On day two of our trip, we took the advice of the fine fellow at the Visitor Centre and went straight to Moraine Lake. We arrived at about 8:15 am to find that the parking lot was already full. After waiting to drive through the lot, I dropped Jennifer and Leslie at the entrance, then went looking for a parking space. Fortunately, just after that, an RV pulled out and provided parking space for another car and me, very close to the lake.
Moraine Lake is misnamed. It was not created by a glacial moraine, but by a rock fall off the mountain which created a natural dam. This lake is beautiful, perhaps as beautiful as Lake Louise. We walked partway around the shore but decided to leave as it was bitterly cold with a stiff wind. The temperature was about 9 degrees (Centigrade, of course). We wanted to get a cup of coffee to help warm ourselves but were told at the lodge that only overnight lodge guests could sit inside. Given how cold it was, we opted to move on - to Lake Louise.
It was now about 10 am, and the parking lot at Lake Louise still had space, so we parked and then went to the shore. Same crowds as yeaterday, but Leslie remembered her phone/camera, so she took the photos she had hoped to take the day before. I am amazed how many people use only their cell phones as their cameras. I wouldn't be satisfied with photos taken with a fixed lens, although the quality of cell phone camera photos is darn good these days.
After taking our photos and a little stroll, we decided to head across the highway to the Lake Louise Gondola, which carries you up Mount Whitehorn to Whitehorn Lodge in either open or enclosed lifts. Given the temperature, we chose the enclosed lift. It took a while, maybe 15 minutes to get a seat on an enclosed gondola, which seats 4. So we were even colder. When we got to the top, we walked down to the Lodge, a very cold walk and windy. Fortunately, the lodge was open and welcoming. We got a table and had a great luncheon. The food was excellent, although the server was slow.
The view from the top of the ski lift was amazing. We could see down to Lake Louise and across to the glaciers and mountains around it, and to the many mountains across the Bow River valley. The view was probably the best of our trip.
After coming down from the top, we drove up the Icefields Parkway toward Jasper National Park. The Icefields Parkway goes from Lake Louise in Banff National Park to Jasper in Jasper National Park. Along the way, you pass numerous lakes, waterfalls, mountain peaks, and, of course, icefields with their glaciers. We drove up to Bow Pass and hiked to the overlook for Peyto Lake which is far below you but gorgeous to look at.
On the way back to Banff, we stopped at Bow Lake and the Crowfoot Glacier that is above the lake. As is happening everywhere, the glacier has shrunk from its former glory so that the glacier now has but one foot. Still marvelous to see. Then we stopped at Lake Herbert, of course.
Just outside the town of Banff, we stopped to see the Vermillion Lakes and the peaks around it, including Mount Rundle, which looks like a large table slanted at about a 30 degree angle. The mountains here have obviously been uplifted by a lot of tilting.
Retirement is great. We bought a travel trailer and are exploring National Parks. (Actually, we bought one and sold it and bought a second one better suited to us. It happens...) And I have time to do some woodworking projects and things around the house. And now I have gotten interested in ham radio so there goes any free time.