San warned me, but THAT big tourist invasion in Banff and especially Lake Louise, I didn`t expect. It was insane. Rivers of cars, trailers and busses, all over Lake Louise village and both most important lakes: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. We needed to park one kilometer before Moraine Lake and walk there just to see the lake. And to try to find a spot to make a photo without people 😛
Luckily, we had reserved place in camp (thanks to San :heart: ) so we didn't need to worry about where to spend the night. Because of peak of the tourist season, it was impossible to find a place anywhere and prices in hotels were insane. In shops, too. I mean 4 CAD for a cucumber or 6.5 for a loaf of bread… I mean, really!
Camp itself is surrounded with electrified fence, to keep the bears away. At first I thought that of that as exaggerating, until next morning we saw two 3-years old grizzly bears just 50 meters from our tent :left: If there was no fence, they would be all over the camp… :insane:
Rangers from Parks Canada are on 24 hours duty and they were near the bears in no time, trying to find a way to make them leave the camp area. But they are carrying a heavy artillery: shotguns and big caliber revolvers. I asked one of them if the shotgun is there to scare bears and he told me: "Well, I like to talk first, but…" That "but" represents almost 1000 bears that are killed every year in British Columbia only, because of encounters with people that ends wrong :awww: Fortunately, two grizzly bear brothers were scared and ran away through a back door that rangers opened to them.
one of the grizzlies near the camp
We wanted to go to Sentinel Pass that morning. Groups of at least four hikers rule was on, so we spent some time with one of the rangers near the beginning of trail, talking about the two grizzlies. Ten minutes later, two French girls joined us and we went toward the pass. Even though a trail is about 11km long with elevation gain of about 860 meters, it was not as strenuous as hiking to Burgess Shale. Weather was not as hot and trail is climbing more gradually than the previous one. A view from a pass… well, the photo says it all 😀
Mount Aberdeen – Haddo Peak – Sheol mountain from Sentinel Pass 2611m
It was another altitude record for me, 2611m above sea (San is still better with 2925m on Abott Pass) and one more chance to enjoy this beautiful surrounding :happy:
In a city of Banff the same thing as in lake Louise – a lot of tourists shopping in centre that could be proud of some of the most famous names in consumer world. We strolled around, checking on some hiking and camping gear but spent money only on food in a local Safeway. Prices were more reasonable and we needed some stuff for next few days. There were too many people there and we wanted to leave.
The plan was to camp in Marble Canyon camp site in Kootenay NP but then, just few kilometers before the camp, by the side of the road we saw this. Mama grizzly with three cubs, feasting with all kinds of berries, going toward the camp.
mama grizzly with one of the cubs; I couldn't get all of them in one photo, unfortunately
Suddenly we felt the urge to go further :whistle: Kootenay NP is more deserted region than Banff or Yoho, and camp site didn't seem to offer much. Besides, we felt a bit tired of previous week filled with hiking. So the next stop was in Radium Hot Springs, that is famous, as the name suggest it, for its natural hot springs 😀 Also, from Banff's 15C we came to Kootenay's over 30C so we needed some kind of relaxation 😀
Next morning, while we were drinking coffee, one completely unexpected animal walked into the camp :left:
turkey in a camp
I am not sure if this was wild turkey or just someone's turkey that wondered off the backyard. But interesting one and completely tame 😀
Next day we camped near Moyie lake and then, after spending some pleasant hour in Nakusp hot springs :whistle: we went back to Vernon.
a group of longhorn sheep, wishing us luck on our journey, in their own quiet way 😛
Blogs I Follow
- Thrifty Campers
- A Walk with Wildlife
- The Spryte's blog
- The View From My Bowl
- Humanity in Syria is at risk
- Make every day a little bit special ♥
- Robin's Robins
- coisart's canvas
- A Sneak Peek On Things I Like
- A Canadian in Ireland
- The Fish Tank
- This Insubstantial Pageant Faded
- der Wandersmann