Trip Start Aug 05, 2011
Trip End Aug 14, 2011

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another beautiful and wonderful day here in Banff National Park!! We started out taking a horseback ride near Lake Louise. Tracy rode Pawnee, Mom rode Oreo, and I rode Awesome. (My horse was named Awesome and we had an Awesome day!) After we mounted we started our ride up the mountain, it was beautiful riding through the trees and there were some great views of mountains, lakes, and even glaciers. At the top we got to walk around Lake Agnes. There is the Historic Lake Agnes Tea House that we enjoyed seeing and then we walked around and enjoyed the beautiful lake in the mountains. The only way to get to the tea house and lake is by hiking or horseback so it was a special place to visit. We also saw a beautiful waterfall at the base of the lake. After the stop at Lake Agnes we had about an hour ride back down to the stables. I love horseback riding and it was a great ride through the Lake Louise area.

We then drove to Lake Moraine. It is the brilliant blue color of glacier fed lakes. The sun was sparkling on the water and the mountains with snow rose up in the back. We were only there for a few minutes (just to get some information) but it was definitely worth the stop! We might make time to go back later in the week.

We rode the Lake Louise Gondola (chairlift) again today. Because we weren't able to get off at the top of the chairlift last night (because of the Grizzly) and because it was so close to closing time in addition to some other things, we got free tickets to ride the chairlift again. We didn’t see any bears this time but we did get to get off at the top. The views were amazing! There were about 15-20 peaks that you can see from the top in addition to about three or four glaciers. It was blue sky with a few clouds and wildflowers on the meadows below. It was a wonderful view! We rode the chairlift back down and got more great views of the mountains, glaciers, lakes, and wildflowers. We also had great views of the Chateau Lake Louise and Lake Louise.

We drove back to Banff, met Dad, ate dinner, and then all went back up to Lake Louise to Canoe! We rented two canoes (one for Mom and Dad and one for me and Tracy) and then headed out on the lake. It is a cool light blue color, it reminded me of a swimming pool color, but not temperature. It was about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I had put my feet in the water from the canoe and it was all right for a few seconds, but after that I pulled my feet out - it was cold water! On each side of the lake are mountains and in the back is Mount Victoria topped by Victoria Glacier. We were paddling along the beautiful, peaceful lake when we heard a sound like thunder. We looked up and saw a huge 'cloud’ of snow on Mount Victoria. A piece of the 300 foot glacier cracked off and fell down the mountain. Where that piece had been the glacier was a light blue instead of the dirty white color of the rest of the glacier. It was amazing to see and hear and I was so happy we were down on that side of the lake to see it. We finally had to turn around but we paddled back looking at a great view of Chateau Lake Louise and the ski area where we were earlier that day when we rode the chairlift.

Instead of taking Highway 1 back to Banff we decided to drive the Bow Valley Parkway. It is a slower road but has more turnouts and hikes, we decided to hike to Silverton Falls. It was a nice hike through the trees then along a river. Soon we came to the end of the hike and the bottom of the falls. We were supposed to come to a point where we could see the whole falls, but we could only see the very bottom. We got some pictures of the small falls and the river then looked around for another part of the hike. It was getting late and dark so we turned back and on the way back we found what we think was the correct trail we missed on the way in but it wasn't marked and we weren't sure. We decided it was too late to try this trail (nobody wanted to hike in the dark in bear country) so we continued back to the car. We then drove back to Banff we the moon shinning over the mountains. :) ~ Stephanie
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