Orlando Bingles’ Rocky Mountain High: Day 10

by Bingle on May.28, 2009, under Richard Bingle Family

Despite our plan of getting an early start, we failled utterly (even though poor Karen got up at 7:00) and we didn’t leave the town of Banff until almost 10:00 a.m.). Tranis-Canada 1 is in the process of being widened to a 4 lane divided highway (what they call “twinning”) and while they are doing that they are installing an 8 foot high wire fencing on either side of the highway to keep the animals safe. So, instead of driving up to the Lake Louise area on Trans-Canada 1, we instead took the Bow Valley Parkway (1A), which,for the most part, parallels the highway. We saw quite a few deer along the parkway, but no bears.

Catwalks at Johnston Canyon

We stopped at Johnston Canyon and hiked up to the Upper Johnston Falls, a little over 1.5 miles each way (with a lot of elevation changes). At the view of the Lower Falls, there is a little tunnel (created once upon a time by the river and widened by man back in 1920) through the canyon wall that provides a unique (and very misty) viewpoint. The trail up the canyon was actually very well maintained. At some points it was actually a catwalk suspended above the river from the canyon wall. Unlike our Jenny Lake hike, there were a fair number of people on the trail.

Family at Lake Louise

After our 3 hour hike, we continued north to Lake Louise. We had been warned that the view had been spoiled by all of the boats and such on the lake, but that sure wasn’t the case for us. There were absolutely zero boats on the lake in fact. Of course, that was probably due to the half inch of ice still covering the majority of the lake. The ice spoils the reflective nature of the lake, but it is still pretty (although a bit chilly).

Spiral train tunnel in Yoho National Park

After spending some time at Lake Louise, we made a side trip into Yoho National Park so that the girls could see the spiral train tunnel there. There were quite a few people (including a tour bus) there when we arrived, but no train. We looked over the exhibits at the tunnel overlook and thought about leaving, but nobody else seemed to be leaving (including the tour bus), so we waited around a while until we heard a train going past above us – it had to be heading our way! A little later the gathered crowd was greeted with a blast from the train’s whistle as it approached the overlook and everyone scrambled for a good place to watch. The girls were pretty excited to see the train enter the tunnel and a couple minutes later emerge 50 feet beneath itself with the end of the train still to enter the tunnel. We waited until the entire train had completed its circular journey and then headed back into Banff National Park.

As we headed back to Banff, we again took the Bow Valley Parkway, driving slowly in the hopes of catching a glimpse of a bear or moose, but only saw more deer. After a quick trip up Tunnel Mountain Road past our hotel to see the Hoodoos, we returned to the hotel for some more fun at the attached waterslide (although Rich mostly just soaked in the hot tub while Karen and the girls enjoyed the slides).

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.