Long but beautiful day. After an overnight rain at the Lake Louise State Campground, a limited service national park campground located in tall Fern and Spruce trees, we departed for the day in an excellent Brewster passenger bus and driver / guide and headed to Lake Moraine first. The weather cleared and it warmed up, some. This is a glacier lake, which means the ice, which must be 100ft deep to be classified as a glacier, grinds the granite underneath it to a fine powder and is called Glacier Flour, which flows down into the lake making it a turquoise blue. As the water flows miles downstream from the glacier lakes the powder dissipates and the water becomes crystal clear. Of the 3 glacier lakes we saw today Lake Moraine was the prettiest. Beautiful lake, glacier, mountains and trees. Simply gorgeous. And the water is really cold.
Next we headed off to Emerald Lake. On the way the driver / guide told us about the “Spiral Tunnels” which basically the train tracks had to be spiraled into the mountains in order to lower the climb / descent rate from 4.5% down to the prescribed 2.5% rate. There are 3 of these Spiral Tunnels in this area and the trains having 1,200 rail cars will actually wind over itself on 3 levels in each of the 3 tunnels where you can see the engines, rail cars and caboose at different levels. Quite a sight if you are lucky enough to witness this, which we were.
At Emerald Lake the driver / guide told us about the Glacier that broke loose one winter night and came down at over 100mph and stopped within 100 yards of the cabins and lodge. Again, a beautiful lake, mountains, lodge and restaurant.
We headed off to a fantastic buffet lunch at the Lake Louise Ski Lodge. This is a first class skiing facility and restaurant. They had a good salad bar with fresh fruits and soups and the entrees were roast beef, chicken, lamb, fish and pasta. Deserts were many and varied.
After lunch we headed back down the mountain to Lake Louise and the Fairmont Chateau. Also a gorgeous setting and a first class hotel with the restaurant looking toward the glacier and lake. The flowers were beautiful, with the large turquoise lake and the glacier in the background. Very picturesque.
We then headed down Highway 1 toward Banff to Marble Canyon. This is a very fast stream that cuts deep thru a granite canyon. The water flows fast and loud in this canyon.
Afterward we headed back to the campground and had our daily trip meeting in the rain to discuss tomorrows trip to the Ice Fields where we will take a huge motorized vehicle with 5ft tall tires out on a frozen lake. Should be a great day also.
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P.S. 517 miles so far, out of 6,000 and day 8 of 60.