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Canadian Icefields Parkway, Pt. 1

I’m calling this Part 1 as you will find out later in this episode.

I embarked on my journey to the Canadian Icefields Parkway today.  It is a stretch of highway between Lake Louise + Jasper National Park of craggy mountain ranges + valley glaciers, which is about a 3 hour drive north west of Canmore.  My goal today was to go on a Columbia Icefield tour, where they have one of the largest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle.

I took the smaller, more scenic 1A route towards the glaciers.  This was my view from the road. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not even 1/4 into my journey, my rental vehicle gave a warning saying my battery was low on my key + needs replacement.  My rental car doesn’t have a traditional key.  It has a battery operated key – to start my car I press on the brake, make sure the car is in park + press a button on the car to start it.  Well, I ignored the warning, thinking I’d get to Lake Louise + call Budget to figure it out.  When I got to Lake Louise, I called the Canmore Budget office with no answer.  I left them a message + also called the 1-800 number.  They told me they couldn’t help me + referred me back to the Canmore office.  So much for customer service!!!  I was going to bust that key open myself + replace the battery, but I couldn’t get the thing open!!!  I crossed my fingers + headed back on the road.

Here is Castle Mountain.  If you notice the little blue speck in the field, it was this little old lady who hauled a lawn chair into the field.  I think she was going to sit + paint the mountain range.  How cool is that? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the road became more remote + I lost cell reception, I started becoming really nervous.  I’m sure there’s reserve battery energy in the key, but what if I got stuck in the glaciers???  I almost couldn’t enjoy the majestic beauty because I was so freaked out about this stupid battery operated key.   What’s wrong with old school keys, I ask you?!?!

 

Finally, I reached the Num-Ti-Jah Lodge (I kept wanting to call it Kumquat Lodge) at Bow Lake.  I thought to myself, “Ah!  Someone will be able to help me here, + then I can reach my destination with confidence!”.  To my dismay the guy at the front desk was smug + unfriendly + said he didn’t want to go against the rental company’s policies when I asked him to help me bust open the key.  He was very un-Canadian + square.  I’m thinking he was American.  So, I wandered with my tail between my legs to the back of the hotel + repeatedly tried to call stupid Budget from the pay phone.  Those jerks STILL weren’t answering the phone!!!  So I made my decision to have lunch at Bow Lake + head back south east towards home.  I used to be much more adventurous.  My fear is all due to the fact that I have read too many books about disasters that occured from the hand of mother nature.

 

 

 

 

Perfect Storm: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Into Thin Air:  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh yeah, + let’s not forget this one

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s Bow Lake.  The pictures do not do it any justice.  The lake was bright turquoise blue!!!  The color lends itself to the fact that when the glaciers melt, they grind sediment into the meltwater.  The heavier sediment sinks to the bottom of the lake, while the lighter sediment (called rock flour) reflect the blue + green light.   This photo was taken by a nice German.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dejectedly, I headed back down to Canmore.  South east of Bow Lake is Crow Foot Glacier.  One of it’s “toes” has melted away from global warming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way home when I was able to get cell service, I called Budget Canmore + STILL NO ANSWER + NO ONE HAD CALLED ME BACK.  I tried the 1-800 number again + a gal helped me probably because I was so pissed.  She transferred me to a very nice gentleman in Banff.  I told him about how I had plans to go to the Athabasca Glacier + had to turn around.  I felt I lost a day + NEEDED TO BE COMPENSATED!!!  DOUBLE SNAP + A “Z” FORMATION, Y’ALL!!!  Oh, I’m sorry I’m in Canada – “ZED” FORMATION, Y’ALL!!!  I was mad as a hornet!!!!  He is leaving a message with the manager of the Banff + Canmore offices + hopefully I’ll get a couple of free days of car use, considering tomorrow is my last day with the fiesta.

Oh, I made use of my time by wandering around the lakes of Banff.  Vermillion  Lakes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Minnewanka:                                                                                                                

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be continued….

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Num-Ti-Jah! I remember that joint! Adam and I did that exact same trek. I hope you get a few more days with the car, because you really do need to go all the way into Jasper to experience the majesty of Maligne Canyon. BTW, we stayed at Jasper House Bungalows. Very cute and affordable (at least in June) + elks munching on the grass outside.

    Good luck, Shelli-chan!

    August 19, 2011
  2. mom #

    Oh My!!! What a day you had but I am glad you had a lot of nice pictures.
    Keep having a great venture in there and I feel like I am traveling with you and having a wonderful time without fear of key that needed the spare battery.
    Thank you so much. You should make it to the little booklet.
    I love you and keep praying for you.
    mom

    August 19, 2011

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