I got a better picture of the strutting magpie...here you can see the blue in his wings...really very pretty up close.
So I was saying...the weather hasn't been that great, with lots of rain off and on for the 1st 2 days. Really low clouds coming into town, and then the 2nd pic shows more of the same at our RV Park. If not for the rain and clouds, it would be really nice here. We are surrounded by beautiful, snow-tipped mountains...at least when you can see them. haha
A couple beside us took protecting their car from flying rocks out of the back of the RV to a new level. haha Looks like a battering ram!
As we were setting up we realized we were going to have an issue with one of our back slide-outs, so we didn't get to do a lot except drive downtown and walk around. The town looks like a lot of European skiing communities. Pretty, but very touristy!
Anticipating more rain the next day, a woman at the town's Visitor Center told us we could take a scenic drive and mapped it out for us. She said we were just about guaranteed to see lots of animals, so on Wednesday off we went in the rain. It was about an 85 mile loop that took us over 3 1/2 hours to drive, but for the 1st 2 1/2 hours we saw gorgeous scenery but no animals other than lots of the Colombian Ground Squirrel featured at the end of the sequence. haha
We were just about to turn off what we thought was the main wildlife-viewing road and onto the highway to return back to the RV Park, when there, right on the side of the road, were all these Mountain Goats running like crazy. When we made the turn, they had momentarily stopped, so they gave us a chance to get the cameras out and start clicking and filming. Check out the video and see them practically stampede us! After the goats, down the road apiece, we saw the deer pictured here.
After our success with the goats and deer, we were all ramped up to continue more sightseeing, so after going home and having dinner we headed out to a scenic drive in Banff National Park, the 1st National Park in Canada. And BOY!, did we ever hit the jackpot!!!
We were barely in the park when we see this bear. He started out in the bushes but then decided to cross the street right in front of us, and walk along the other side of the road, I swear not 10 yards from us in the car. We read that because the bears are recently out of hibernation, they come to this area to eat, and he was certainly more intent on eating than paying any attention to us. At first I wasn't sure what kind of bear he was, but after seeing the videos below, there is no doubt in my mind that he is a grizzly. Just look at the claws on his paws in the video!
Next came a black bear, who was also really close to us, and similarly unconcerned with our presence. I can only assume that because they are in a National Park there may be no hunting here, or it is not hunting season, and the bears seem to know that. haha I also put 2 videos up of this one...just cause I love watching them!
A deer we saw on the edge of the road...the grass must taste better at the edges? haha We also saw a coyote, but I couldn't get a clear picture of him...much more shy than the bears and deer.
We had planned to do a bit of hiking in this area (didn't realize the extent of the bears--haha) and to take a gondola ride that a couple Canadian friends had told us about, but due to the weather that was out of the question. We were told that because of all the bear activity a lot of the hiking trails are closed so the bears can feed in peace...we were good with that!!! haha But after the wildlife viewing we headed out to Lake Louise...a gorgeous lake where the water is actually turquoise...it is about 9:45pm in these pictures, so the lighting is a bit off. But it was beautiful!
From there we drove over to Lake Moraine, another gorgeous area, but the water is not as pretty or as plentiful. We can only assume there is usually more water here based on the fallen tree limbs, but we are not sure. It is now 10pm, and no one is there to ask.
Finally, today, we had mostly sun for the 1st time here. See how nice the RV Park is when you can actually see the surroundings. The 2nd and 3rd pics show the town of Banff, a very German looking tourist town with a beautiful river running through it. We couldn't stay long because the repairman was coming to fix our RV.
Well, the repairman didn't fix our RV, but we now know what the issue is with the slide. The good news is that it is not the motor. The bad news is that it won't go in and out easily like it should because the rollers are misaligned. We don't know when we will get it fixed...we can manage as is, so we leave tomorrow as planned to go to Hinton, outside Jasper National Park.
Two last thoughts...1. We are supposed to have better weather ahead, so we are looking forward to that. 2. We don't know if it is all of Canada or just these touristy spots, but gas here is very expensive!!! We paid $3.43 a gallon for regular car gas yesterday, and that is taking into account the liter to gallon conversion and the money exchange rate! What is it in the states now?