Day 17: Into the Wild

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North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff National Park » Bow Lake
September 1st 2019
Published: September 2nd 2019
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Entering the Icefields ParkwayEntering the Icefields ParkwayEntering the Icefields Parkway

Buying our Park Pass and crossing over into the wild
We snapped back into our routine seamlessly. Up at 7am, aim to leave by 8am - and leave at 8:30am. We left Banff with mixed feelings. We're keen to continue our journey but our stay in Banff was wonderful both from a recuperative and scenery perspective. I'd definitely add Banff to my list of places I'd like to visit again.
The sky is overcast as we leave and there is a forecast for showers later in the day so the wet weather gear is packed at the top of our panniers. The first part of the ride was the 60km back to Lake Louise along Highway 1 with it's wide bike lane and smooth surface - what a joy to ride on. The ride is a gentle uphill the whole way but the 3 days rest must have done a world of good because we flew averaging 25km/h all the way to Lake Louise. We did have to stop to put on our jackets as the promised rain made a brief but persistent appearance for about 20 minutes.
We had a leisurely lunch at Lake Louise, the carparks were still full despite it being quite fresh and rain about.
We only had 39km to travel after lunch to Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. It's a magnificent old lodge rich in history built in 1940 and extended in 1950 and we're looking forward to our staying there.
We left the safe confines of Highway 1 with it's large wildlife fences and headed onto Highway 93, otherwise known as the Icefield Park Way. Here you are more or less caged IN with the wildlife rather than apart from them. We passed over the wildlife grids, bought our National Park Passes and ventured into the wilds.
Each side of the Highway was forest with a curtain of pine trees facing the road. I couldn't help but think of the wildlife eyeing us off as we rode past - coyote, lynx, cougar, moose, bison, wolverine, bear - all of these animals roam the forests either side of us. It reminded me of the "Hunger Games" and we were definitely not at the top of the food chain.
Apparently the wild animals of the forest were otherwise occupied because none of them made an appearance asking us for dinner. What we did see was the magnificent scenery of the Bow Valley continue. Huge

The potbelly stove with fire burning made it hard to leave while it rained outside.
mountains rising up each side of us all topped with clouds and some with glaciers. We got another burst of rain and pulled in at a little camping spot called Mosquito. It had a shelter with a wood fired heater running in it which made it very hard to leave. The rain eased and leave we did, continuing on the last 12kms to the Lodge. On the final leg we were treated to views of Crows Leg Glacier, Bow Lake and Num-Ti-Jah Lodge.
What a magical part of the world!

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