Sept 27 We flew from Toronto to Edmonton to pick up our rental car - wow that rental wasn’t cheap! It was a 3 hr drive to Hinton. The deciduous trees have turned yellow and they still have their leaves on - Yeah!
Sept 28 Gary had to scrape the ice off the car’s windows before heading to the Maligne Lake for a cruise. We had to wait about 1 ½ hrs. We could have booked ahead of time but we weren’t sure about the weather. As we waited the clouds rolled in so you can’t see where the snow on the mountains stopped and the clouds began.
During the cruise we learned that the Canadian Rockies are made from ancient sea bedrock. We also learned that Medicine Lake drains away each fall into underground canals which eventually flows into the Arctic Ocean.
After the cruise we walked to Maligne Canyon to see how the river is carving the limestone.
Sept 29 Our AirBnB host recommended two hikes in Jasper National Park. Our first was to Old Fort Point with a view of Jasper and the surrounding area. The extra bonus were the 5 big horned sheep at the top of the mound.
Our next hike was 2.4 km around Lake Annette. It was nice and sunny but the wind was chilly. The path was paved so we didn’t end up having muddy tennis shoes.
Sept 30 Highway 93 is known as the Icefield Highway. So many things to see between Jasper and Banff. The above is the Athabasco
Falls. At 15 degrees F it was down right cold!
We drove on to Sunwapta Falls. It had warmed up to 25 degrees. The water is so blue. It’s from Glacier flour or ground-up sedimentary rock. Then it was a quick stop at the Columbia Glacier Visitor Center.
Next we had a short hike to the overlook of Peyto Lake. We then stopped at Bow Lake to eat our well deserved leftovers before finally reaching Lake Louise which was pretty much covered up by the clouds. The day ends at our AirBnB.
Oct 1 It was snowing so… We headed to the Banff Springs Fairmont Hotel, a UNESCO heritage site. The hotel opened in 1888 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, as one of their earliest Canada's grand railway hotels. I realized the hotel is old but what I didn’t realize was how DARK the hotel is on the inside. My chair in the lounge was in desperate need of reupholstery. I also expected cloth hand towels in the bathroom. Nope, I had plain old paper towels.
Oct 2 I had opened the door of our AirBnB and discover 5-6” of snow. We are are essentially snowed in especially only having tennis shoes. The only food we had on hand was candy bars and nuts. Our host is visiting family, her children are being cared for by the in-laws and there isn’t a snow shovel on the property. Mother-in-law does come to the door, stamped down the snow and handed over a carton of eggs.
We put grocery bags on Gary’s feet to keep them as dry as possible. We did get out for a meal but barely made it back as the road to Calgary was closed. WHEW! By the way, our apartment is in a garage.
Oct 3 We woke up to sunshine and approx. 7-8 inches of snow. Obviously we found something inside to do - EAT! We drove to the Rimrock Resort in Banff for lunch. We asked about the road to Lake Moraine but it was closed. We lost 2 days to the storm but we were safe - that’s all that mattered.
Oct 4 Long day of driving west. Luckily the roads were good and the further west we went the less snow is on the ground. We arrived at Sun Peaks ski area. It is known as the little sister of Whistler - small but cute.
Oct 5 My thought process when planning the trip was to use this time at Sun Peaks to rest up. After 2 days of snow we were ready to go. We walked around the entire village - that took 45 minutes. I got my hair cut - another 45 minutes and decided where to have our Canadian Thanksgiving - 5 minutes.
Oct 6 The resort was celebrating Thanksgiving over the weekend even though the official day was the 8th. Pumpkins were being decorated, a singer was performing and folks were out enjoying the sunshine. We walked to the top of the go-cart race track to work up an appetite for soup, turkey, stuffing, and the other trimmings for dinner.
Oct 7 The drive along the Sky Sea Highway (#99) was beautiful. We arrived around 3:30pm into Whistler Ski Area. The apartment we rented was located on the Olympic Plaza. Our dinner at Araxi was delicious even though we were eating in the bar area. Lots of people in town for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Oct 8 Our breakfast was at Wild Wood Pacific Bistro. Gary & I shared a banana bread french toast - very unique and delicious. We then walked the entire village which is quite large. There are 82 restaurants, cafes, food purveyors. The lady at information said you will never run out of places to eat but you might run out of money.
Oct 9 The above photo is Lost Lake which we walked all the way around and then walked to the Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub for lunch. The walk was over 6km or about 4 miles and boy were we hungry!!
Oct 10 It was a quick drive (2hr) to the airport to turn in the car. We checked into the hotel first to get rid of the suitcases. Days Inn refused to pick us up at the airport to bring us back to the hotel unless we had other paying guests with us. They wanted $10pp. So we took a taxi back. Is that a good business move, pissing off your customers? Our flight from Vancouver to Boston is at 7am so we were up with the early birds.