Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

No Vacancy in Paradise

Apparently there's no vacancy in paradise. I was very sad to discover this, but such is life. Booo.

hahaha ah well - we're pretty close here anyways. Had breakfast at the same yummy breakfast place and then headed out towards Lake Louise. Took the scenic route - route 1A. Seriously. Route 1 is the Trans-Canada highway. Couldn't they have come up with a *slightly* more creative name *g* Anyways -- our friendly ParksCanada friends have created E areas -- I was guessing E meant Educational, but turns out it actually stands for Exhibit. hahaha


Getting that perfect photo :)


Regardless - areas (many of them scenic) with signs with information tidbits. Some about the immediate area, some about the history, some about the animals. Credit to Parks Canada for these - felt like having a tour guide along and we now know all sorts of arguably useless but moderately interesting info that could someday win us $ on Jeopardy *g* From the use of fire as a regenerant to Canadian internment camps during the first world war and the 1913 depression (1913 depression? The only one I'd ever heard of was 1929? So much for my knowledge of Can history *sigh*) to migratory and feeding habits of animals. Made the drive fairly entertaining (as much from watching for and locating the signs as what the signs actually said!)



@ Castle Mountain E


So then we got to Lake Louise and snagged a parking spot. The lake was, obviously, stunning. The colour of the water almost surreal - even after seeing rivers like that all week. N the glacier at the top center finalizes the picture. There were a fair number of tourists here so we left them and headed up the trail to the Lake Angus Tea House. "Up" in that sentence is very literal. 367 m (1,204 ft) in 3.4km.



Some amazing views. I think Mum was finding the hike a little intense, but she made it :) About 3/4 of the way up was Mirror Lake. The same turquoise colour but still enough to reflect the surrounding mountains.



From there there were two ways to get to the Tea House. We (accidentally!) picked the steepest one. Classic eh? Quite challenging but made for some interesting photos :)



We finally made it to Lake Angus and the Tea House. Have to wonder at the business plan that puts a restaurant in a location completely inaccessible by vehicle with no running water and no power. hahaah but they were doing good (cash only! Would be good to know *before* hiking up the mountain!) business. Crazy expensive -- although no real sense to their pricing (ie PB&J sandwich: $8.75. HUGE slice of Apple Crisp: $6.) but what we had was good.



The staff live up there (I was wondering about the commute and that was the answer :) in tiny cabins with no modern conveniences. And not a whole lot to do other than work. The lake is a few deg above 0 (apparently never passes 10) so swimming is out. But to each their own :)

We hiked down the easy trail -- much faster than the way up, but we were ready to finish by the time we got back to the car (I say we w/ reasonable confidence, but Mum's welcome to post her own blog story if she wants :)

A quick detour for ice cream. Mmmmmm ice cream... and then we were off back to Banff. Stopped at a couple of the Es we'd missed on the way in and otherwise just enjoyed the incredible scenery on the way back. They take "Scenic Route" to a whole new level here. And when we hit an "animal jam" -- that'd be where people stop on the side of the road to look at wildlife -- I have to admit we did exactly what we shouldn't and pulled over in front of the other cars. Getting out, I asked the guy in the car behind me what it was. "A baby bear" he told me. Hmmmmm where there's a baby, there's a mother. But I really wanted to see... So staying on the appropriate side of the road from where he appeared to be, I scanned where the others seemed to be pointing cameras and eventually saw him! Sooooo cute! But when he moved... Fast! I don't know if it actually was a baby or not. I only snapped one shot -- too busy actually watching. hahaha Was pretty awesome to see. I'm still grinning. I think I should buy a plush bear to commemorate *g*


There really is a bear here!


Anyways the rest of the drive was gorgeous of course (how much fun would commuting be if the 401 looked like this?) but nothing to top the bear. Anyways - time for dinner! Later.

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