03-22-2011, 06:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Lowry Crossing, TX
Glacier NP, MT to Lake Louise- Banff National Park
Day 7 - June 6,2010
Total Mileage Today: 330
Total Trip Mileage: 2,860
Coldest morning yet. Had to start off with some gift shop coffee...
It is amazing the creature comforts that some of the more popular National Parks have. We had camped at the Many Glacier campground, which was quite large, but seemed fairly remote. Even out here they had a gift shop.souvenir store, and I kid you not, a freaking Italian Restaurant ! It wasn't open yet for the season, but you think that might attract a few bears?
We've gotten the morning packing down pretty solid by now.
We took a smaller route into Canada via the Chief Mountain Scenic Byway.
We snagged some good pics along this road.
We reached the border crossing station within an hour or so. I saw a "Montana" sign on my left, and since we didn't get a good pic of us in front of one on the way in (we entered through Yellowstone NP) I made a U-turn and went back for it. Probably looked kinda suspicious to the customs agents though .
Now, onto the border crossing.
They let us in after a few questions about vegetables and guns.
Nikki was totally not prepared for me to jump on her back, but it was a heck of a picture. There was a German guy here on a BMW. I went and asked him a bunch of questions before I realized that he spoke no English
The scenery continued to impress. I think some of this is the Canadian side to Glacier NP called Waterton Lakes Provincial Park, or something like that.
We drop out of the mountains and into foothills and prairie.
We're taking Hwy 22 (The Cowboy Trail) up to junction with Trans-Can Hwy 1. This way we will stay well West of Calgary and any associated traffic.
We pick-up the Tran-Can Hwy 1 and head to Banff National Park. It felt really strange to be on a mult-lane Hwy. We hadn't seen one of these since we left I-35 in Kansas!
Entering the Park,
and headed towards Lake Louise for our camping tonight .
So, about a month or so before we departed on our trip, Nikki and I were watching the National Geographic Chanel. There was one of those "when animals attack" shows on. It was about Bears. Not only was it about Bears (remember nikki bear-a-phobia), but it was about a bear attack at the Lake Louise Campground. I should have changed the channel earlier... She said, "I am glad we are not going there!" I had this sort of grin on my face. "We aren't going there... right?", she says. Umm yeah, but don't worry, they have installed an electric fence around the perimeter of the tent campground . I thought this information would make her feel better, safe, like she didn't have anything to worry about. The information goes into her ears and morphs, "so they have such a problem with bears there that they have to have an electric fence?" Jeez, you would look at it that way wouldn't you? With enough time and convincing she came around to the idea, or maybe I just never brought it up again.
We pull into the above mentioned campground and over the electrified cattle guard.
Not 5 mins. later, just on the other side of the fence we saw this guy.
And again, like good tourists staring at potential danger, we treat the situation like we were at a zoo and take our pics.
Then an interesting thing occurred. The bear is digging in the ground eating stuff, and I see some movement on the left of him. It's a dude on a bike. He rides out into a clearing and stops. What is this guy doing? I think, hmm... if I yell something like, "hey dude, there is a really big grizzly bear right there to my right, your left!" , it could potentially spook the bear who seems to be relatively unaware of the dude on a bike. Right about then, the dude on a bike's companion, chick on bike, pulls up. Now they both stop. I feel the only logical thing to do at this point is to get my camera ready - I may see some carnage.
Here is one of the pictures I took. I have labeled it for easy reference .
The folks on bikes get done with their break and pedal on unscathed and seemingly unnoticed by the bear. About 2 mins. later they pull into the campground. We are still looking at the bear. "Holy Shit" the dude says. I show him the picture I took of them and their relation the bear (i left out the part of waiting to get a pic of them getting gotten). Very entertaining bit for us.
After we got tired of staring at the bear. We hoped back on the bike and went to go check out Lake Louise and Lake Moraine.
After which we set up came and made dinner.
Tomorrow we continue through Banff NP to Jasper and find out why they call it The Icefields Parkway .