Since I've been laid up for nearly two months, there's been zero opportunities to get outside and gather new material. So I'm calling into action some old, never-before-blogged photographs.
|Banff National Park!|
In July of 2008, my hubby and I spent a week at Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. A full day and a half's drive from Portland, we arrived on the first afternoon with enough time for a quick tour of the park's most popular sites - Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.
The scenery here was calendar-worthy; steep, craggy peaks and emerald glacial lakes. First, Roger and I stopped by Lake Louise. This long, aqua-blue water body was located in one of the most breathtakingly beautiful spots on earth. Jagged mountains rose straight up from it's surface, towering high above. Glaciers clung precariously to their rocky walls.
Roger and I parked in a giant lot near the lake's fancy hotel, the Chateau Lake Louise, and joined the throngs of people out for a stroll. We followed a path paralleling the lake's north shoreline. Although mid-summer, I was able to spot a few late blooming wildflowers.
|Looking back towards Chateau Lake Louise|
The farther we traveled from the parking lot, the fewer people we encountered on the trail. By the time we reached the lake's opposite end, only a handful of hardy souls shared our path. In such a crowded place, the solitude was wonderful. We looked back towards the lake's other end, catching a nice view of the famous Chateau Lake Louise.
|Looking towards the glaciers that carved this lake|
At this end of the lake, we could get a much better view of the massive glaciers perched high upon the mountainsides. They sat on such steep slopes, it appeared the ice could topple into the valley at any minute. Millions of years ago, these glaciers were responsible for carving out this beautiful lake we were enjoying today.
|At the lake's end, mountains rise up steeply|
The mountains rose so quickly, they looked like massive rock walls. Only a narrow valley separated the lake's inlet creek, created by water from the melting glaciers. A trail continued through this valley, climbing until it reached the base of these vast ice sheets. But, pressed for time, Roger and I decided to save this hike for another day, and turned around at the lake's far end.
|Chateau Lake Louise - an amazing hotel!|
Back at the parking area, Roger and I ventured into the famous Chateau Lake Louise. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this hotel was originally built as a base for outdoor enthusiasts over 100 years ago. It has since emerged as a luxury resort, catering to the well-heeled vacationer. We gaped at the gorgeous interior, and peeped into the fancy dining room. But there was no way in the world we could afford to eat, let alone stay, in such a place.
|The hotel grounds were immaculately landscaped|
So, after a quick tour of the fabulously landscaped hotel grounds, we decided to stop by Lake Louise's next-door neighbor, Moraine Lake.
Probably the most famous mountain view in all of Canada, Moraine Lake and it's corresponding jagged peaks are jaw-dropping. You've no doubt seen this view on a motivational poster somewhere. The lake is situated in the picturesque Valley of the Ten Peaks. Moraine Lake is also glacially formed, and it's brilliant blue color due to the refraction of light on the glacial rock flour continually deposited in the water.
|Obligatory tourist photo|
About the time Roger and I pulled into the parking lot, the skies opened up and doused us with a heavy shower. We braved the elements anyway, and I attempted to take some shots of this magnificent view. The cloudy skies and dark light didn't make for the best photos, but I made a valiant effort to capture some digital memories just the same.
|Our reward after a rainy day|
It rained for the remainder of the afternoon. We'd reserved a site at a nearby park campground, but not wanting to set up in damp conditions, decided to first head into the city of Banff for some dinner. As we rounded the last bend on the highway into town, the clouds parted, revealing a brilliant rainbow. Taking this as a sign of good things to come, I made Roger stop the car so I could capture it on my memory card.
|Mount Cascade view from the town of Banff|
Our vacation was off to a great start! The evening skies cleared, and Roger and I were treated to some lovely views of the mountain ranges encircling the town of Banff.
Stay tuned - I'll be posting more photos from this trip throughout the next couple of weeks. And, as per tradition, be sure and stop by on December 31st for my "2014 in Photos" annual review.