To the plains of Alberta
Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
31Trip End Sep 2008
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I do stop at the Athabasca Glacier. This glacier is (fairly) easily accessible from the Parkway
I make it to the toe of the glacier, however and take a few pictures. They weren't worth the effort it cost me to get them; especially since I didn't have the common sense to take a hat with me. It wasn't raining when I got there so I didn't think to take it. Of course after I'd climbed all the way up to the glacier it started coming down pretty steadily, soaking me. I didn't have a thermometer so I can't give you numbers but my seat-of-the-pants estimate is that the wind coming off that glacier and blowing across my rain-soaked head was somewhere south of what would be classified as a tropical breeze.
Just to give you an idea of the scale of this thing - The last picture shows the toe of the glacier and its lateral moraine. (The pile of rubble pushed off to the side of the glacier.) The height of the lateral moraine shows the former height of the glacier
There are also a couple of picture where the ice at the toe has broken away and you can see the blue color of the interior of the glacier. This glacier is one of many that flow down from the Columbia Icefield. This icefield feeds rivers that flow into three oceans: the Arctic, the Atlantic, and the Pacific. Amazing.
When I crossed the Bridge of the Gods outside Portland, some of the water that was floating the barge I was watching pass underneath me had come from the Columbia Icefields.
As I continue my journey up the Parkway, I parallel the north-flowing Athabasca River which will eventually empty into the Arctic Ocean. I continue north to Jasper then east on Highway 16, finding a place to camp for the night just east of Edmonton.