Here we are at 3 pm on the Tuesday after Labor Day. We had an early up this morning to take Anne and Gary to the Calgary Airport. They had a 12:20 pm airplane, and needed to be there early for screening. They were flying from Calgary to Chicago, and on to Dulles Airport, where Haidee was going to pick them up.
Again, it was a lovely day, sunshine. Some fellow campers from Calgary
showed us a route on the map, to avoid the downtown area. It worked like
a charm, because we arrived early at the airport, and saw Anne and Gary
off at the terminal, as we could not go through screening with them.
Then Russ and I headed for the Calgary Zoo, surprisingly near the airport. The Zoo is on an island in the Bow River. We were very impressed with the Zoo, fascinating habitats for the animals. Several areas had us going through double gates to be IN the cages with eagles, owls, hawks, and many kinds of birds.
We first headed for the Canadian animals section. We laughed that they must have given the animals sleeping potions in their feed, because sooooo many were fast asleep. Visible, but asleep- The black bears, the grizzly bears, the musk oxen, the moose. As we moved on to the other sections we saw sleeping hippos, snakes, bats, kangaroos etc. We did see wakeful lions, giraffes, but again the apes were drowsing in every position. We had hoped to see a Hoary Marmot, about the size of a badger, but they did not have one. Perhaps they could not survive in captivity. We did see some active Caribou. The buck had enormous antlers. We saw some bats from Australia that were huge, about 12 " long- just the bodies, and they looked like foxes- red fur, and pointed faces.
We had lunch at the Zoo, and really enjoyed the animals. We watched handlers letting small children feed baby carrots to the giraffe. He was huge, but so gentle, and he would curl his tongue out to gently take the offering. The Zoo bridged two islands in the river, and was so imaginative in its design. It even had a special building with Creatures of the Night. We had to acclimate our eyes before going in to see the very low light animals. They were mostly from Australia.
The last few days have been very enjoyable, not that the first days were not. With the difficulty in sending emails, I have lost track of particular days and what we did. We went to Lake Louise on Friday. It is lovely, with the Chateau Lake Louise Hotel on the edge of the Lake. A lot of people visit it every day, to gaze across the lake and view Victoria Glacier, which seems very close.
We read in our tour book that Morraine Lake was much less visited, and for a quiet day, we should go there. Well.................. It was a goat rope. Being Labor Day Weekend, most of Calgary were there, picnicking, and hiking. We knew something was up, when we approached the parking area, and the cars were parking on the side of the road. A park employee told us" just park here, and it is a short walk to the lake. Hmmmmmm ! About a mile was more like it. But, carrying our picnic gear we were optimistic that we would find a quiet place. We did eat right at the water's edge, with a view of several glaciers, and talked to a family from North Dakota. There was a trail that went up on the huge pile of rocks that scientists cannot agree on whether they were a glacial morraine, or rocks carried with a glacier, which melted at the edge of the lake.
We were a bit dubious about Lake Louise Gondola ride, but after extricating our car from Lake Morraine, we found the lodge and gondola up the mountain surprisingly unvisited. We parked right in front of the lodge, and took the gondola up the mountain. From a viewing platform near the top of the mountain, we could see Lake Louise, and Victoria Glacier. Many other mountains and glaciers were in view also. Gary and Anne took the gondola down the mountain, while Russ and I opted for the open ski lift. It was cooler, and very peaceful gliding down the mountain.
The weather has been so nice here. We have only had one day of rain, other than some showers on the day we drove from the border to Wetastiwin below Edmonton, and we were newly arrived at Mt Kidd RV Park in Kananastis Country. We needed to do some wash, and we also visited the Olympic Ski Park near Nakiska ( from the 1988 Winter Olympics ), the lodge is the Delta Lodge. There were shops, and a nice cafe for lattes.
We decided on Labor day that we would stay fairly local, in Kananaskis Country, give Anne and Gary a chance to pack for their return plane trip. We took a drive down # 40 that just kept getting more beautiful with every mile. Most of the country from the Parks down to the border has been designated local Provincial Parks, and the local people surely take advantage of the hiking, fishing and vacationing in those parks. Kananaskis Country is a well kept secret. The beauty of the Rockies does not stop with the exit of Banff National Park. This area is gorgeous, with 14,000 ft mountains, and steep valleys, pristine rivers and streams, and little private property. When we returned to the camp, we walked to the Kananastis River, on the edge of the Park. It is a beautiful river, and crystal clear.
To celebrate 10 days of making memories with Anne and Gary, we dined at
the Kananastis Village- Delta Lodge. The food was excellent, and it felt
good to dress up a little, and talk of the wonderful trip.
Anne and Gary are hopefully having a safe trip home, and we can share our pictures of the Parks.
Russ and I plan to leave Mt Kidd tomorrow morning, and drive out the West entrance, to Golden. A fellow camper convinced us that we should take # 97 through Canada's Glacier Park, and turn south, following that highway down across Washington, and Oregon. It is said to be very scenic, and we will see some new sights, ones we have not seen before.
The Canadians have been very friendly, especially in the RV Parks. Not a lot of Californians up here. Mostly Canadians, and mostly those from Calgary. But, everyone wants to know where we are from. It has been very refreshing- the inquisitiveness and friendliness.
I hope to send this off, and in two days we will be back in the states. We hope to stay at Kelowna tomorrow night, then cross the border the next day.