Day 6: June 21, 2016
Icefields Parkway

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Just outside of Calgary, Canada Olympic Park is where ski jump, bobsled, and luge events were held during the 1988 Winter Olympics.

I'm still on the Trans-Canada Highway and it's still divided four-lane but west of Calvary it has a very different feel. One reason is the traffic. There seems to be more of it with a higher percentage of RVs and families. But the main reason is the mountain range constantly in view in front of me and the sense that those mountains are a common destination for me and all those RVs and families. They do get closer and grow slowly until they are immense and towering over me as I enter Banff National Park.

A divided highway makes the park itself more divided and efforts have been made to help the animals deal with it. Overpasses are just one of the ways provided to give them a way to get to the other side of the road.

Just a little past Lake Louise I turned onto the two-lane route 93. Even though the Icefields Parkway includes the part of Highway 1 I've driven since entering the park, this is where it seems to change from a very scenic expressway to something special. I'm showing the largest group of cyclists I saw in the park but it sure wasn't the only one. The number of people traveling this road under their own power both surprised and impressed me. The other photos need no words and I have none.

Not all of the pretty water in the park is frozen.

On the open road, a cluster of cars might mean an accident or a construction. Inside a big park it usually means a critter sighting. This cluster was triggered by a black bear. After ambling past a few cars, the bear crossed the road, climbed the hillside, and headed into the woods for some privacy.

This is the end of Banff and the start of Jasper.

The Icefield Interpretive Centre is right across the road from the Athabasca Glacier. It was crowded enough to keep me out but I know there is a restaurant and exhibits inside. That dark spec at the left of the photo of the glacier is a snow coach carrying passengers out to walk on the ice.

Some more pretty unfrozen water. Walking to the falls from the car reminded me of those "gravity houses" houses where surfaces that look vertical or horizontal really aren't.

I had no burning desire to step out on the two year old glass-floored Glacier Skywalk but I was intrigued enough to turn around to snap a couple pictures.

My second critter-cluster of the day was for goats. Baby goats are really cute. Shedding adult goats not so much.

What a difference a day (and a couple hundred kilometers) makes. Last night I had double the comfort, convenience, and class for half the price but they do have that location thing going for them and we did get a double rainbow out front. Here is my room at the historic Astoria Hotel.

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