I Can’t Bear Your Harping, Louise
We drove Lucy to the Village, where we parked her for the day and took a shuttle van up to Lake Louise, as the parking both there and at Moraine Lake is a crapshoot at best. We spent some time walking around the lake and through the Chateau Lake Louise. We have been here before, but it never ceases to amaze us just what a Canadian jewel this is:
There was a harpist playing in the lobby of the Chateau Lake Louise:
With discount tickets in hand, we took a shuttle across the valley to the Gondola, where we had a great buffet lunch, then took the chairlift to the top. Spectacular view:
Unfortunately, the hiking trails were closed due to a high level of Grizzly Bear activity. We, of course, did not spot one, so this is the closest we could come:
We spent some time in the Interpretive Centre, and watched a very interesting Parks Canada short film about how they are trying to balance the needs of the indigenous animals with the growth in tourism and development in the area. We took the lift back down to the main lodge and killed some time with a Kokanee (what else?) while we waited for the shuttle back down to the Village. Fifteen minutes after returning to the campsite, the skies darkened, the thunder rolled and the lightning flashed. It spit rain for 5 minutes, then moved on. How disappointing; we were expecting a much better show.
After a light supper, we went to the Interpretive show at the amphitheatre, which was really well-done and informative, dealing with the two bear species, Grizzly and Black, that live in the Park. One of the highlights was a series of shots taken by movement-sensor cameras stationed in and on the overpasses and underpasses that have been constructed to facilitate passage for wildlife to cross the busy highways, and which have helped reduce roadkill by about 80%. A couple of the more spectacular shots captured two large grizzlies fighting on an overpass, and a wolf emerging from an underpass with half of an elk’s leg in its jaws.
All in all, a very full but fun day. We returned to the campsite just as the thunder and lightning show returned and the rain began to fall. Off to Maple Creek tomorrow. The weather there is forecast to be sunny and hot for at least the three days we plan to spend there.