Back on the highway we saw a coyote, two mountain goats, and a Bighorn sheep that appeared to be entertaining us.
Still on the Icefields Parkway, we stopped along the road with other tourists to take a dip in the Athabasca River, I did not go in very far because oh my was it ever cold!
Next stop was Miette Hot Springs, the water was absolutely wonderful, this I did spend some time in, with a view of the Fiddle River Valley.
Before reaching Saskatoon Island Provincial Park, we made a quick stop at the Toyota dealer to buy some radiator fluid, we needed a top up because of all the driving we had been doing. We reached the park before dinnertime, to see snowshoe hares everywhere. Maybe due to the abundance of Saskatoon berries, a quick favourite of mine. I picked a large Tupperware container full, and they lasted a couple of weeks for me, a delicious addition to my morning porridge.
We were at site #93, and after quickly setting up our tent, having a bite to eat, we asked about the beach. We were told not to swim in the water you would get the “itch”. Apparently no one has been able to go in the lake for years due to blue-green algae and an abundance of leeches.
The map above does not show are actual starting point, thus not giving out Nicole’s home address to the world. We did though take the Bow Valley Trail out of Calgary since it was more of a scenic route. After saying goodbye to Nicole, and watching a Magpie literally pick up some dog poop, then realizing what it was, dropped it square on her lawn furniture! As pretty as they are, they are apparently considered pests because there are just so many of them out west.
We were on the road by 7:30 a.m., mileage now 3944 kilometres, and since neither of us had been to the Canadian Rockies, we were quite excited. First we had some grocery shopping, and a stop at Canadian Tire for more camping supplies, and a new air mattress since ours had sprung a leak that we were unable to locate. As soon as we drove on to the highway, we were immediately distracted by the dog running all over the three lanes. Vehicles, thankfully all slowed right down, and a few of us tried to stop the dog by very slowly edging our cars closer to him. Matt then pulled our SUV over to the side of the road where I did get out, and tried with no luck to call the dog over. The dog eventually trotted off the road onto the hillside happy as a lark. He really looked as if he didn’t have a care in the world.
Finally towards the Rockies we went ,and as they came into sight, both of us were just in awe. The closer we came to them, it was like every view was a picture postcard.
Below are just a few pictures of the Rockies; these were actually taken through the front window of our SUV which my husband cleaned each time we stopped.
Once we reached the Rockies our next stop was Banff National Park, where all must pay an entrance fee even if you are just driving through, this fee is more than worth the price. We then headed up the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper National park where we set up camp for the night at Mount Kerkislin Campground on the Athabasca River. We were at site #30 of 42. This campground is a self-registration camp, and we soon learned it was best to start looking for a campground around 3 p.m. each day before all the best spots were taken. On the drive we saw our first Bighorn Sheep which were of course blocking traffic. We were quite a ways down the road, so I did exit the car to snap some photos.
The following pictures were taking from the vehicle as we drove through the Rockies to our campsite. There wasn’t a site on the road that didn’t leave us awestruck.
Yesterday was awesome, we spent the day walking trails, and just resting in the beautiful sunshine. Without trees on our campsite, there was no way for Matt to hang tarp to provide some shade. He did do his best attaching two very large umbrellas on the roof of the RAV4, but by the next day I was pretty sure, my eyes were sun burnt. I should have been wearing my sunglasses for protection. I learned the hard way, my eyes were quite sore for a good week afterwards.
Before we left for Calgary, Matt hiked up a large mountain, I stayed at camp, packing up, knowing I would not be able to complete that particular hike. The video he shot really showed how wide-ranging the badlands are, covering 8,086 hectares.
Mileage 3625 kilometres. We took a scenic drive towards Calgary because I wanted to make a stop in Drumheller to visit a few stores. Matt wanted a dinosaur shirt, and ended up buying one that glows in the dark. He has a thing for t-shirts with animals prints.
Here are a few pictures from the day:
We arrived in Calgary in no time at all. The main reason for visiting Calgary was to see my lovely friend Nicole, owner and writer of Girl in a Boy House.
Neither Matt nor I have ever been to Calgary, so Nicole drove us around, giving us a brief history of the city, then it was off for a walk in Nose Hill Natural Environment Park with Nicole’s dog Barclay. In the background are the Rockies. After our walk, we headed back to Nicole’s, where she took the time to make us a nice meal. Soon her husband arrived home from work, and the evening was spent having a few drinks, and chatting. It was an early night for us though, excited about reaching our next destination.