The first part of our trip through the Rockies led us to Hinton in the Albertan foothills of the mountains. Getting a first glimpse of the mighty mountain-chain was impressive enough and we could only imagine the drive through the passes. But before we started on that, we made a nice KOA our base for a week. From here we went to see Jasper which is really nice. A lot like some of the high alpine towns in Switzerland. Along the way we saw some awesome wildlife, too. The elk in the picture has antlers that easily span 1.8 meters/6 feet or even more. Very impressive.
We also went to the Miette hot springs where we bathed in the 40C/104F water. The water actually comes out of the rocks at 53.9C/129F and is then cooled down for the pools. There are also a couple of pools one can go into to cool off. One is at 15C/59F, which was just too cold for us to go in. The other is a little warmer at 20C/68F and I went into it a few times, alternating with the hot water. André preferred to stay in the hot water and passed on the colder pool.
Another day we went for a 2 1/2 hour trail ride through nature all the way from the river up to a crest, about 200 meters/600 feet above the starting point. It was a gorgeous day and the view from the top was just beautiful. The ride itself was very nice and led us through forests and along steep cliffs. The horses worked up a good sweat and I was so glad to be riding and not on foot on these hills. It would have taken us forever to get up there.
Then it was time to move into the Rocky Mountains and over to Golden, B.C. The drive along the Icefields Parkway alone is worth the trip all the way to the west coast. Along the way one can see more than 30 glaciers and ice-fields.
Golden is a small town nestled on the Kicking Horse River. It also is a major railway hub and one can see freight trains with 4 engines and 150 plus cars go by. Here we went to see the Grizzly bear habitat and took the gondola to the top of Eagle's Eye high above the valley. From 2347 meters / 7700 feet up the view is something to remember for a lifetime!
And then there was our whitewater rafting adventure with Alpine Rafting. We originally booked the 11 km "Afternoon Whitewater" tour but then at the end of the upper canyon decided that we wanted to add the lower canyon as well and ended up doing the "Ultimate Whitewater" tour. The 24 km of Kicking Horse River with countless rapids, many of them class 4s, were so much fun and a true adventure we would not want to have missed. Everybody got wet and some rafts had people go overboard. In our raft everybody managed to stay in although André almost went overboard once and I almost took a dive twice. It was comforting to know that our guides were really experienced and that everybody had gotten instructions on what to do when you fall in and what to do if you have to retrieve somebody who had gone overboard. At the end of the tour everybody arrived save and sound. This was an awesome adventure and we would do it again in a heartbeat.
We have put some pictures of our adventures from both the Alberta and the B.C. sides in our web site for you to check out. Unfortunately the pictures from our whitewater rafting tour are generic ones from the company's web site. Their photographer fell and broke her ankle and her camera the day of our tour and therefor there are no pictures from that day. We wish her a quick and full recovery. There is also a short video from Alpine Rafting on our web site you should watch. It was filmed on the the stretch of the Kicking Horse River we went down and shows what we really did.
Until next time. Have fun and enjoy life!