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Posts tagged ‘Canadian Icefield Parkway’

Canadian Icefields Parkway, pt. deux

Before I embark on the details of another one of my ridiculous days, let me shed some light onto my lack of sleep for the past week.

1) Jeff is a giant + his mattress is a double








2) He tosses + turns in his sleep.  When most people turn over in their sleep it’s like a roll.  When Jeff does it’s like a violent flopping as if someone is getting electric shock treatment, or a fish flopping around when it’s gasping for air.  I have a queen Tempurpedic in Little Tokyo + I highly recommend it for people with partners that are restless sleepers because the movements of the other person will not wake you up 





3) Jeff might be part polar bear because he is one of the most heat intolerant human beings.  When he’s in Los Angeles he’s constantly over heating. Therefore, even though Canmore is in the Rockies + is super cold for me, he insists on the ceiling fan to be on + a really, really noisy desk fan to be on during night + the noise makes me locaaaaaaa!!!!!! 





4) In the cabin where Jeff is staying in there is a sleeping loft.  To reach the loft there is a beautiful old library ladder.  Beautiful, yet deadly!!!  Being a lady who ferquently visits the bathroom at night it’s quite a commitment to clamber down + up those rungs in the pitch dark while half asleep!!!








Okay, let’s continue.  If you all remember my adversity with Budget rent-a-car yesterday, they told me to be at the Canmore office at 9am this morning to figure things out.  Well, no one was there!!!!!  AAAAAARRRR!!!  I called the phone number + the manager of the Canmore + Banff office John answered.  He told me no one was coming to the Canmore office today.  When I asked what kind of battery my key took, he said he didn’t know that information + it would be best for me to come to the Banff location + switch out cars.  “OH HELL TO THE NO!!!!” 

After waiting at the Banff office while John was on the phone, I sat there at the counter + said loudly, “You guys need more staff!!!”  while another woman who was waiting nodded at me emphatically.  When John got off the phone I was pissed + ready to fight!!!!  Whenever he said anything I replied, “WELL I WASTED HALF A DAY YESTERDAY + I WANTED TO BE ON THE ROAD TODAY AT 6:30AM TO GET TO THE GLACIERS!!!! I THINK YOU GUYS SHOULD GIVE ME TWO DAYS TO MAKE UP FOR THIS INCONVENIENCE!!!!”.  John told me he could “possibly work something out”  + I replied, “WELL I WASTED HALF A DAY YESTERDAY + I WANTED TO BE ON THE ROAD TODAY AT 6:30AM TO GET TO THE GLACIERS!!!! I THINK YOU GUYS SHOULD GIVE ME TWO DAYS TO MAKE UP FOR THIS INCONVENIENCE!!!!”.  We looked at the contract, decided to switch out cars + then he asked me to top off the gas tank in the fiesta.  “OH HELL TO THE NO PART TWO!!!!!”  They should have comped me the 1/4 tank!!!  For future tourist information, Banff gas stations are the worst + there’s always people driving huge RV’s that shouldn’t be + it’s basically a pain.  After I filled up the gas tank + went back to Budget, John was helping the emphatically nodding woman. Seems she had a bit of problems that she wanted cleared up too.  As I sat + waited while he dealt with her problem, his assistant was running around while helping a kiwi couple, while 2 other couples were standing around + the phone was ringing off the hook.  I was observing all of this + was starting to feel very badly for them.  When it was my turn I said to John, “I don’t understand why you don’t have more staff + now I understand why no one ever returned my calls”.  He told me that he’s urged with corporate to give him another person – even if it’s to wash + park cars.  Poor guy!!! They’re running around between 3 locations, washing cars, maintaining them while doing contracts in an insanely high tourist traffic area!!!  Blasphemy!!!  This whole time John never let his cool down + always maintained a smile.  I told him I was going to call corporate + tell them that they have a good group of people working for them in a highly tourist area that is majorly understaffed + are completely swamped.  And I apologized for being so mad in the beginning of our relationship.  Down with corporate!!!!  Towards the end we were BFFS, + he said he was going to try + get me a major discount on a car for Monday + Tuesday.

So, at this point I was amped + was like, “WOOOOOO!!!  NOW I’M ON A ROAD TRIP!!!!”   So I got overzealous + went to a convenient store + bought a Slim Jim type thing + some gummy bears. I can’t even tell you the last time I’ve eaten a Slim Jim!!!  Due to my lack of sleep I was detoured off the road + when I saw a sign that said “Welcome to British Columbia”  I had been going the wr0ng way!!!  I turned around + as I was driving, I started to trip out due to lack of sleep. My excitement of XM Radio diminished when I heard Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” + started getting dizzy watching the endless rows of trees. I turned off the radio + got to Saskatchewan River Crossing.  It’s the last place you can get gas at before the long haul.  There were creepy tourists, tour buses, disgusting $3.16 coffee + thus, I decided to just head back towards Canmore because I thought it was too dangerous to keep going.   This is where I stopped + took an hour nap.

Yes, everyone I went to the Icefields to take a nap.  Pathetic.  I woke up because my stomach was starting to hurt becaue of the Slim Jim.  I headed d0wn to Peyto Lake. 









Note to future travelers:  if you’re not used to eating Slim Jims – don’t do it!!!!!  Those are my words of wisdom for the day.  The End.

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….