A Travellerspoint blog

Vancouver to Calgary


overcast 55 °F

Today was our decompression day before flying back to the USA in the very early morning. Most of east bound flights leave at 7:00am or before.

The main project was to get our Covid test for re-entry into the US. We Uber'd out the the airport, where we had made an appointment to get tested. There was no wait and after 5 minutes to check in and 15 minutes to wait for the results, then Uber back to the hotel. I walked down to Olympic Park and, after lunch we went up the Calgary Tower to get a view of the city.

With a population of 1,239,220, Calgary is the most-populous city in Alberta, the third most populous city in Canada after Toronto and Montreal, and the most populous city in Western Canada. The Calgary Metropolitan Area had a population of roughly 1,581,000 in the beginning of 2021, making it the second most-populous in western Canada, and the fourth-largest census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada. Calgary's economy includes activity in the energy, financial services, film and television, transportation and logistics, technology, manufacturing, aerospace, health and wellness, retail, and tourism sectors. The Calgary Metropolitan Region is home to Canada's second-highest number of corporate head offices among the country's 800 largest corporations.

The Calgary Tower is a 190.8-meter (626 ft) free standing observation tower in the downtown core of Calgary. Originally called the Husky Tower, it was conceived as a joint venture between Marathon Realty Company Limited and Husky Oil as part of an urban renewal plan and to celebrate Canada's centennial of 1967.

This was a fantastic trip. I am glad we went west to east, as you leave the seaside, head into the Cariboo Plateau, travel into the high Rockies and then descend into the plains. It really added a crescendo to the adventure.


Posted by rpickett 22:21 Archived in Canada Tagged calgary Comments (0)

Vancouver to Calgary

Banff to Calgary

sunny 60 °F

Today is our last full day of touring. We left the Banff Springs Hotel in mid morning. Our stops today included Bow Falls, the Banff Gondola, free time for lunch in Banff and then meandering out of the hills to the plains surrounding Calgary.


Posted by rpickett 21:42 Archived in Canada Tagged banff Comments (0)

Vancouver to Calgary

Lake Louise to Banff

semi-overcast 55 °F

We finally got a day to sleep in and explore the Lake Louise resort - one of the great properties in the world. Since we didn't leave until mid-afternoon, I took a walk almost to the end of the lake. Although cloudy, it is an amazingly beautiful place.

We then boarded the bus and headed to Banff, stopping at Yoho National Park Natural Bridge on the Kicking Horse River, the Spiral Tunnels and Emerald Lake.


The Big Hill on the Canadian Pacific Railway main line in British Columbia, Canada, was the most difficult piece of railway track on the Canadian Pacific Railway's route. It was situated in the rugged Canadian Rockies west of the Continental Divide of the Americas and Kicking Horse Pass. Even though the Big Hill was replaced by the Spiral Tunnels in 1909, the area has long been a challenge to the operation of trains and remains so to this day. The essential problem was that the railway had to ascend 1,070 feet (330 m) along a distance of 10 miles (16 km) from Field at 4,267 feet (1,301 m) climbing to the top of the Continental Divide at 5,340 feet (1,630 m). The narrow valleys and high mountains limited the space where the railway could stretch out and limit the grade (hence the later decisions to bore extra mileage under the mountains and lower the grades).


Emerald Lake is enclosed by mountains of the President Range, as well as Mount Burgess and Wapta Mountain. This basin traps storms, causing frequent rain in summer and heavy snowfalls in winter. Due to its high altitude, the lake is frozen from November until June. The vivid turquoise color of the water, caused by powdered limestone, is most spectacular in July as the snow melts from the surrounding mountains.


Posted by rpickett 20:48 Archived in Canada Tagged lake banff to louise Comments (0)

Vancouver to Calgary

Jasper to Lake Louise

semi-overcast 40 °F

Today was special because we got to walk on the Athabasca Glacier as we wandered our way to Lake Louise. The Athabasca Glacier is one of the six principal 'toes' of the Columbia Icefield, located in the Canadian Rockies. The glacier currently loses depth at a rate of about 5 metres (16 ft) per year and has receded more than 1.5 km (0.93 mi) and lost over half of its volume in the past 125 years. Easily accessible, it is the most visited glacier in North America. It was chilly-about 20 degrees fahrenheit - with the wind chill. We then got a different view at the Glacier Skywalk before we traveled to Lake Louise.

Lake Louise is named after the Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848–1939),[3] the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and the wife of the Marquess of Lorne, who was the Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883. Lake Louise from eastern shoreline, facing west. Lake Louise & Lake Agnes as seen from Devils Thumb. The turquoise color of the water comes from rock flour carried into the lake by melt-water from the glaciers that overlook the lake. The lake has a surface of 0.8 km2 (0.31 sq mi) and is drained through the 3 km long Louise Creek into the Bow River.


Posted by rpickett 00:54 Archived in Canada Tagged ice field columbia Comments (0)

Vancouver to Calgary


semi-overcast 45 °F

We got to sleep in about 30 minutes more this morning before we had breakfast and headed out on our Jasper Tour to the Jasper National Park.


Our first stop was Medicine Lake: Medicine Lake is a geologic anomaly in the sense that it is not actually a lake but rather an area in which the Maligne River (flowing from Maligne Lake into the Athabasca River) backs up and suddenly disappears underground as a losing stream. During the summer months during intensified meltwater runoff the lake (which during the winter months is a meandering frozen river) fills to levels which fluctuate over time and with the runoff events. Much like a bathtub that is filled too fast for it to drain, it becomes laden with water (lake) until it can slowly drain as the tap flow (runoff) is reduced (river).


We then traveled to Maligne Lake for a spectacular boat tour to Spirit Island for some great photo opportunities. The lake is famed for the color of its azure water, the surrounding peaks, the three glaciers visible from the lake, and Spirit Island, a frequently and very famously photographed islet. Maligne Lake is fed and drained by the Maligne River, which enters the lake on its south side, near Mount Unwin and drains the lake to the north. Maligne Lake, as well as Maligne River, Maligne Mountain, and Maligne Pass, takes its name from the French word for malignant or wicked. The name was used by Father Pierre-Jean De Smet (1801–1873) to describe the turbulent river that flows from the lake (in the spring), and soon spread to the lake, canyon, pass, mountain and range. It is also possible that early French traders applied the name to the river for its treacherous confluence with the Athabasca River.


Our final stop was the Maligne Canyon where we had a short walk to view the canyon and a wonderful buffet lunch. Eroded out of the Palliser Formation, the canyon measures over 50 metres (160 ft) deep.Also at this point numerous large underground streams join and greatly amplify the flow. The canyon is constantly being eroded by the churning and swirling of the water. The effect of this has made the width 2 metres (6.6 ft) across at some points and a depth of 50 metres (160 ft). Limestone is one of the most dominant minerals within the canyon. It was deposited in a shallow tropical sea by plankton which secrete limestone.


Posted by rpickett 00:24 Archived in Canada Tagged alberta jasper Comments (0)

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