Sunday, October 15, 2006

Homeward Bound...Our Cross Canada Trip...West to East

Heading Home

Here is Richard planning our route home to New Brunswick.

When we got back on the main land we traveled through the Okanagan Valley,Revelstoke Glacier National Park, Rogers Pass and Kicking Horse Pass. The scenery was awesome...360 degrees of WOW!!

Our destination was Banff National Park. It was here where the glorious Canadian Rockies shone! We parked our RV in Tunnel Mountain Campground for two nights. Every half hour a bus passed right by the gate of the park to take up to the Town of Banff.

A town like no other, people everywhere and nobody in a hurry, it was a shoppers paradise. We made our way to the VIC in the middle of town to plan our days. We were directed to 'Discover Banff Tours'.

Lake Louise, at last I've seen it for myself, the real thing, not on a calendar. We just sat there on the many benches supplied and marveled at it's beauty. Lake Louise is surrounded by the peaks of Mt. Victoria. There were kayakers paddling leisurely and hikers heading for the many trails around the lake. Not us, we just looked and looked and looked.

Later that day we made our way up to the world famous Banff Springs Hotel. I just stood in the center of their receiving area and turned around and around shooting pictures. The Hotel went on and on and on.

The next day we got up early and joined many others as we boarded a tour bus that took us over the Icefield Parkway. This roadway is one of the most scenic roadways in Canada, one of the most spectacular mountain highways in the world. The terrain that this highway took us through showed us one of the few places in the world where features of the ice age still exists. The Icefield Parkway joins Jasper and Banff National Park and parallels the Continental Divide.

Once we arrive at our destination we board 'The Ice Explorer,' an all-terrain 6-wheeled vehicle. Richard and I stood beside one of the wheels to get our picture taken, the wheel was far higher than we are.

This trip onto the Columbia Icefield lasted 90 minutes. We traveled over ice that was 365 meters (1,200 feet) thick. The icefield covers an area five times bigger than Manhattan, more than twice the size of Vancouver. The icefield reaches into two Canadian National Parks and two provinces. It surrounds eight separate rivers of ice called glaciers, including the easily accessible Athabasca Glacier. The meltwater from the icefield feeds three oceans: the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic. We brought home a bottle of this meltwater.

We have charted out a different route to get us back to where we came from. When we got to Ottawa we stop in for a visit with Richard's sister Eva and her family. Her two grandsons, Michael and Curtis took us on a night tour of Ottawa, how nice that was.

On the road again seeing different places and different scenes all just as memorable as on the way out, but with one difference, we were homeward bound and our stops became fewer and fewer.

It was good to see the 'Welcome to New Brunswick' signs. The grandchildren were waiting and our kids were anxious to hear about our trip. As we near the turn to take us into Salisbury we contemplate what the trip has meant to us.

We feel we have a better connection with our fellow Canadians, and a great respect for each Province. We have done a fair amount of traveling in the past, but none has yet to compare to our own wonderful country we call home...Canada!


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