oregon adventures

Sunday, September 25, 2011


After doing Ironman Canada, I took that Monday to relax with everyone. Tuesday I packed up and checked out of the motel and when everyone else went south, I turned north and headed up highway 97 to highway 1. Drove along Lake Okanagan for 80 miles or so and ate lunch at Kelowna at a place called De Dutch that looked interesting. Then after the lake it got cloudy and rainy. I stopped to get gas at the last town near the lake thinking it would go up as I got in the country. Five miles later the gas went down 20 cents a litre. Got to Highway 1 and it was a two lane twisty road with trucks. Through Mt Revelstoke and Glacier parks it was raining, but clear enough in the distance I could see mountains and it was beautiful. Got to Yoho park and turned off the highway and took a twisty road to Takakkaw falls, which one book said was Canada's highest.
Then back on Highway 1 up to Banff. Once past Yoho park the road became a divided highway just like an American Interstate with one cool exception. I got to see the wildlife overpasses I had read about. Didn't think to get a picture of them. Got to Banff and checked in to the Banff Springs. Cheking in the guy said "Mr Macey I see you've been upgraded to a King suite", I said "ok". Got to my room on the 8th floor and it was pretty big, I had heard the rooms in that hotel were small. In the top picture my room was at the top of the left tower with the dormer windows. I'd never stayed in a place with valet parking and instant service. I would pick up the phone and a girl would say "yes Mr. Macey". Woke up the next day and it was 37 degrees F and rainy. Oh well, decided to drive up to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway. Several books called it the most beautiful drive in the world and from what I could see of it I would have to agree. At one point I saw a black bear in the road, so I stopped and while getting my camera a pick-up roared around me and scared him off. After that I kept the camera out and ready, but the only other chance was on the way back I saw some cars stopped and I got there just in time to see a mother bear and cub go into the trees. Stopped at all the viewpoints. When I got to Bow Pass, I pulled into the parking lot and hiked up to the viewpoint of Peyto Lake.
It was around 7000 feet elevation and started softly snowing. Drove up to just inside Jasper park to Athabasca glacier which is the start of several rivers including the Columbia. I was still 60 miles from Jasper so I decided to turn around and go back to the hotel.
The next day I had a tee-time at the Banff Springs course for 8:30.
Got there and was teamed up with a guy from Ontario and another guy from Manitoba. It had warmed up to the low 50's and only partly cloudy so I could see the mountains framing each hole. Did ok, lots and lots of sand. On the 15th hole a wolf sauntered down the side of the fairway, saw us and went around past some hikers on the trail beside the course and then back on the fairway like he owned the place. It was the most I'd ever payed for golf, but the only computer golf game I ever had back in the 90's came with the Banff course and I told myself "someday I'm going to play that course". After golf I drove the scenic highway 1A up to Lake Louise.
The books raved about it and the hotel there. The lake was pretty, but the hotel wasn't as nice as the one I was staying at. Hiked around the lake to the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse. That hike made the whole trip worth it- amazing views and it got better with every step. From the other side of the lake looking back at the hotel was when Lake Louise became really impressive. The teahouse was 3.3 miles and 1200 feet up from the lake with great views of the mountains and glaciers. The girl who served the tea and sandwich said she hiked up and worked 5 days and hiked back for two days off and had to carry anything she needed. It started softly snowing at the teahouse, so back to Banff for some Alberta beef. The next day I packed up and checked out and said goodbye to Banff. Took highway 93 through Kootenay park and stopped and hiked Marble canyon and later the Paint Pots. Ate lunch at Radium Hot Springs and then the long drive past golf course after golf course with the Rockies on the left all the way to the border crossing into Montana.


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