Thursday, July 12, 2007

Calgary Happenings, Part III

I have a few minutes so I thought I would do one more blog. Thanks to Joanne's digital camera I have had pictures to show you of my experiences so far. You will have to wait until I get home to see my pictures once they are processed. So far I have 12 rolls to process (or is it 14?)!

Joanne took me to Banff National Park for a day. We went along the old Trans Canada, 1A, and the sights were amazing. How can anyone not believe in God when they see the beauty all around? Joanne and I went to Lake Moraine. What a beautiful spot. I think I could live in the mountains so easily. I kind of feel about them the way I do about northern Ontario - awestruck.
I was able to take a couple of pictures of trains traveling the rails along this stretch of road. Some day I would like to travel across Canada by train in a sleeper car. What a great way to see the country.
I think I have these growing my garden back home! The columbine is one of my favourites.
I was so glad that Joanne was patient with me since I kept yelling, "Stop the car!" so I could get pictures and I wanted to sketch. Lake Moraine was a lovely spot to stop and get out the sketch book and pencils. It would have been great to have a day just to sit by the side of the lake and paint. The water is turquoise. Who needs to go to the Caribbean when you have the lakes in the Rockies? The only problem is that you freeze the tush off if you swim in the ice cold water.
A couple days later Gayle drove me up to the mountains. While we were at Lake Moraine four teenage boys dared each other to jump into the lake. They all jumped in at the same time and as soon as they came up they made a mad dash for shore. They would enjoy being a part of the polar bear club that goes for a swim every winter in the Great Lakes in Ontario. I think the one in Toronto does it around New Year's.

When Gayle took me up to the mountains we also went to the Columbian Icefield in Jasper. Such a "cool" place. It was interesting to learn all about the glaciers and the shaping of the Rockies. There were trees there that are 300 years old and only about six feet tall. There was another patch of trees that were 8oo years old and only about eight feet tall. They harshness of the mountain environment with winter-like conditions almost year round makes for an extremely short growing season - I think they said about six weeks! The day we went was actually a warm day - 15 degrees.

Nathan and I took a tour bus out onto the glacier. It was one of these buses that are used in the oil industry on these humongous wheels. Nathan was excited because his family has only visited the toe before. We saw big horned sheep on the side of the road. I tried getting pictures of them through the bus window. Hopefully they will turn out and I can show you them at another time.

On our way back down the highway we stopped in Lake Louise to see the famous Fairmont Hotel. We also stopped in Banff for dinner. We ate at the Old Spaghetti Factory in the open area section. Eating spaghetti looking out at the mountains - life couldn't be better! A couple days before when Joanne took me to the mountains I saw the other famous Fairmont hotel, Banff Springs, and the Canadian Place owned by the government (Canada House?) and used for summits and retreats. I preferred the Banff Springs hotel to Lake Louise because of the rocks/bricks used in constructing the buildings. They look more historic.

Anyway, now that I have rambled on and on and on, it is probably time to say aurevoir. I will be traveling into the BC interior for camping with Stephen and Gayle and the kids. We are hoping to go to Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump (I love saying that!), the Frank Slide and the Crowsnest pass. These are all historic places. I will write again when I get home. So.... toodles for now and speak to you soon!


Evie said...

I've really enjoyed reading about your trip. You've done and seen lots of cool stuff.

Jenn said...

that lake is so beautiful!!!

Dave said...

Pleased you had a great time

Barbara said...

sounds like a great trip. Now you need to get around to scrapping the pictures!

Claudia and Luke said...

what beautiful pictures