2002 Canada Trip

Monday, September 2

Today was our final day on the road before reaching our destination of Canmore, Alberta. Once again, our theory was to get an early start so we could begin photographing the national parks as soon as we could get the trailer unhitched and our gear stowed in the hotel. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

We were on I-15 by 7:30 and covering the final 34 miles to the Canadian border. Rolling hills of wheat were frosted with ground fog until the first rays of the sunrise melted them away.

Half an hour later, we were at the Canadian border at Sweetgrass. Carol was in charge of the digital camera and began taking pictures as we neared the border.

Montana sunrise Alberta sign

That drew the attention of the customs agent. He was not happy and warned us that he would have to take our film away if we were taking pictures at the port of entry. We weren't in Canada five minutes and already we're in trouble with the government. Our illegal images are safely stored away and certainly won't be displayed here. You'll have to settle for the approved image of the Alberta sign.

Alberta farmThe drive from the border to Calgary was beautiful high plains wheat farming land. The farms looked like something out of a book with newly painted red barns and white fences. The farm yards look like they were manicured, a far cry from what we had been seeing on our side of the border.

In Calgary, we missed the turn to skirt the main city, but our trusty navigator soon returned us to the straight and narrow. The positive was that we got to drive right through the heart of Calgary and saw the beautiful river park and the renewal of the downtown area.

KanasakisOn the way out of town, we even got to see the site of the 1988 Winter Olympics. It brought back some great memories of Brian Boitano as he finished his long program for the gold medal.

As we left Calgary, we could see the mountains and our destination out in the distance. It's a beautiful sunny day in Calgary, and what do we see as we look north? Stop me if you've heard this story before... It's all cloudy and looks like rain. Could it be that Princess Rain has struck again?

Banff Springs HotelWe arrived in Canmore under a heavy cloud cover about 2:30. We went to check into our hotel (see photo) but there was something about them losing our reservation. In the end, we retired to our Howard Johnsons, unhitched the trailer, stowed our gear in the motel, and were out exploring Banff National Park. We had four hours before sunset, so we were optimistic. Then it started raining...

For a first day in the rain, we still had an interesting afternoon.

Our day ended with a close call with a moose on the Trans Canada Highway. We saw the mother and calf come up out of the woods and head for the highway, so we had slowed and were ready to stop. The car coming from the other direction didn't have the same warning and barely missed hitting the mother. The calf stopped directly in front of us on the highway, but in doing so all four legs went in different directions. Suddenly, it was sprawled on the highway in the beams of our headlights. It didn't care which way Mom went, it was getting off the highway. Back into the woods it ran while Mom calmly continued on to the river on the other side of the road.

The weather was overcast and cloudy, and we really didn't get any good photographs, but we did see a huge bull elk, a black bear, and two moose. That isn't too bad for a first day.

Today's Photo Gallery

Bow Valley Elk
Moraine Lake
Bow Valley

Elk along Bow Valley Parkway

Canoes at Moraine Lake

Lake Louise
Chateau Lake Louise
Bear along Moraine Lake Road

Lake Louise

Chateau Lake Louise