Cindy invents a cocktail.

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Bow Lake on the Ice Field Parkway between Banff and Jasper.

Bow Lake on the Ice Field Parkway between Banff and Jasper.

Thursday, July 17th – Lake Louise

Today we’re leaving the town of Banff and heading 60 miles north to Lake Louise. Our only option is the Trans-Canada Highway which continues through Banff National Park the entire way. Lake Louise is the most photographed lake in Canada and is known for its unique turquoise colored water. The photos I’ve seen are amazing and I can’t wait to see it in person.

Before leaving Banff, we top off with diesel at $1.119/liter CD (or $3.39/gal US) which is more than the $0.98/liter CD (~$2.96/gal US) we paid south of here. Everything in Banff seems more expensive than elsewhere in Canada. Since the Trans-Canada is like an Interstate Highway, it’s only an hour later when we arrive. Once again we haven’t made camping reservations but this time we’re not so lucky as the Lake Louise Campground is full. Our options are to head back south a few miles and stay in the unserviced overflow lot or head north 10 miles and try for a spot at the first-come, first-serve Mosquito Creek Campground. I saw the overflow lot from the highway when driving up here. It’s basically a parking lot with a view of the Trans-Canada so, despite its ominous sounding name, we decide to head north for Mosquito Creek.

It’s still early when we arrive. The Ranger back at Lake Louise told us Mosquito Creek was more for tent campers than RV’s but we see lots of available RV-suitable sites along the Creek. We opt for Site 32. It’s at the end, privately nestled between pine trees and just a few feet from the waters edge. It’s perfect so we pay for 3 nights (~$14.00/night US).

The view of our campsite along Mosquito Creek. Despite its name, we saw few mosquitos.

The view of our campsite along Mosquito Creek. Despite its name, we saw few mosquitos.

T&E enjoyed wading and drinking the crystal clear glacial waters of Mosquito Creek. The water was 46 degrees (I measured it).

T&E enjoyed wading and drinking the crystal clear glacial waters of Mosquito Creek. The water was 46 degrees (I measured it).

Friday, July 18th – Time to check out the Lake

It’s 41 degrees outside when I wake up. I turn on the furnace, light the stove for percolator coffee, and leash up T&E for their morning walk. It rained last night and the surrounding mountains are covered in snow. We’re at 6000 feet and if we had been another 1000 feet higher, we would have had snow as well. Today we’re driving back to Lake Louise to see if the lake really is the color I’ve seen in photographs.

We arrive around noon. Unlike the town of Banff, there’s no town here. There’s a strip shopping center with a small grocery, liquor store, post office, and a few other retail establishments. We follow the signs to the lake, about 2-3 miles from the Trans-Canada. When we arrive, the parking lots are packed with tourists. We get lucky and grab a space someone is vacating.

As we walk down towards the lake, we can see parts of it through the trees. The color is surreal. It almost makes me feel like I felt when seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time.

The lake is fed by the glaciers seen in the distance. The color is from suspended sediment created by the slow moving glaciers as they grind bedrock beneath their surface.

The lake is fed by the glaciers seen in the distance. The color is from suspended sediment created by the slow moving glaciers as they grind bedrock beneath their surface.

There’s a large resort hotel at Lake Louise and canoe rentals are one of the many activities available to tourists.

There’s a large resort hotel at Lake Louise and canoe rentals are one of the many activities available to tourists.

Sunday, July 19 – Off to Jasper via the Icefields Parkway

Today we’re driving about 140 miles north on the Icefields Parkway to the small town on Jasper located in the center of Jasper National Park. The Icefields Parkway is breathtaking. We’ve driven many scenic highways in our year and a half on the road but this has to be one of the best.

Most of the lakes on the Icefields Parkway are fed by glaciers and therefore have the unique turquoise color that made Lake Louis famous. The color of Bow Lake seems to make Lake Louis pale by comparison.

Most of the lakes on the Icefields Parkway are fed by glaciers and therefore have the unique turquoise color that made Lake Louise famous. The color of Bow Lake seems to make Lake Louise pale by comparison.

Bow Lake is home to the more intimate and rustic Num-Ti-Jah lodge (link to http://sntj.ca). When are RV days are over, Cindy and I plan to revisit this area and stay in the many wonderful lodges throughout this region.

Bow Lake is home to the more intimate and rustic Num-Ti-Jah lodge. When our RV days are over, Cindy and I plan to revisit this area and stay in the many wonderful lodges.

Columbia Icefield as seen from the Parkway. If you click on the image to enlarge it, you can see people hiking to the glacier on the path in the center bottom.

Columbia Icefield as seen from the Parkway. If you click on the image to enlarge it, you can see people hiking to the glacier on the path in the center bottom.

It’s about 5 PM when we arrive in Jasper. Despite the long line of RVs waiting to enter the campground, we get lucky once again and secure a non-serviced site for the next 3 nights. We’ve run out of our boxed wine and with liquor prices double what they are in the US, we’re reluctant to buy more. In celebration of seeing glacier-fed lakes, Cindy finds some Blue Curacao and vodka tucked away under the bed and concocts a “Lake Louise” cocktail.

I have no idea why we have Blue Curacao on board, but Cindy’s invention turns out to be quite tasty.

I have no idea why we have Blue Curacao on board, but Cindy’s invention turns out to be quite tasty.

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One thought on “Cindy invents a cocktail.

  1. Sally Engel

    Love love love the Lake Louise pics!!! So glad you shared pictures! Enjoy your new cocktail, who knows it may be Cindy’s signature cocktail!!!

    Reply

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