August 18-21, 2005 - Lake Louise

August 18th we drove 123 miles to Lake Louise Campground in Banff National Park.  Along the road we saw these bighorn sheep by Golden, BC:

We stopped by the visitors center in Yoho National Park and bought a National Parks Pass for Canada, we figure it will pay for itself.  We also got some hints of things to do in both  Yoho and Banff National Parks since they were connected.  Then we went to the campground and they had assigned us a campsite and Bill noticed a hole that he could point the satellite dish through, so we were online:

We had 30AMP electric and there was a dump station and fresh water available.  We also had nice wildflowers in our campsite:

We still had afternoon left so we took the advise of the ranger at Yoho and went to Moraine Lake for the late afternoon.

On the 19th we drove the Bow Valley Parkway to Banff.   We roamed around the town of Banff for a while, having an nice pub lunch at the Rose and Crown, on recommendation of the visitors center.  Then we bought some groceries and drove back to our campsite.  We noticed there were trails on the Bow River around the campground so we took a hike on the trails.  We were really enjoying the area and realized we were going to be tourists every day. 

We also learned that most of the rainfall in Banff National Park flows to the Arctic Ocean which is true of central Canada to within a few miles of Lake Superior.    The Bow River eventually flows into the Saskachewan River, which eventually flows into Lake Manitoba and eventually into Hudson Bay, which connects to the Arctic Ocean.  The Red River out of the Dakotas also flows north into Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba and thus into Hudson Bay.  North of Banff some of the water makes its way to the McKenzie River which flows into the Arctic Ocean in the Northwest Territories.  And you thought the Continental Divide was where everything east flows into the Atlantic!

The 20th was a very busy day.  We started the day at Lake Moraine and Lake Louise itself.  Then we headed to Yoho National Park back in British Columbia where we took the road to Takakkaw Falls.  We still had time before dinner so we took the Lake Louise Gondola hoping to see Grizzly Bears, but didn't.  Then we went to Moraine Lake to celebrate Bill's birthday.  Wow, we normally don't do half this much in one tourist day.

The 21st was our last day at Lake Louise and we decided to drive down the Bow Valley Parkway and take the trail at Johnston Canyon

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