Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
120Trip End Sep 01, 2012
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The drive south to Lake Louise lasted only a couple of hours and a half hour out from our campground, we stopped and had lunch at Bow Lake. Little did we know it at the time, but to us, this was the most glorious and stunning of all the alpine lakes that we visited today. We sat on the beachfront of the lake in the blue sun, Jess wriggled her naked toes and feet in the sun again, we all had lunch and the kids played on the small pebble beach for a glorious and relaxing hour. Docks and islands were created with the small stones and we all relaxed and warmed up in the sunshine, the cold morning start was but a distant memory at this point. As the crowds once more showed up, we got back in Odie and drove to our campground inside the electric fence. Yes, our campground is surrounded by a 7,000 volt electric fence in order to keep the bears out. Even the cattle guard that you drive over as you enter the campground is electrified and when riding a bike or on foot, you need to use the specially grounded pedestrian entrance. Apparently this area is one of three concentrations for mother grizzlies and forms an important habitat as they raise their cubs
When we got to the fancy lodge we ignored all of the good food and drink on offer, bought our tickets to the gondola and lined up to ride to the top of the skifield. The gondola was actually a four person chair lift and after watching our safety video, we lined up to catch a chair to the top. Just then, we heard some shrieking and shrilling from two ladies as they arrived down at the bottom of the chairlift. "We have seen a grizzly", they hooted!!!! Well, imagine our excitement as we rode the lift up and scanned both sides of the hillside in eager anticipation……nothing. nada, zilch, zero, hakuna mutata, we saw nothing but green grass and a hillside in summer flush. After arriving at the top we walked around the corner to the viewing station and there, were three people pointing excitedly to their right just underneath the chair lift we had ridden to the top and excitedly saying, "bear, bear, there, bear." We turned and looked and saw nothing, then, just from beneath the trees we got our first glimpse…there were two big grizzly bears on the hillside
After this viewing, we were all on a high and decided to head up to the iconic, famous and long photographed Lake Louise. Tim's Dad, Mark, remembers camping at the lake and in the area when he had been a boy. We got to the Lake and while a lot of the tourist crowds and hordes had moved on, there were still way too many people at the lake to make spending much time at it rewarding. We saw, we photographed and we headed back down the hill and took the detour up to see Lake Moraine, supposedly the less visited and more hidden topaz blue lake in the area. This too was very tourist infested so we saw, we photographed and we left. Back to camp for showers and dinner and then early to bed for all of us as today had been another superlative day and we were going to set the alarms and get up early in order to head to the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede tomorrow.