Summer Winter Wonderland…..
Other than a trip to church and the grocery store, the day before we left Jasper was spent within the confines of our cosy cabin with the bush TV (fire). It rained all day, and they had predicted snow. They weren’t wrong! We woke up on Monday morning and could see the snow on the surrounding mountains. And as we drove away from the cabin, we took a look at Pyramid Peak – a mountain we had seen many a time during our week’s stay – and even it was bathed in snow.
Well, that was only the beginning of it! Having traveled the first part of the Icefields Parkway when visiting the Athabasca Glacier the previous week, we thought we’d seen it all. We couldn’t have been more mistaken! Instead of the green trees, snow-capped mountains and grizzlies, we felt as though we were experiencing a lunar landing. The landscape was surreal, lacking colour and blanketed in mist. People were stopped by the side of the road tramping in thick snow, throwing snowballs and building snowmen.
Speaking of snowmen – Glenda had a go at building her first one, and she definitely needs a lot more practice! The light fluffy snow (we now understand what they mean when they say powder) quickly turns into an ice mass when rolled into a ball, making it very difficult to get the sticks in for arms and nose and stones for buttons.
The walk to Bow Summit was like strolling though a Winter Wonderland – in Summer of course! It was so exciting seeing thick powdery snow and watching it fall down as the wind blew through the trees. We met up with a guy from Brasil who was at least as excited as we were – it was his first snow and he couldn’t stop taking photos.
The same walk also rewarded us with a view of Peyto Lake. This is one of the turquoise lakes that always makes it to the Canada brochures and one wonders how much it had been photoshopped. It really is that colour! So gorgeous!!
By the time we got to Bow Lake, the novelty of blue lakes had worn off as we didn’t spend much time there – although it was probably the icy wind that really did it.
We made a brief stop at the Lake Louise Visitor Centre to get some information – and we were glad we did as the guy there gave us the most fabulous overview of walks in the area, readying us for the next day. We bypassed Banff on the way to our accommodation in Canmore. Canmore is an old mining town known for craggy summits. It also houses the Nordic Centre Provincial Park, host site of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games Nordic activities.