Canadians are very tolerent people for being ex-Britians! They apparently had a lot of experience dealing with the “K-becs,” who wanted to keep French (not English) their native language. So, when the native americans wanted similar recognition, the cannocks obliged. Most tribes are still very poor, however. I visited several First Nations sites. An amazing people. You might remember their performance at the winter olympics last year.
The day started out nice and sunny, with falls colors quite evident traveling down the Kootany River Valley. The road wasn’t too bad, but there was no shoulder. That means I can’t just pull over, and take take pictures! Boo.
When I got to Radium Hot Springs (a town), I found the visitor center built into a hillside. The parking lot was in the back, further up the hill. Behind the parking lot, staggered further up the hill, was an OUTDOOR Stations of the Cross. It was the second one I’d seen on this trip! The dark bronse is probably beautiful against the white snow.
After a bit of driving around, I finally found the parking lot at the Radium Hot Springs! Parking for RVs is always far, far away from where you need to go! Most of the time, RVers are us old-timers. Why do they make us walk so far? I’m grateful, however, that I can walk some distance now.
Although it was raining pretty hard, I didn’t care! Soaking in the hot springs was just what I needed. The water was a beautiful turquise-blue, picking up the shades of glacier ‘flour,’ tiny specs of rocks in the water. I left the hot springs very relaxed, and headed North on 93. The engineers who decided they could cut a mountain in half, musta been drunk (see album pix). But, there’s not much of an alternative when you’re in the Canadian Rockies, I guess.
Radium Hot Springs is a quaint tourist town. Very colorful with hanging flower pots everywhere. I’ll bet the population quadruples in size during the ski season. Hmm. there’s a house of many carved faces…or something like that. Right at the crossroads of town, sits this dilapidated building with faces carved on posts facing the road. It’s such an eye-sore compared to the rest of this quaint town. But, it got attention…featured on TV apparently. (See album pix.)
Almost didn’t stop at Olive Lake (Bienvenue au lac Olive). It turned out to be an awesome little lake. Lake Olive is fed by an underground hot springs. There were sooo many, tiny little mushrooms, yellow in color instead of white or brown. Wonder if the surphur has anything to do with it? Although a little spring feeds into this lake, it is an anomoly that water and air bubble up from UNDER the lake (so the sign says).
As we got closer to Banff, huge mountain ranges began to appear on the horizon. We were headed straight for the Continental Divide. The Kootenany River runs through miles of forests destroyed by fire. It is quite a site to see stark blue water meandering through dead trees! The riverside boulders are blue too. This is the first time I’ve seen an outcrop of rocks where the river gets its color. Glacier flour is so fine, it doesn’t sink to the bottom or flake off. This waterfall/gorge was amazing, both in it’s color and power. (See album pix.)
As we continued our journey toward Banff, we saw a lot of strange-looking overpasses that allow wild animals to cross the highway safely. Nice idea, but I still hate to see 8′ high electric fences along the highway. (See album pix.)
We made it to Banff National Park before dark, and camp at the Park campground. I walked down to one of the village resorts to eat some scallops and couscous. Walked back in the rain and turned the furnace on! Brrrrr!
[Why the extra click? To hinder web 'scrapers' from extracting copyrighted content.]