Saturday, August 28, 2004


Road trips tend to develop themes. We have a triumvirate: trains, bears, and precipitation. While that recipe might sounds like a traveler's nightmare, we are still having a damn good time.

The West was settled, in part, by train. In fact, not long ago, our road trip destinations were connected only by rail. Accordingly, it is no surprise that every stop on this road trip is a rail hub. Thankfully, except for our first night, proximity to rail lines has not been a problem.

Following Trans-Canadian Rail Line west out of Calgary, one quickly reaches the resort towns of Cranmore, Banff, and Lake Louise. Each of these towns sits amidst the spectacular glacially carved peaks of the Canadian Rockies, and each utilizes its beautiful setting to the fullest extent. We decided to spend the night at the least developed of the three – Lake Louise.

As with Glacier National Park, the Canadian Rockies is prime bear country. Although we didn’t see any, each of these three towns has embraced the bear as its unofficial mascot. At the same time, each has undertaken whatever steps it deems necessary to protect residents and visitors. In Lake Louise, that includes the installation of a 7,000-volt electric fence around the Lake Louise Campground.

In spite of the downpour, we did a seven-mile, 1,800-vertical-foot hike up to Saddleback Pass. The scenery was spectacular, although most of the high peaks were obscured by low-hanging clouds. After a quick tour through the famous Chateau Lake Louise, and a peek at the famous LL Panorama, we struck out to the west towards Golden and Revelstoke. Hopefully, we can change at least one of our themes, and find some good weather.

Day 8 Road Trip Factoids:
Miles Driven Today: 150
Miles Driven Total: 1,267
Japanese Tourists Seen in Banff: 1,875
Number of Hours without Rain: 2

Enjoy the unfortunately rainy photos.