Day 5 – Ice Ice Baby

Day 5 – Ice Ice Baby

I have clearly made a rookie error. Every time I wax lyrical about the views, they get eclipsed the next day. So it is again as we drive up the remarkably picturesque Icefields Parkway towards the Columbia Icefield.

We are trying to take some photos en route, but not sure they will turn out too well through the bug splattered windscreen. I have to say that I am taking a perverse pleasure in splattering bugs today after they had their way with me yesterday. I have so many bites that I am driving with a very sore balloon head. Little b**tards. I’m having to wear a hat so as not to freak out the locals.

Anyway, back to the drive. It is becoming apparent that, although distances aren’t huge, we may have overestimated our ability to cover ground. The going is often slow due to perpetual road repairs, convoys of RVs and a phenomenon that I have come to think of as slawping – the sudden slow down of the car in front as a spectacular vista hoves into view and the brakes are applied to allow for some gawping. Guilty.

We finally made it to our destination – the Athabasca glacier for a quick stroll. It’s a bit of a shock to the system going from temperatures in the mid 20s to freezing and snowing in the glacier, but totally worth it. Sad that it will not be here for more than another 80 or 90 years. Probably not helped by us tourists traipsing all over it and pumping out lots of hot air in the form of “ooo”s and “aah”s.

From the glacier we are taken to the Skywalk. It seems impossible to book the glacier walk without also booking this somewhat manufactured attraction. Ethan made the good points that

  1. Two attractions makes the price more palatable and
  2. Probably adds an extra incentive for people to take the 2 hour trek from Banff.

We scooted around as fast as possible, trying not to get into too many Chinese photo albums and went on our way.The journey back of course was a treasure trove of photo ops, including a chance to see the Rocky Mountaineer train working its way through the famous spiral tunnels. It’s all in the timing.

And talking of timing, it’s time to round of the day with a nice glass of Canadian ice wine.

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