Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Icefield Parkway

Yesterday we said goodbye to Rob and Pat and headed north to Jasper Alberta.

Before we did say goodbye however, Rob & Pat accompanied us to Lake Louise.

Nestled in a beautiful Alpine Valley, between snowcapped peaks and at the foot of a Glacier, it is a beautiful location.

As you can see from the photo below there was still ice on the lake.

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While there we took some time to visit the beautiful hotel.

The Stairway reminded me of those on the Titanic (not that I was around to sail on that boat)

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After a quick whirlwind visit it was time for hugs and goodbyes for we had promises to keep...

and miles to go before we sleep. 

 We then headed north on The Icefield Parkway.

My pictures cannot even begin to do this amazing drive justice.

I’ve been searching for the right superlatives to use to describe it but none seem sufficient.

Eye Candy…   Steroids for the Soul…  Magnificent…  Grand...

Below was a shot taken as we began to penetrate the mountains.   We had about 180 miles of the most Amazing vistas that I think I’ve ever driven

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We stopped at numerous scenic pullouts.

At several pullouts the passengers on Tour Busses all would stop and start taking pictures of our rigs.

I had several come up to me and start pounding me with questions….

How much does it weigh?  How much fuel does it hold?  How many horsepower does it have?   How much did it cost?

At one pullout we did this self portrait.

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I put together a great Drivelapse Video.  

A GoPro camera mounted in the windshield took over 9,000 photos that I then stitched together into a high speed - High Res video drive of the Parkway.

You can see the whole 4hrs drive in about 8 minutes.

It came out great but I need to wait till I have enough bandwidth and speed to upload it to UTube.  When I do I will post a link on the blog to it.


Along the way we saw this juvenile bear foraging for food.  It was sniffing and digging for something in the soil. 

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Based on the shoulder hump I thought it was a Grizzly but I’m not certain.  If one of our resident Botanist could chime in and set me straight.

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Further down the road we saw these Big Horn Sheep

Usually quite shy they tend to frequent higher elevations away from Humans.  Seeing them is a real treat!

These were two females - evident by the lesser curvature of the horns.

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Further up the Icefield Parkway we came to the Columbia Icefield and the Athabasca Glacier.

The icefield sits astride the Continental Divide between Banff & Jasper National Parks.

We stopped here to visit the Visitors Center and let the Doods stretch their paws.

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All in all it was one of the most amazing days that I can remember.

If you never have been….  you need to come and see this place for yourself.

It is high on my list to come back to when I have the time to fully experience the beauty and solitude that it offers.

Slowly we defended a couple of thousand feet as we neared the northern end of Jasper National Park and that

led us to our next stop for the night - Whistlers Campground in Jasper.

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You can see Ron on the left - me in the middle - John and Dave in the trees on the right.

Whistler was a beautiful campground... delightfully peaceful with the comforting fragrance of pine and woodsmoke.

As we are now in the 50’s north latitudes the White Birch are abundant as are the Lodgepole Pine and Engleman Spruce.  It has a far northern look to the landscape.

Also abundant is the daylight…  and I love it!

It now gets dark around 11pm and at 4am I see light in the eastern sky.   Its 10:30 pm right now and I can still cast a shadow outside.

We will continue to push north and the amount of daylight will continue to increase.   Very Cool!

Today we left Whistlers Campground behind and pushed north another 300 miles thru some beautiful country of Forest, Wetlands, River Bottoms and Mountains.

Along the way we saw Caribou and several Moose.

We have a pretty impressive list of wildlife sightings thus far and we haven’t even gotten to the main event yet!

Tonight I write this post from Dawson Creek BC.   We are now at mile zero…  The starting place of the Alaska Highway.

It was from here that during WWII the US Army built the road that now stretches over 1,800 miles across the permafrost to Fairbanks.

It was built to connect the US with Alaska via road in order to be able to defend Alaska and North America in case of Japanese attack.

Tomorrow we will visit the museums and other interesting venues here in Dawson Creek and then Friday we will start up the Alcan


  1. OMG, this is spectacular scenery! The snow, ice, greenery, wildlife, mountains, solitude, trees etc. it is so diverse and so beautiful. Yes it looks cold, but daylight til 10:30pm would be very very neat. Thanks for the effort and sharing of the adventure. I love it.

  2. Greg, You are not inclined to use superlatives, so I know these vistas must be truly incredible! Can't wait to see your 8 min. video!

  3. Ah yes, the memories our our visits to those same places. Whistler's campground is where we woke up to all the elk sleeping around our RV. Pure magic. We also took the bus that takes you to the Athabascan Glacier and got out and walked on it. Pretty amazing! You are seeing a lot of wildlife already... FANTASTIC!!! I remember being on a moose lookout forever before actually seeing one then we started seeing them in pairs everywhere. I was beginning to believe they were mythical creatures and didn't actually exist, LOL. Looks cold still. Enjoy this adventure, it is a fantastic one indeed. Looking forward to the video.

  4. Beautiful pictures Greg, My wife and I are really enjoying your trip. be safe in your travels and thanks for all of the up dates.

  5. My goodness! Those pics were awesome. I loved seeing the wildlife! I can't believe it doesn't get dark until 11. My kids would have me outside all night! Looking forward to the video.

    Safe travels!

  6. What an adventure! What great photos! What a spectacular trip! Safe travels.


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