Day 12 – Round & Round We Go

Day 12 – Round & Round We Go

Up bright and early today for our intrepid ascent to the Plain of the Six Glaciers above Lake Louise. The idea is to get there in time to get a parking space rather than have to get the shuttle bus either side of an epic hike.

What were we thinking? Hold ups at 2 major road works put paid to that idea. In retrospect probably not the worst outcome. The weather forecasts and trail reviews were suggesting heavy snow (waste deep in some places) which would mean having to turn back. Avoiding a potential stroke from straining uphill at altitude is an added bonus.

Disappointing not to be able to get to see those views though. We are now used to adapting plans and decide to head toward Banff and walk up Tunnel Mountain instead. We will head there via the Bow Valley parkway and scout for wildlife.

Apparently Bow Valley is the gold standard for wildlife viewing. This will be out third pass and have only seen an elk so far. We are keen to spot a moose if possible to tick off in our I-Spy book of Canadian critters.

Sadly, no moose, but a couple of deer gave us attitude and we spotted a weird rodent which Google lens identifies as a Columbian ground squirrel.

Tunnel Mountain was a pleasant walk and probably more my speed. I can definitely feel the difference in altitude between some of the walks we have done. Some great views from the top too.

Back via the parkway again. Nada.

Getting back towards Golden we spotted a cluster of roadside tourists, the tell tale sign of something kicking off (although we have toyed with the idea of just pulling over and randomly pointing just to see how many people would follow us). In this case, the was a black bear inordinately fascinated with a train line. No idea what was there but hope it got around to moving before the next 5 mile long train came along. I don’t expect that those things can brake too quickly.

railbear1

So that brings out tally of bears in the wild to 10 by our reckoning. Not a bad haul, especially as non of them were waiting around corners for us while we were walking.

Anyway, walking done for now, tomorrow is white water rafting!

Day 6 – Elvis has (largely) left the building

Day 6 – Elvis has (largely) left the building

Memphis to Chattanooga

Today could be a struggle. We started off with a trip to the pharmacy to get some drugs for the poorly one and I can feel whatever lurgy he has burrowing its way into me.

Still, a trip to Graceland beckoned so we manned up and hit the road. The actual mansion turns out to be smaller than expected

Smaller on the Inside

but it manages to cram in a fair amount of tackiness. Any room that has carpet on all surfaces is pure class. I would say that the decor is of its time, but I don’t quite remember the 60s and 70s like that.

Onwards with the tour and a visit to the grave. People were still genuinely upset visiting the grave 40 years after his death. Given the sombre atmosphere, I felt that reenacting the scene from Spinal Tap might be considered inappropriate. All those hours learning the harmonies to Heartbreak Hotel wasted…

Since my baby left me..?

Leaving Graceland, we girded our loins for the long drive to Chattanooga, passing through Mississppi, Alabama and (briefly) Georgia (tick, tick and tick). We were both a little nervous about stopping for food. Spotted a shack called the Camo Cafe and wondered whether to stop. Not so much. A Burger King further down the line seemed a better bet. The staff were the friendliest, most helpful people I have met on the trip so far. That will teach me to harbour unwarranted prejudice based on shallow media stereotypes! Alabama also looked pretty pleasant and (mostly) devoid of Confederate flags, so there you go: more civilised than Norfolk. Move on. That said, I was very careful not to give any excuse to be pulled over by a southern sheriff.

Sweet Home Alabama

In Huntsville we passed the space centre. Had I realised that we would be passing that way I would have tried to spend some time there. The Saturn V and space shuttle looked pretty impressive even from the road.

 

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