Bring it on Banff!


Yesterday was about survival. First, we escaped certain death at the hands of a mysterious stranger with the nickname Johnny Big Lure. In all reality, he and Kim were great and it was a pleasure to get to know them. There were, however, some real concerns coming from home. 

We received this email from Kristen's dad:

"What does Johnny Big Lure mean? You didn't really share a room with them did you?"

Kristen laughed so hard she actually cried. But I really think that meeting John and Kim was such a great part of why traveling is important. We're learning more and more that it's good to reach out and get to know people that we probably would never have connected with otherwise. 

Safe travels, my friends. Hopefully we'll catch up with you both on a scuba trip one day!

Pretty much right as we left our roomies, Kris had a strong allergic reaction to something and the glands in her eyes swelled to an unbelievable size. It began to pour freezing rain, the traffic was pretty nutty and we had a serious disaster all within the first hour. Kris hopped out of the sidecar and forgot the camera was on her lap. The Canon G9 took a pretty dramatic tumble and died before our eyes...

All that to say, we were both in a pretty foul mood when we walked up to Lake Louise. Nature gave us a swift slap to the face and we came to our senses. 




We're looking pretty thick with every bit of clothing we have on our bodies. 



I think we get why so many people come here. 

We left after looking around the hotel on the lake (which I'm sure is insanely expensive) and drove north to the Ice Fields Parkway. As we got to the gate, I stopped on the side of the road to fish my wallet out so I wouldn't hold up traffic when the girl in the booth started yelling and waving us over. We drove up, confused, and she exclaimed, "I've been waiting for you! Your friends passed this way about an hour ago. I'm so glad to see you guys!" We were understandably confused, but it turns out Kim and John had taken the same route and had chatted it up with this girl. We talked for a bit and then she said, "Best be on your way", with a wink before I could pay. We rode onto the parkway feeling a bit better about things. 

Let me tell you, the Ice Fields Parkway that connects Banff and Jasper is the most stunning ride I have ever been on. Jagged mountains are everywhere, glaciers and glacial lakes and rivers dot the scenery and the trees are unbelievably thick.

I think Bow Lake was even more blue than Louise:

Kristen wanted me to mention that she didn't alter the blues in any of these pics. The lakes are just that blue. 

We crossed over Bow Pass when we hit our first bit of serious weather for the trip. We were riding along when all of a sudden a white wall formed in front of us. We were engulfed in snow. Thankfully, the heated clothing made the whole thing enjoyable. The snow lasted for about 30 minutes and then dissipated. We had never experienced snow on Elga and for some reason, we couldn't stop laughing all the way through the pass.





We saw these goats:










And we saw several ravens that probably weighed more than Bacon:







We rode a bit further into Jasper National Park and climbed into the Columbia Ice Field where we were blown away by the chance to hike onto an actual glacier. We don't have any pics from the hike (the snow and wind was intense) but I do have these:

After hanging out in the visitors center for a bit to try and get my wet socks to dry, we headed down into the lovely town of Jasper (we saw several wolves and an elk that was so close Kristen could have pet it). 

We survived the day and slept very, very hard.