What an incredible past few days it has been! We spent two nights in Jasper National Park, one of the most beautiful towns and locations in all of the Canadian Rockies. Mountain biking along river gorges, strolling through the heart of this old cowboy town, hiking to the tops of the peaks, and swimming in mountain lakes so clear it seemed like a mountain version of the Caribbean. Such a cool town!
From Jasper we drove down the “Icefields Parkway,” the famous stretch of highway that follows the spine of the Rockies from Jasper to Banff National Park and Lake Louise. It’s hard to find words to describe some of the grandest views that can be found anywhere in the world. Massive jagged mountain peaks draped in great white snowfields and glistening blue glaciers, waterfalls and rivers and endless forests. It’s a truly magnificent place.
We spent a few hours hiking up Athabasca Glacier, part of the famous Columbia Icefield, accompanied by a local guide who kept us from falling into any of the numerous hidden crevasses that have swallowed up careless people in the past. It was a special experience to be on an actual glacier, beautiful and bright turquoise blue, one of the most unique and scenic environments on earth, and something that we may only be able to tell our grandchildren about in pictures, seeing as how soon there will be no glaciers left. We felt fortunate to be here now, able to see and experience such incredible sights.
Today we paid a visit to Moraine Lake on our way into Banff National Park. A less-famous neighbor to Lake Louise, Moraine Lake requires a little more effort to visit but is well worth the extra drive to get there. More beautiful than Louise, it is an incredible view looking out across this bright blue lake placed at the base of giant snow and glacier-covered peaks and lined by forest covered hills.
When we first arrived at the lake the skies were dark and stormy and already drizzling a bit of rain. It would have been so easy to say “oh well” and get back in the van and give up. But we’re no ordinary tourists. We’re trekkers. So down the lakeside trail we went, determined to get out and experience this beautiful place. The rain began to come down in greater force and other visitors passed us as they went running back to the safety of the lodge or their vehicles. But on we went, until most of us were soaked but we didn’t care. We had the place all to ourselves. And sure enough, after the Gods saw that we weren’t going to give up, the clouds suddenly parted and a thousand beautiful rays of sunshine pierced through to light up the mountains and the lake all around us. An incredible view that only we were there to see. It’s a lesson I have learned so often – if you press on in the face of a little adversity, you are seldom not rewarded with something truly special. Such is the way for trekkers like us.