Jasper to Banff

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May 22nd 2012
Published: May 22nd 2012
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Monday morningwe get up quite late so check out and go into the town to get something to eat. There are two bakeries owned by the same people - The Bear's Paw and The Other Paw. They sell many different coffees and bread; bagels; muffins; scones and cakes - all baked on the premises with the kitchen in full view of the customers. We buy two coffees, a bagel with cream cheese, an egg and ham barm and two raspberry and white chocolate scones and pay $15 or £10. That is the cheapest place we have eaten and definitely one of the best.

We visit Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake but again the lake I really wanted to see, Maligne Lake, is still frozen. We start the drive down to Banff which is the Icefield Parkway again but in the opposite direction. About 30km from Jasper a few cars are pulled over watching a Black bear. He walks right alongside our car so Ian gets a video and some good shots through the open window. Now I know Ian got too close to the grizzly yesterday but what we see here is unbelievable. A Japanese girl poses 10 feet from the bear with her back to him whilst her boyfriend takes pics, then there is a guy just going closer and closer, again about 10 feet away. These bears look like big teddy bears but you can see how muscular they are, one swipe and you'd be on the floor, two swipes you could be dead. Even if you are not scared of them you need to respect that they are wild animals that can be dangerous.

The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful. We took a slight detour to see if Lake Louise had melted any more and it had but reckon it needs another week. The road to Moraine Lake was still closed as well. We carried on to Banff but took the scenic route along the Bow Valley Parkway rather than the highway. Thought we may have seen some bears but all me saw was a large male elk. We had seen lots of females previously but this was the first male - impressive antlers.

We have checked in at Banff Caribou Lodge which so far seems a really nice hotel with a very nice spa. We ate in the hotel restaurant whose speciality is steak. They give you six different ways of ordering your steak and the people next to us had Cool Blue which looked like a raw slab of steak on a plate - gross.

Tomorrow's plan is to head up Sulphur Mountain and do a horseback trail.

Additional photos below
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23rd May 2012

Wonderful Blog and photos
Thank you for your blog. My wife and I will be arriving into Emerald Lake this Saturday. I was wondering if we would be there in time to see any of the lakes still frozen. Looks like we will have a great chance to see a few lakes frozen. We love Banff National Park - so magnificent! Please keep posting. We are looking forward to a little cool weather. We are from Houston and it is already summertime.
23rd May 2012

Thank you! This is our first time in Banff and we are loving it too. Emerald Lake was beautiful, disappointed we didn't get to see Moraine Lake but we have seen lots of bears which was the main reason for coming to Canada.

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