Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lake Louise

Today, Saturday 6/11, was rainy and chilly in the Canadian Rockies. Still, we soldiered on with sight-seeing, the alternative being hanging out in the rig with no television or internet.  How did we ever get along without them?

We drove to the beautiful Lake Louise, my third visit there. Here I am on my first visit, as a teenager. The woman in white, showing her second-best side to the camera, is my mother. We loved pedal pushers, apparently.

childhoodNext, in 2004, I came to the Canadian Rockies with friends Bill and Ron. We hiked to the other side of the Lake and up to a tea-house in the mountains. Pedal pushers have given way to convertible REI hiking pants.

2004 And here are John and I today, just before the rain started to fall. Now it’s blue jeans, baby.


The in-style in pants may change as the years go by, but the glacier still looks the same!

A couple of items of interest  – one is this odd-looking highway structure:  animapass We have started calling it an AnimaPass, but it actually could answer the age-old question… “how DOES the chicken (bear, elk, cougar, etc.) cross the road?”  It is an overpass for wildlife. 

The highway cuts off the animals from part of their natural habitat, and high fences on both sides of the road keep them from crossing. So the park built these overpasses (and underpasses, which can’t be seen from the highway) to allow them access to both sides. There are currently 6 overpasses and 32 underpasses on this highway, but eventually there will be a total of 44. If you look closely at the photo, you can see that the passes have been landscaped with grass and trees to look more like a natural walkway.

Park rangers monitor the crossings with cameras, by checking prints in special sand boxes, and by taking fur samples.The crossings have been used over 220,000 times since 1996. They found that elk and deer used them almost immediately, but the predator species such as bears, cougars, and wolves took a bit longer to feel comfortable on them. Now, grizzly bears, wolves, elk, deer, and moose prefer the overpasses, but black bears and cougars like the underpasses.

We saw this curiosity in our campground – a working phone booth!

booth1 John didn’t think they existed anymore, but I picked up the receiver and got a dial tone. 

There were two more phone booths in the park, but I don’t think either of them were in good working order. One was totally missing the phone:booth2

And another seemed to be perpetually occupied. I think it got snatched up during a housing boom:booth3 

booth3b Wild mega-mammal list so far: Deer, grizzly bear, black bear, rocky mountain longhorn sheep, elk, and mountain goats.

1 comment:

Sharon Del Rosario said...

I love Banff and I love Lake Louise. It was a previous life of mine when I was last there. Don't know yet if we'll detour there on our return to the lower 48. So thanks for the virtual visit. Glad you're enjoying the move northward!