April 21The day after our rainy day dawned cold, but mostly
clear. It had snowed overnight.We decided to drive the Trans-Canada
highway through Yoho Park. As with the other parks, we found many
of the trails into the interior closed dueto snow, so we were
limited to viewing most of the scenery from the road. My trip
notes mention that we really enjoyed a place
called "Natural Bridge," but I can't recall exactly what this place looked like. This is what happens
when you wait too long to document a trip! I think I might have
taken this photo there, but am not certain.
One spot I do remember well was the Spiral
Tunnel viewpoint. There are two railroad tunnels inside the
mountain there that circle back upon themselves so the trains
traveling this route can make it up the grade of the mountain
between the tiny town of Field (one of the very few locations
in these parks inhabited by people) and Kicking Horse Pass.
place we really liked a lot was Emerald Lake, a resort at a
pretty little spot we drove up a mountain road to reach (supposedly
from the memorable Natural Bridge parking lot). Even covered
with ice, it was easy to imagine what the lake might look like
in the summer and autumn months with its blue-green waters refecting
the surrounding pines. This photo was taken from one of the
upper verandas of the main lodge.
The water in each of the parks we visited
seemed to have its own particular park-specific shade of blue
or blue-green. In Yoho, the water was a bright aquamarine
color. Upon closer inspection of the water (yes, we dipped our
hands in), we found the silt to be very fine and sand-like.
It was still early when we reached the
boundary of Yoho Park, so we kept going west through Golden
to Glacier Park in British Columbia. The approach to Golden
was a hairpin curve on a road that wound along
the top of a gorge. Really spectacular, but a bit nerve-wracking
for the driver (which wasn't me)! On the other side of Golden,
the approach to the mountains housing Glacier Park was breath-taking.
The mountains were a contrasting combination of rounded rocks
smoothed over by centuries of glaciers, and tall, pointy, craggy
peaks covered thickly with snow. In the other parks we had visited,
the road usually travelled along the valley so that we were
always looking up at the mountains from the bottom. In Glacier
Park, the Trans-Canada Highway took us up into the mountains. We saw several glaciers and many places where avalanches
had occurred. We went through a series of "sheds,"
built over the road to prevent the frequent avalanches from
covering up the road. Because it was getting late, we only went
as far as the Rogers Pass Information Center, where we talked
with the rather lonely park ranger and enjoyed interesting exhibits
on avalanches and the C&P railroad, both of which are very
prominent in this area of the world. The amount of snow on the
ground was staggering. Apparently there had been a bumper crop
of it that winter. In the photo with the flag, that's the top
of a roof that's almost lost to view because of the snow drift
in front of the building.