Wednesday, October 04, 2017

canadian adventure - banff national park: british columbia, ice field parkway, herbert lake, hector lake, bow lake and bow falls

The majority of our travels for the week looked like it was going to be quite ominous and rainy and without cell service it makes you wonder how much adventuring you really want to do out in the 'wilderness'...  Joe was still quite insistent on hiking as we did bring along our rain gear, not quite cold weather gear, but rain gear...

We started our day by an early drive to what we thought was the Ice Field Parkway and instead drove to British Columbia (towards Kootney).  Whoops!  I guess that's what happens when you don't have local cell service and a GPS to use.  Oh how we rely on technology these days!  Joe usually has an amazing sense of direction, but somehow Canada had him all tripped up!

AND I will say Canadian road signage isn't marked as well as American in my opinion.

As were were a bit away from where we needed to be, we thought it would be smart to gas up in Lake Louise and then head north on the Ice Field Parkway.

Quick stop at Herbert Lake

Crowfoot Glacier and Bow River, plus first snow of the season Banff!

As I was photographing the lake and glaciers, Joe was photographing a crow.  Seemed appropriate at Crowfoot Glacier I would say.

Hector Lake

Our next stop was Num-ti-jah Lodge Bow Lake hiking trail to Bow Glacier Falls.  

It was freezing out and ominous but Joe was still quite adamant about hiking.  We saw two couples who started the hike, didn't make it too far and decided to turn around due to fog, cold and rain.  I'm not going to lie I was pretty nervous as there were hardly any cars at the lodge.  Remember that 'rule' the front desk told us, as long as there are 4-5 cars in the lot you will probably be fine.  Yea those cars, they were all for the lodge as you could see everyone inside eating breakfast....

The start... Bow Lake and that tiny stream up in the mountain area is where we were hiking to.  Bow Falls.

We continued onwards around Bow Lake and then headed into heavily wooded areas.  That's when we decided to turn the music on for noise (to hopefully ward off any animals).  I'm not going to lie, I wasn't sure we were going to make it due to my fear of what we may find in the woods.

With the rain continuing we had to put on our hiking bag covers and hoods and move.... as you will notice I didn't take many photos out to the falls with the rain as I couldn't leave my camera out long and to keep tucking it back in my bag is a time killer.  

Midway through at this point we knew we were the only people out here.  Trail blazers.....  apparently.  It was 9:30am in the morning WHY aren't there other people out here?

**Large gap of the hike photos missing due to weather conditions**

When we started to reach closer to the falls snow was mixing in and then turned into heavy snow at the fall.  We stayed at the falls for about 15 minutes and we finally saw other people coming our way.  With the cold weather, heavy snow and bit of a trek back we decided it was time to head back.  

This is where we saw one other couple hiking in the distance towards us...  They stayed at the falls for about 1 minute and high tailed it out of there.  I am assuming due to the weather and neither of them were dressed appropriately.

Me trying to cover the camera with a plastic bag to make a photo of us both before we left.  #fail

Heading outward...

On the way out we saw a lot more people hiking in so my feelings and comfort level of seeing a bear was a lot lower so that was good.  

Stopped at the edge of the river and Lake to eat.  

Low cloud cover set in...

We made it back in one piece...  wet and cold.

On our way back south from the Ice Fields, Joe wanted to go one more place even though my body said no....  my head said yes....  so we made one last stop. be continued. 

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