The Ice Pathways
We arrive in Jasper to spend the night before heading to Banff and Calgary on the last leg of our journey. Our hotel is a swanky Fairmount hotel surrounded by stunning countryside. After a trip into Jasper Town to take a look around, we explore the hotel’s grounds. There is a lake we scout around, absorbing our environment. I’m using Back Wheel Balance to get over the undulating terrain. I have to admit; I did have to ask my wife for assistance on one particularly steep section I struggled with. Verbal independence is just as important to be able to do the things I want. Returning to the hotel, we head to the bar for refreshments and listen to the Jazz Pianist playing.
Checking out of the hotel, we head towards Banff. The plan is to drive part of Route 93 of the Icefield Parkway and stop at Lake Louise for an overnight break. Rated as one of the top drives in the world, the Icefield Parkway is a double-lane highway winding along the Continental Divide through soaring rocky mountain peaks, icefields and vast sweeping valleys. We make a stop on route at Athabasca Glacier, which we can get up close to. There is a continuous, thunderous flow of water coming from a huge hole in the Glacier. The water looks clear and fresh.
As we continue along Route 93, the same clear ice water in the river that follows adjacent to the road as we drive is the same meltwater we witnessed coming from the Glacier. It feels strange to think how much this Glacier is melting, creating this roaring water flow running alongside us. What will happen when it’s all gone?
Pulling in at Lake Louise, tired and in need of rest. The lake is stunning, with more fresh, clear water surrounded by sheer steep tree-lined mountains. Far at the distant end of the lake, you can see Glaciers, squeezed between mountain ridges, that feed water to this lake. It is quite breathtaking. We attempt to walk, or push in my case, the walking trail that runs the lake’s length. We nearly make it to the end, but the terrain gets too much for me and my skills.
After an overnight stay, we get back on the road heading towards Calgary, leaving the Rockies in the rearview mirror. The drive is nice and steady. After finding our hotel, we decided to explore the city. Finding an appealing park, we sit in, absorbing the environment for a while, then we go in quest of discovering more of the city in our limited time here.
Time in Calgary
It seems common in Canada for cities to have Towers in the tourist areas. I assume there may be used for communication as well. We find the Calgary tower and venture into the lift, which zooms us to the viewing area. This is the third high rise tower we encountered on this North American trip. But this tower doesn’t have a restaurant like Toronto, but it has a class floor. My wife is tentative about stepping on it. I roll on without concern, followed by a gasp from onlookers. Rationalising the floor to myself, it looks pretty thick glass, and it wouldn’t be there if it weren’t safe.
The time has come to head to the airport for our journey home and the start of our married life together. The airport is easy to find with the assistance of the sat-nav. The hire car is returned, and we head to check-in. With our bags weighed, passports checked, I came up with an idea. Putting on my best smile, I ask the check-in staff if there is any space in a better seating area on our flight? Alas, no, the flight is full – it was worth a try, it worked on the way here…….