June 06, 2004

Canmore to Canmore

Reflections over Johnson Lake

Day one of our Banff National Park explorations. Beginning with Lake Minnewanka. Unfortunate name. Guess it's Indian or something. By the lake we saw a veritable flock of female bighorn sheep. I suppose there must have been a male around somewhere but I didn't see him - probably because at the time we thought they were goats! Then we spent some time photographing reflections of mountains in lakes.

Stopped in Banff township to take a photo down main street, then headed up to the Sulphur Mountain gondola, where for $21.50 you can take a ride to the top. Well worth it though, the views are spectacular, and we had great weather for it, if a little hazy.

Back to Banff for a bite to eat, and I bought a couple of cds - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets soundtrack, and the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. Mum decided later in the afternoon that she liked the CoS one better than PoA - I guess it's because it's a little more inoffensive and it can all be classified as "background" music, as opposed to PoA which is a bit in your face with a couple of the tracks on it - especially the Knight Bus track!

Next was a walk up to see some waterfalls in Johnston Canyon before heading up to Lake Louise, which is as pretty as the postcards. The blue in the water is incredible. We even saw another avalanche there. Spent a good two hours there - walked the entire length of the lake to take a photo of the Chateau across it. We're going back again in the morning to photograph it the other way around.

The only other lake we saw today was the half empty Moraine Lake. It was still partly frozen which was bizarre. The coolest thing though were these ice crystals we found. There was this patch of snow on the ground near the shore of the lake, which looked just like any other patch of snow or ice. Except when we got closer we realised that it was entirely made up of vertical ice crystals - 10-15cm long, all packed together vertically. It was the strangest thing I've ever seen. We had no idea at all how they'd form like that. Anyone else have any ideas?

On the way back to the motel we went up Mt Norquay which is on the other side of Banff, and we saw all the bachelor bighorn sheep in a herd.

The only other excitement for the night was seeing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which was cool, but see my other post for that. It's now 1am as I had to drive myself all the way up from Canmore to Banff to see it - oops!

Posted by kazza at June 6, 2004 12:13 AM