Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Trip to Lake Louise - June 19 - June 26 2013

Richard and I planned a trip to Lake Louise, Jasper, and Banff.  Unfortunately, we got there JUST before the Alberta 2013 flood.  Below is our original planned route.

We flew in to Calgary Airport and rented a car to drive to our first stop which was Lake Louise (B on this map).  We got into Calgary in the early evening and drove to Lake Louise in what was at times a downpour.  The Trans-Canada Highway at Canmore (shaded in blue) washed out soon after we passed.  We got to Lake Louise and checked in to the hotel.  Our original plan had been to spend three nights at Lake Louise, two nights at Jasper (C on the map above) and then to the Banff Park Lodge.  Unfortunately, the washout on Highway 93 (smaller blue square above) made the drive to Jasper impossible.

We started contingency planning.  With the Trans-Canada Highway closed at Canmore, and 93 closed, the only way back to Calgary (which was experiencing massive flooding) was a very long and circuitous route to the south, east, and then north on Highway 2.   With the flooding in Calgary expected to proceed to the south of Calgary, that option seemed ill advised.  On Saturday, we changed our airplane reservations to fly out of Vancouver.  We planned to check out on Sunday and spend Sunday and Monday to get to Vancouver and fly home on Tuesday.

Imagine our surprise when we checked the Information Board at the hotel on Monday morning and found out that Highway 93 was open to traffic.  Sigh.  There WAS some good news.  The rental car company waived the $400 fee to return a car to a different location.  Also, what we THOUGHT was going to be an 805 mile drive turned out to be an 805 KILOMETER drive (only about 500 miles) so a very easy drive for two days.  The drive from Lake Louise to Vancouver was through some VERY beautiful country.  The Canadian Rockies are marvelous and they seem not to be as commercialized as the Colorado Rockies.  I'll be posting some pictures and will link to them here.

HERE are the first pictures... I'll post more when I get them from Richard.

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