September 13, 2004

South on the Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Banff is known as one of the most beautiful drives in the world.

Our next stop was at Athabaska Falls. We had lunch by the river, and succumbed to a mooching dog who was obviously a pro. He played the "I'm lost, can I gradually approach you and have something to eat" game perfectly, then disappeared after getting some cheese.

The falls were magnificent.

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There are several old channels to explore, and it's a must-see stop just a minute off of the highway.

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Continuing south, our next stop was the world-famous, 325-sq.-km Columbia Icefields. While shrinking at a dramatic and increasing rate, these icefields still feed rivers draining into three oceans: the Pacific, the Atlantic (via Hudson Bay) and the Arctic.

Tourists can climb a short way up the glacier, and the sound of melting water and creepy mini-crevasses makes it a tense experience. Several people have died in the last decade by wandering out of bounds, falling into a crevasse, and freezing to death before highly trained rescue teams can reach them.

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From the icefields we continued south toward Banff, and ran into some heavy rain, and heavy hearts as we contemplated having to motel rather than having the primeval joy of a campfire.

Yet miraculously the rain stopped a few kilometers out of town, and we settled into the Tunnel Mountain campground tired, but happy.

Popping back into town, we picked up pork chops, mushrooms, peppers, and rice, and created a royal feast on our Coleman propane stove. For starters we had corn on the cob roasted in tinfoil in the fire. Yum!

Posted by Paul at September 13, 2004 07:56 PM
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