Red Canoes and Turquoise Water

Banff, Lake Louise

Lake Louise, Banff National Park

I confess: the red canoes were my favourite photographic part of the whole trip through the Rockies. As I’ve said before, this wasn’t a trip to take pictures but rather to see the Rockies slowly, by car.  If I got some photo time, that was a bonus.

Banff, Lake Louise

Looking towards the head of Lake Louise.

Banff, Lake Louise

Banff National Park:  Lake Louise, looking across the lake.

Banff, Lake Louise

Still too cold at the beginning of May.

Banff, Lake Louise

26, 40, 24…23.

Banff, Lake Louise

Red Canoes, Turquoise Water.

Lake Louise, The Mountains.

Banff, Lake Louise

Banff, Lake Louise

As we walked around Lake Louise, there were majestic views of the surrounding mountains offset by the startling blue-green of the lake itself. Perhaps because it was a cloudy day, I was more aware of the danger and oppressiveness of the mountains. At the base of the mountain in all three of these first photos, you can see the results of a landslide, which must have created an immense wave as it fell into the lake below.

Banff, Lake Louise

Banff, Lake Louise

Banff, Lake Louise

Banff, Lake Louise

The photo below was taken when 3/4 of the way around the lake, looking up towards the snow-covered mountains and the glacier at the head of the lake.

A glimpse of the glacier at the head of Lake Louise.

A glimpse of the glacier at the head of Lake Louise.

And finally, a shot from the hotel looking towards the not-yet-open-for-the-season canoe rental and mountains enclosed in snow clouds.

Banff National Park, Lake Louise

Banff National Park, Lake Louise

More canoe shots in the next post!

Lake Louise, Hotel and Climbers

Fairmount Hotel, Lake Louise, Alberta

Fairmount Hotel, Lake Louise, Alberta

Lake Louise is one of the most iconic locations within Banff National Park. At one end of the lake is the expensive Fairmount Chateau Lake Louise hotel and at the other, though high above the level of the lake, a glacier. Most photos that you will have seen are from the far end of the lake looking back towards the hotel which once had a more fairytale-Alpen facade, or from high on the mountain behind the hotel looking across the lake.

We didn’t climb the mountain, but we did walk along one side of the lake to the far shore and back. These first three photos all incorporate the hotel. Other views in subsequent posts.

Banff National Park: Lake Louise and the hotel.

Banff National Park: Lake Louise and the hotel.

Banff, Lake Louise, in Black and White

Banff, Lake Louise, in Black and White

At the business end of Lake Louise are a number of memorial tributes to famous and unfortunate climbers who were attracted to this area at the end of the 19th Century and in the first decades of the 20th Century.

Philip S Abbott, who fell to his death in 1895

Philip S Abbott, who fell to his death in 1895

Tribute to Georgia Cromwell at Lake Louise

Tribute to Georgia Cromwell at Lake Louise

Bow Lake and Glacier

Bow Lake Alberta in black and White

Bow Lake Alberta in black and white

Bow Lake Alberta in its natural muted colour. The glacier is in the distance at the head of the lake.

Bow Lake Alberta in its natural muted colour. The glacier is in the distance at the head of the lake.

Just a few minutes south of Mistaya Falls on the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park is Bow Lake, which is fed by Bow Glacier. Bow Glacier, like all glaciers, is receding as the world warms. On this day in May there was still ice on the lake.

Ice in Bow Lake, Icefields Parkway, Alberta

Ice in Bow Lake, Icefields Parkway, Alberta

A few tourist buses had pulled up and a few people were taking photos, but it was cold, and most tourists seemed to be anxious to get back on the bus!

Bow Lake Alberta

Tourist outlook – Bow Lake Alberta

Bow Lake Alberta - Looking south

Bow Lake Alberta – Looking south

And finally, a rarity for me, a selfie, with an entirely out-of-place baseball cap.

Bow Lake Alberta. A rare selfie.

Bow Lake Alberta. A rare selfie.

All photos shot with an iPhone 6 and only slightly edited in Lightroom.

Mistaya Canyon

Mistaya River in light snow

Mistaya River in light snow

Our hosts told us to visit Mistaya Canyon on our way to Banff and a hiker coming back out of the canyon as we arrived, confirmed that it was well worth the steep downhill path and the (equally steep!) trek back up.

We had also been told to visit Peyto lake, which is an amazing colour of azure, and the source of the Mistaya River. The road into Peyto Lake was not marked, so it was probably not yet open for the season.

Read all about it! The forces of falling water.

Read all about it! The forces of falling water.

Juniper berries

Juniper berries

Mistaya River and rapids

Mistaya River and rapids

Snow in Alberta in May

Snow on the Mountains.

Snow on the Mountains.

After three days based at the fantastic Aurum Lodge near Nordegg, Alberta, we headed for Banff National Park and the continuation of our drive west. It was snowing when we got up but, hey, it’s only May, in Canada, and we’re hardy.

These photos are all from the western end of the David Thompson Highway and were taken with my iPhone through the car window while Mr. IDWE was driving.

Snow on the Mountains.

Snow on the Mountains.

The forest fire here had burned several years before but we were all very aware of the tremendous damage that had befallen Fort McMurray, Alberta, earlier in the month.

Forest Fires were here.

Forest Fires were here.

Forest Fires were here.

Forest Fires were here.

The snow continued until noon but the day remained gray and overcast.

Spring on Kootenay Plains

The flood plain of the North Saskatchewan River (Kootenay Plains) before it becomes Abraham Lake was a sea of spring green in early May.

Spring green on Kootenay Plains just off the David Thompson Highway.

Spring green on Kootenay Plains just off the David Thompson Highway.

Spring green on Kootenay Plains just off the David Thompson Highway.

Spring green on Kootenay Plains just off the David Thompson Highway.

But there were also signs of spring on the edges of the canyon below Siffleur Falls.

Geology and Geomorphology in the canyon below Siffleur Falls.

Geology and Geomorphology in the canyon below Siffleur Falls.

And orchids again!

A hurried shot of orchids on the trail to Siffleur Falls.

A hurried shot of orchids on the trail to Siffleur Falls.