notice a long winding road on the left that tour buses take tourists up to the middle/back of the icefield to walk out on. ( At first I thought it might be the road we had to continue our drive on, and when she looked at it Cathy said "if it is, we are turning around"...haha) In the middle of the ice strip, I zoomed in where the people walk out to...it looks like a thin black line out there it is so far away! Normally that is a trip Cathy and I would definitely take, but as there were about 4000 tourists waiting in line and we were only about 1/2 way along our our route to Hinton, we didn't do it.
An old "snowcat" type machine that they used to use to carry the tourists...Ellen and I took a more modern one in Yellowstone during the winter there years ago. And Canadians say "EH" a lot, so they put on a t-shirt! Our friend Gayle says it more than she probably is aware (haha)...they say it like Americans would say "you know what I mean?" or "right?" at the end of a sentence.
A picture of the KOA RV park in Hinton...To Merle and Jim; this probably would be a great place to work camp!
We went back into the northern part of the park on Saturday...no more than the idiots in Yellowstone, check out these tourists almost begging to be attacked by this young male elk. Cathy and I saw a woman get chased in Yellowstone before, and I was half hoping that one of these goofs would get a good head butt! What part of "wild animals" don't we understand?
We saw quite a few Bighorn Sheep in the middle of the road, and lots of elk also, but this was a first for us with the baby mountain goat!!! We had stopped to take pics of the adults on the road, when a woman pointed out a baby to us up on the mountainside. The video starts a little shaky cause I am zooming in,but this thing is so cute I had to include it!
The lake and creek waters here are all different shades of blue and green. We think the turquoise colored ones must be from heavy sulphur deposits...you can smell it.
The Athabasca Falls...what can I say? Beautiful and powerful! The Athabasca River runs all the way from Jasper up to the Arctic Ocean about 3800 miles away!
We followed the trail down to the river...thought we could get into the canyon, but could only view it.
As we returning to the parking lot we had an unexpected bear sighting!!! haha Check out the family behind the bear...I bet you that father was as surprised as we were. haha
When you blow this 2nd picture up it definitely looks like a painting.
So that's it for our very short stay in the Banff/Jasper areas. So far our only suggestion for Canada would be that they need more road signs...they have no mile/kilometer markers at all like we have in the US. We are getting pretty good at computing the distance measurements and monetary differences, but it would really help to have road markers so we know where we are in relation to everything else. Just a suggestion! haha
We leave tomorrow to go to Dawson Creek, where "Mile 0" of the Alaskan Highway starts! That seems odd when you consider that we will still be in Canada, but that's what they call it, so we're going with it! haha
Last but not least, we are not really crazy about this no phone/spotty internet (at best) situation. We are sitting in the town mall listening to and watching an elderly karaoke gathering in order to upload the pics and type this up...our RV park is worse than dial-up...and that's when you can get internet at all! But such is the price of sharing!!! Not the worst problem in the world to have!