what i loved about the rockies

After say­ing good­bye to Van­cou­ver, we con­tin­ued on to the Rock­ies on a bus tour through Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise. We fig­ured it was an easy way for us to see as much of the Rock­ies as we could with the lit­tle time we had, plus we’ve always enjoyed learn­ing more about dif­fer­ent sites through the com­men­taries. In fact all the lit­tle fac­toids in this post most­ly come from what we learned from the knowl­edge­able tour guide! The com­pa­ny we went with was great, I would rec­om­mend it to anyone :)

What I loved about the Rock­ies… in one blog post? Let’s try.

1) The moun­tains, of course!

Even though we spent many hours on the bus, I did­n’t sleep as much as I usu­al­ly do, because every turn is a breath­tak­ing site of the moun­tains, just did­n’t want to miss any­thing. There were many pho­tos I took from the bus win­dow, here are a few of my favourites:

And this is Pyra­mid Moun­tain in Jasper, so named for its shape. And it has a red­dish colour because of the heav­ier con­cen­tra­tion of iron in its rocks. We vis­it­ed ear­ly in the morn­ing so there was also some fog hov­er­ing over the lake, quite mag­i­cal looking.

Here we climbed up a large pile of rocks to view Moraine Lake.

And from Sul­phur Moun­tain in Banff comes the hot spring! It did not smell like sul­phur, I was actu­al­ly a bit sur­prised. But then if a hot spring smells like sul­phur why would peo­ple want to sit in it…? Any­way. It was a his­tor­i­cal bath house, and the inte­ri­or real­ly looks like a san­i­tar­i­um from the movies (like this one)! Peo­ple did look to hot springs for cures of ill­ness­es. Not sure if it cured any­thing but, whether it was the min­er­als in the water or sim­ply sit­ting in warm water look­ing at the moun­tain, I did feel like I have more of a spring in my step afterwards :)

2) Mag­i­cal turquoise water

Appar­ent­ly tourists have asked what chem­i­cals are put in the waters in these regions to make the water this attrac­tive colour. Mag­i­cal rock pow­ders, of course! :D We learned that the turquoise came from water from the glac­i­er. When the glacial ice grind against the bedrocks, very fine “rock flour” results. This rock flour reflects only the blues and the greens in light, so we see turquoise.

This is Pey­to Lake, the most turquoise of them all (to my eyes, on that par­tic­u­lar day). 

And here’s Moraine Lake. It was once on the Cana­di­an $20 bill, so this view was referred to by our tour guide as the $20 view.

Greet­ed by the robot of Lake Louise :D

We were tak­ing a stroll at sun­set at bow riv­er in Banff. The water real­ly is turquoise! It’s almost surreal.

3) The canyons

Canyons are immense­ly inter­est­ing because of the dif­fer­ent rock for­ma­tions and exposed rock lay­ers due to ero­sion. I wish I know more about geol­o­gy so I could appre­ci­ate them more, but they’re beau­ti­ful to look at nonetheless.

This is Maligne Canyon, so named because a French explor­er found it dif­fi­cult to cross. I can see why.

And this is John­ston Canyon. It’s a bit of a longer hike to walk down into it, but the jour­ney itself is beau­ti­ful, the water crys­tal clear with a tinge of blue, and the rocks, and all the dif­fer­ent plants grow­ing on the rocks…

This is at Athabas­ca Falls. Very pow­er­ful surges of water.

4) Glac­i­ers!

One of the things that I looked for­ward to doing the most was explor­ing the ice field! It was like step­ping onto a frozen lake, in a mountain! 

An ice field is cre­at­ed by an over­flow­ing glac­i­er. Even the ice is a bit blue here. There was a defined area where it would be safe to walk with­out falling through thin­ner areas of ice. To the left of Mike in the pic­ture was a stream. We were encour­aged to take a drink from it. It was not as cold as I thought, and pret­ty sweet. 

Our tour guide let us know that we were now in the tun­dra region. So we’ve trav­eled from tem­per­ate rain for­est in Van­cou­ver to tun­dra in just a few days. So very cool.

Many more places to explore, def­i­nite­ly will return to the Rock­ies again.

Next stop — the Bad­lands! Until then, hope every­one is hav­ing a not-bad week! 


3 thoughts on “what i loved about the rockies

  1. Avec un peu de retard ’ pour cause de problème d’or­di­na­teur) je tiens à vous remerci­er pour ces superbes pho­tos et ce reportage très intéressant. J’ai fait grâce à vous un très beau voyage!

Comments are closed.