June 20, 2008

6/20/08 Canmore, AB

0km/1060km

After breakfast of Eggo waffles, we all loaded up in the car and headed back to Lake Louise. When the guys and I stayed there the other night, we didn't get a chance to see the lake because it was five kilometers uphill from the campsite and the weather was pretty bad. But Ellen, Judy and Peter said it was a must see while we are here. So off we went.

Oh, my god, what a sight! A huge expensive chateau was built along the shores of Lake Louise in 1884. All the hotel staff still wear turn of the century nickers. The lake is filled with glacial green water below a massive wall of mountain and snow. It was impossible to get it all into the pictures. Even this early in the season, it was teaming with tourists.

Lake Louise

We had decided hike up to Lake Agnes, about 3.7km up into the mountains. None of us were in that great of hiking strength so we took lots of rest breaks. There was an avalanche cut about half way that gave us good views of Lake Louise below. Almost to the top is Mirror Lake where we could see the hut way above through the trees. I think everyone was relieved when we finally reached the Tea House, a total climb of 1,260 feet.

The Tea House is a hut run by summer workers live on the mountain serving tea and other simple food. Water comes from lake, there is no electricity and no plumbing except the outhouses, but the kids working there seemed to be having a blast. Today there was a constant unloading of a helicopter for their supplies for the whole summer. After a chocolate chip cookie, I took a long walk along Lake Agnes.

Winter still hadn't let go of Lake Agnes yet. There was ice still in water and snow surrounding the shore. It really was an awesome sight. I envy the kids who worked up here, especially the times in the morning and evening when there were no tourists making demands or too much noise. It must be a magical place at those times.

Lake Agnes

Even though it seemed like less work coming down, everyone was genuinely sore when we got back to Lake Louise. Besides being tired, we were all famished, so it time to go and eat.

That's Victoria Glacier above the lake

Judy and Peter suggested we all go to The Keg in nearby Banff. It was Friday night and we were lucky we got a table. The food was good and in generous portions. We were all stuffed but satisfied.

Back at the house in Canmore, Mike went over our route through Canada with Pete and a few new arrivals, John and Paul who are family here on a photo expedition for the weekend near Lake Moraine. Our plan tomorrow is to bike the 120km to Calgary and spend the night at Peter and Judy's. We will say goodbye to George who will stay and spend some of his vacation with Ellen and Sadona before heading home to Sacramento.

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