Monday, 23 July 2012

Day 15 - Happy Canada Day!

Today was a crazy busy day! We did a lot of driving (almost 8 hours) and had a lot of things to see on our way.  We left our campsite early enough.  You would think that with a baby we could be ready to go very early but BB Girl doesn't often wake up before 0730-0800 and she is our alarm clock so we follow her schedule.  The fresh air everyday makes us all sleep very well.

Our first stop today is the Columbia Icefields.  I had been there with my parents and uncle way back when I came down for my cousins wedding in 2002.  I thought it was worth while to do it again so that Justin could experience it.  We loaded up on a coach bus, then transferred to a Brewster Snowcoach for the 80minute tour.  These snow coaches are made especially for the icefield.  They have a max speed of 18km/h but they sure do have torque!  In order to get to the ice field we must descend the moraine of the glacier at an incline of 18degrees (we are told that is the steepest incline in the world travelled by a vehicle).

Brewster Snow coach
The driver of the snow coach gave a lot of interesting information on the way to the glacier.  Baby Girl was loving the ride! I think she takes from her dad and is an adrenaline junky! She sure made the other passengers laugh.

We were then permitted to walk freely around the glacier for about 20minutes (at our own risk!).  We walked around the glacier, took some pictures and drank some fresh glacier water.   It was a pricey tour, 50$ each, but well worth it!

Baby Girl in the bus

We continued our drive through Jasper National Park.  Driving through the Rockies is no ordinary drive - just beautiful.  Justin is happy to say that his truck did not lack power even when powering through the ups and downs of the Rockies.  Our final destination tonight is Stony Plane.  We are meeting up with mom and dad, and uncle Bernie and Aunt Syndi.  We could have taken a short cut and not have driven all the way to Jasper but Justin had never been to Jasper and I remembered it as so lovely from my previous trip!  Well, my bad!!  Jasper is nothing compared to Banff.  Ok, the scenery is beautiful.  I am also certain that if we didn't have BB Girl and we were able to do a lot of hiking we would appreciate it more but as for the village, it was a big let down.  The downtown is flanked by the rail yard and the village is not upscale like one, or we, would expect.  We stopped at a restaurant  and had some supper.  Funny thing is there were 4 occupied tables on the patio and three out of the 4 tables were francophones.   No big Canada Day festivities to be found so we continued earlier than anticipated to Stony Plane.  After a small slow down courtesy of the park's wildlife, hitting our 5000kms milestone, and 3.5hours later, we arrived in Stony Plane!

Just hanging out on the HWY

Where's Waldo?  I mean, where's the mountain goats?

Let me tell you!! There was a Mami and Pépère there that were really happy to see their BB Girl.  We hadn't even stopped and they took her away from us (no complaints!).   We were really happy to see Aunt Syndi!! She's a hoot!!  Last time Justin had seen Aunt Syndi and Uncle Bernie was at our wedding. Uncle Bernie is not joining us till tomorrow because he is working up in Fort McMurray! (just like dad, he just can't retire!)

A fun relaxing night chatting about our adventures!

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