The spine of the Rockies

Trip Start Jun 11, 2008
Trip End Jul 05, 2008

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Where I stayed
Mt Robson Provencial Park

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday, being an odd day, we took our showers and headed out to Icefield Parkway. The Parkway extends from Banff to Jasper for about 120 miles. It parallels the spine of the Rockies and is the most beautiful North American mountain drive there is. Our views were slightly diminished by rain and low ceilings but it was still spectacular. We saw our first bear (see picture) and mountain goats. We drove down to the Columbia Glacier, which, because of the retreat of the glacier as evidenced by markers indicating position and year, prompted a discussion on global warming. Global warming being a reality, how much of it is a result of us versus a natural cycle. Mickey, in her wisdom, said it doesn't matter; we still need to do our part to decrease it. It was easy to pass up the restaurants in Jasper in favor of a tortilla sandwich lunch. The camper lunch was healthy and economical, which is needed to offset the "we haven’t hit $5 per gallon yet gas but we’re close." And it’s worth every penny!! We heard more comments from some of you. Thanks and keep them coming, even though our internet connections won’t be as regular from now on.

We camped at Mt. Robson Prov. Park and started with a hike to Kinney Lake. It was about three hours round trip, but with only about 500 vertical feet, it was a beautiful walk, paralleling the Robson River. Gary got to try out his new hiking stick and would recommend one highly. Our campsite was right next to the river and after a great pork rib dinner and a bottle of Canadian Shiraz (oaky, with hints of currant berries), we introduced ourselves to our neighbors. After shaking hands, I asked where they were from. With a familiar brogue, they said they were the DeGroots from Holland. I said we’re Vander Veens from Holland. He said, “Ya, vell, all long time ago, maybe.” I said, “no, Holland, Michigan,” and they had a good laugh. We showed them the Tulip Time parade pictures on the computer as an introduction to and education about Holland, Michigan. We learned that Dutch dancing in wooden shoes isn’t very common anymore in The Netherlands. But their flowers and tulips are something they are very proud of. The DeGroots are members of the “freer denomination of Dutch Reformed.” We had an opportunity to educate them about Christian Reformed and that, unlike the strict Dutch Reformed denomination, we don’t wear black socks on Sunday, in fact some of us don’t even wear socks.

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