(the blog on Alaska is now complete as well)
After my 72 hour trip I arrived finally in Calgary looking forward to finally having my own car. It was sunday 11 July, the world cup finals of The Netherlands against Spain and it appeared that my car rental office was closed and the deal I had found was not available anymore but got offered a car for 300 dollars more!! I ended up watching parts of the world cup in a chinese (!) restaurant, and after many calls I found the last car available for a good price from Rent-a-Wreck. I was really happy not to be dependent anymore and being able to leave, stop and arrive whenever I wanted.
Coming from Alaska I was afraid that I would not enjoy the Canadian Rockies anymore but Banff proved to be a pleasant mountain town. Of course everything is about tourism there and I sometimes had the feeling to be in the Netherlands as there are many many tourists, but the style is ok and the setting is great with all the mountains. There was a really nice concert in one of the bars and really enjoyed my evening.
Map of Canadian Rocky Mountains
Skyline of Calgary
Calgary, where the Stampede started, The Netherlands lost the Worldcup from Spain, my rented car was not available after the 72 hours of travel and ended up with a 'rent-a-wreck'
With finally a rented car, to the Canadian Rockies
The Canadian rockies coming from Calgary
Lake Louise is famous and it is a beautiful lake. The huge hotel next to it is a bit a pity. however, the hike to Plain Six Glaciers is nice if a bit easy.
From Lake Louise to Plain Six Glaciers
Plain Six Glaciers
Plain Six Glaciers
Plain six Glaciers, hike from Lake Louise
Moraine lake (after 20 degrees celcius the day before, the 8 degrees were a bit cold...)
YOHO NATIONAL PARK
Waterfalls, waterfalls, and waterfalls. all different, but all from the same day: Whaleback and Iceline trail. In Jasper it was hailing the size of tennisballs, so I was very lucky with cjust loudy weather.
On the Iceline trail this two rocks who are together but separated with of course another waterfall
Iceline Trail. Left top is from a campsite where you can put your food against the bears
The water towards the Twin Falls. Left below is where the water actually goes down into the waterfall
View from Iceline Trail
ICEFIELD PARKWAY THROUGH CANADIAN ROCKIES
The Icefield Parkway is indeed a very beautiful drive.
The beautiful Icefields Parkway.
Icefields Parkway: 230 km of beautiful mountains, one after the other, all different and all beautiful.
Athabasca Glacier: they even made busses to go up to the glacier. After being spoilt in Alaska I took a picture, laughed about the mass tourism and continued my road...
If you think that stone is harder than water: just have a look at the Maligne Canyon: the water has shaped perfect rounds everywhere.
Stones from the Parker Ridge: on top: one side with white spots, the other side with white stripes, kind of fossiles???
Stones from the canadian rockies. Left below are garnetts from South East Alaska (wrangell)
Stones from Alaska and Canadian rockies
JASPER NATIONAL PARK
waterfalls, waterfalls and waterfalls, all around Jasper
Right: black bear close to Jasper with 10 cars trying to get pictures from the cute bear who is unaware of these paparazzi. Left: brown bear in Denali park with 2 young bears.
BANFF NATIONAL PARK - Parkers Ridge
One of the nicest hikes I did was to the Parkers Ridge. I arrived early evening which gave a beautiful light and it was a nice steep hike (if a bit short) with a very rewarding view at the Glacier.
Although the parker ridge is only a short hike it is a wonderful hike (with lots of wind!). I was informed that they saw a grizzly bear just before me, but all I saw were two bighorn sheep and lots of nice nature (glacier, stones).
Top: Athabasca Glacier. Bottom: Mt and Glacier Saskatchewan, both in the evening with perfect light
Parker Ridge trail with a view at the Saskatchewan Glacier
Some nice footprints, guess what is what... there is a grizzly bear footprint from the parker ridge (which just passed before me, I was told), and furthermore....
BANFF NATIONAL PARK - Healy Pass and Egypt Lake
The Healy pass is known for its flowers and indeed there were many.
On the way to the Healy Pass
Up to the Healy pass you go along many lakes and flowers
Lots of flowers at the Healy Pass
On top the Monarch Ramparts covered with a nice layer of snow. On the bottom the view next to it (both from Healy Pass): the Pharaoh Peaks with Egypt lake.
one of the many lakes on the way to Healy Pass
Deer and bighorn / rocky mountain sheep. The male and female bighorn herd separately
CANMORE - Lady Mc Donald
The other nicest hike was my scramble up to Lady Mc Donald. Not because it is the nicest scramble around (you have most of the time a view at Canmore) but because it was a scramble. I only learnt two evenings before from Amber, Tyler, Enrique (who had been stuck for days in snow and had to be flown out) that in Canada there is the concept of scrambling, which is basically in between hiking, mountaineering and climbing. They recommended me Mount Temple which indeed looked very nice, but unfortunately there was too much snow so in the end I climbed the Lady Mc Donald which was very nice too, and met with Barkley and Henrike + dog which was really nice.
The scramble up to the Lady Mc Donald. I point to the top where I went. Meanwhile I met some locals, had a nice chat with Barkley and ended hiking up with Henrike and the beautiful dog who went in same speed as I did.
Scrambling up to Lady Mc Donald was really nice and steep
Henrike and me on the Lady Mc Donald at the end of our scramble
FROM CALGARY TO MINNEAPOLIS TO THE NETHERLANDS
View from Calgary at 6.00 in the morning
The canadian Rockies from the sky
Lake Louise from the sky
Arriving back home at 'my' canal with beautiful weather