So, Sharon has done quite a bit of research on our trip for today and it is quite the trip. She learned that in order to be able to drive to the lakes up near Lake Louise you need to be there very early. No problem for us, we are up before the birds. We quickly eat breakfast and get the van ready for the day and hit the road. The Trans-Canada Road, number 1. This will take us the short drive into Banff. Naturally, everything is closed including the visitor center. The town isn't what we came to see it is the surrounding mountains, they are indescribably beautiful. Pictures do them no justice.
The weather is not cooperating but we hope it will stave off the masses for a little bit. We arrive at the town and are able to get right to the lake parking lot. It is a short walk down to the lake, but due to the rain and cold we can't stay very long. There is a model doing a photo shoot at the side of the lake (right side of the above picture). She is barefoot and wearing a long black dress. The photographer wants her to put her foot into the water but she is hesitant to do so. We leave before we find out the outcome.
On the way back out is another road that goes to Moraine Lake. It is about 5 miles back there and once we get to the parking area, we can see that the masses don't care about the rain and cold. We had to make the loop twice before finding a spot to park. The RV parking is all parallel parking and most of the drivers obviously haven't been sharpening their skills leaving large gaps between rigs. We see our first elk as we are leaving town heading back out onto Hwy 1 for the trip to Lake Louise.
We head down to the lake for photos and then to the gift shop for souvenirs. The cafe isn't open yet but I mosey on down to wait for them to open. I need another shot of coffee. When I see the price, $8 for a regular cup of joe, I pass and head back out to find Sharon. She is still trying to decide what to get. Soon we are heading back to the RV and then back out to the main road.
As we approach town, we can see why they advise that you arrive early. The streets have been taken over by officials directing traffic. Plus, they are not allowing anyone to turn left from Moraine Lake to go to Lake Louise. Good thing we already saw that. Before heading out we stop at a small shopping center. Me in search of coffee, her in search of souvenirs. I bomb out but Sharon finds what she is looking for and we head back to the van.
Right after Lake Louise, Hwy 1 continues on west but we peel off and head north on Hwy 93 for a tour of the Icefields Parkway. This drive is not to be missed. Glaciers are everywhere as are numerous waterfalls, creeks and rivers. It was a gorgeous drive and the traffic wasn't too bad. Plenty of places to pull over to let the locals get by.
At the end of this road is the town of Jasper and Jasper National Park. Here we turn right on Hwy 16 where we will drive north to Hwy 40. This is a much smaller road than any we've been on so far and a bit rough. But, it is a good shortcut to get up to Dawson Creek.
We only make it as far as Grand Cache where we secure a camping spot at the city campground. Electric, water and sewer for $30 CDN ($22.50 USD). Our site isn't too level and I have to pull straight in the connect to the electric, but that's all right. A few lego blocks brings us up close to level and we provided free entertainment to the folks next door. There are showers, laundry, wifi, firewood, you name it they had it. Nice place although it is a ways off the road. The city also provides a free RV dump which we used prior to coming to the campground. It is still raining a bit but not too bad. We both make a few trips to the main building for showers, internet and the bathrooms. Nice, clean place.