06.06.2007 - 08.06.2007 19 °C
We set off on our little hike along Patricia Lake and through the woods, looking 'round nervously at times half expecting a bear to leap out at us (the man in the Liquor Store in town got us a little spooked). The path emerged on a ridge looking down at a couple of little ponds. In each pond was what looked like a beaver house (not sure of the terminology here, not had a chance to look in a bookshop). We sat and swatted mossies for a few minutes, and then there was a ripple. And then another. And then we saw it. Tiny, brown, and really far away. But it was a beaver.
The following day (Thursday) was time to head back down the Icefield Parkway. We made fair time, plus we got to see the glaciers with a bit of blue sky, which was nice! We stopped at Bow Lake, which was still icy, and saw a long horned sheep.
As we travelled further south our tired eyes stopped scanning the verges and forests along the road (good job since I was driving). However, before long the brake lights and abandoned vehicles in front signalled a wildlife sighting. There were people all over the road, and a man leaping up over the roadside ditch and among the trees. There was, therefore, no question. It had to be a bear. We looked for a second but it had gone into the trees. We drove on a few yards and there they were. A mother Grizzly bear and two cubs.
This was rare. The guide book said the only place to see Grizzly bears was a stuffed one in the visitor centre. Then just to make it extra special, a black bear emerged just behind us. (And still people jumped out of their cars. Idiots.)
We drove on to Lake Louise and jinked West into Yoho National Park, home of Emerald Lake (a body of water, milky green in colour, unsurprisingly) and the Spiral Tunnel. Maybe it was the engineer in him, but Dave liked the crazy railway tunnel that spiralled up through the mountain in order to make high ground without too steep a climb. (yes, it probably is the engineer in him.)
That night we stayed in Field, a little railway town completely ignored by guidebooks and a real gem. We ate in Truffle Pigs, a restaurant/coffee shop/grocery/bakery. They had Live music, naturally. We drank beer and looked at the groceries while we waited for our table. We stayed in the Bear Den, a little apartment owned by a fantastic lady from the Tourist Office; Field, British Columbia - another place that we must return to.
Today we continued the drive, leaving the Rockies and heading into Calgary for an afternoon mooching around the city and spending an hour saying farewell to Wal-Mart (Sarah). Tonight we are at an airport hotel, ready for our flight in the morning to Vancouver.
See you all soon!
Dave and Sarah XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX