Trip Start Nov 04, 2012
12Trip End Jan 02, 2013
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Our time in the snow has been magic.
Starting in Jasper off the train at nightfall, shuttled to Lobstick Lodge. Apparently a Lobstick (a tree with its lower branches removed), was a marker used by early explorers to mark a trail or camp. Best part of this accomm was the 3 hot tubs of graduating heat, 1 inside and 2 out in the snow!
Took a 3 hr wildlife trip, seeing Elk, Coyote, Squirrel (sadly no bears, wolves or moose) and some amazing frozen waterfalls, one of which was frozen on the outside and running beneath, presenting as flashes of fluoro light. Incredible.
An early shuttle took us on the Icefields Parkway to Banff, along the way stopping at the Columbia Icefields with glacier above. This scenic 3 hr roadtrip joins the Jasper and Banff National Parks
Banff is quite big, but cute too, tucked into the valley surrounded by towering mountains. We had the best day here, dog-sledding in the morning (belated birthday present for Mike). This was incredible, quite an adrenaline rush. Michael drove a team of 5 dogs, we managed not to face plant in the snow, a threat that the guides said would happen if we didn't get the leaning, braking and commands of Hike, Easy, On-by and Woah just right. The dogs were incredibly responsive to the commands.
Later that afternoon we rode the Banff gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain. THE best views we have ever seen, anywhere!
After 2 nights, off to Lake Louise and THE best accommodation at Deer Lodge. This was a 100 year old lodge for the most part in original condition, including chugging steam pipes for heat. And NO TV - who would have thought how peaceful that could be. Hot tub on the roof in the snow at minus 10 was a social event, sharing the tub with a wedding party from the night before. They were kind enough to share a Caesar with us??? No not a salad or an extreme birth option. Wikipedia describes it as; "A Caesar or Bloody Caesar is a cocktail created and primarily consumed in Canada. It typically contains vodka, Clamato (a proprietary blend of tomato juice and clam broth), hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, and is served with ice in a large salt-rimmed glass, typically garnished with a stalk of celery and wedge of lime, popular as a hangover drink
The lounges and dining rooms all were decorated with the most beautiful art deco lighting and furniture. A treat for the senses. Oh and the best dinner we've had on the trip in the dining room overlooking the winter wonderland outside (and I don't use that term lightly!)
Back to Jasper for the last night before the train back to Vancouver and the next adventure. That's a brief rundown on an amazing six days - the real description lies in the photos.
Many of the hotel and other workers in the area are Aussies in search of adventure and awesome snowboarding. Grrrrrr, they keep telling me how good it is. Apparently if you're under 30 it's easy to get a work visa. Missed that one, but if I could have my time again..........