Day 13: City Folk “Roughing It” With No Technology!

*Note from Sandy:  Our ability to tap into WiFi or cellular networks has been drastically limited in the last 24 hours…Sorry for the delay of this posting.  Hopefully the Wifi here in Vancouver is enough!!  Here we go!!

**Please know that all of the beautiful pictures featured yesterday and today were the fine photography of our brother Kent!!

After a wonderful day of celebrating like royalty, the early morning came too soon and our tour directors (Champ and Kent) were very focused on getting us out the door and on our way to the adventures that await us.  Joan was very pliable, and Sandy, not so much.  I still had to post yesterday’s blog before we lost WiFi!! 😦

But I am so glad that they pushed the envelope, because the sites that awaited us beyond Lake Louise were well worth the early morning rush!!

First on the agenda, a 300 m hike on Rockpile Trail  to Moraine Lake, which is a glacially-fed lake in Banff National Park.  The view of the lake from the top of the rock pile is one of the most photographed locations in all of Canada.  As a matter of fact, the view of the mountains behind the lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks is known as the Twenty Dollar view, as it was featured in the reverse side of the 1969 and 1979 issues of the Canadian twenty dollar bill. Did I mention how COLD it was?? :/ Burrrr!

From there, Greg really wanted to go see the Burgess Shale Formation, which is a well known fossil field, but with so many places on our hit list, and because, honestly, we couldn’t find it…we opted out.  Greg was a good sport, but I know he was disappointed.   Next, we drove on to the Columbia Ice Fields, which is the largest of its kind in the Rocky Mountains of North America. We had planned to take a tour of the Athabasca Glacier via a specialty tour bus and receive the tour guide’s wealth of glacier information for the low, low, low price of $80 per person.  The lines were long and super crowded…We made a unanimous decision to pass.  Glad we did! (Please don’t tell us if we made a tactical error.  Ignorance is bliss!!)

At a minimum…we took pictures of this natural wonder as we drove by…

We proceeded on to the Athabasca falls, which is a waterfall in Jasper National Park, known not so much for its height, but more so for the sheer power of is force due to the large quantity of water falling into the gorge. Hooray!  No signs forbidding pets on the trails, so the Ladies get to take a stroll with us to the viewing platforms.  They are overjoyed to get out of the RV and commune with nature!!

Back on the Starvation RV Diet, we have yet to eat and now the hunger pangs are catching up with us, so we stop for linner/dunch  in Jasper.  It is here we discover than we have all voraciously consumed the last of our cell phone international data plans and from this point forward, we are restricted to WiFi (which is spotty at best) and old fashioned paper maps….WHAATTTT??? I guess we were pretty vocal about our disappointment with our cell phone carriers (AT&T & Verizon)…  A sympathetic bar patron bought us round of drinks to drown our sorrows!!

Now being true explorers limited to navigate via paper maps (will we have to build a fire later by rubbing two sticks together?), we continued on to find our campground for the night.  Poor Greg, we all took a little afternoon nap while the Champ tarried on. We crossed over into British Columbia and finally arrived at our cabin at the Mount Robson Lodge.  Quite a departure from the majestic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise from the night before, but actually quite scenic, albeit rustic. 

Even though we were all road weary, we rallied and went a short distance for dinner at Riverside Cafe, on the bank of the Fraser River in Tete Jaune Cache.  The view from this charming little restaurant was so serene and beautiful and the food, quite good! 

Our german waiter Herbert recommended one last site to see for the day. He suggested we drive a short distance away, to Rearguard Falls where we might get lucky and see salmon trying to swim upstream and jump up the falls to continue their 800 mile migration from the Pacific Ocean.  Only a few Chinook, largest and strongest of the Salmon, come this far and we were there to see this spectacular site.  Watching them try, try, try again to make it up and over these falls was a great lesson in tenacity that we will all remember for a long time to come. 

And with that amazing spectacle, we ended our day, looking forward to tomorrow’s trip to Vancouver BC.

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