Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Columbia Icefield

Our third destination in Alberta was Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park just one hour from Town of Jasper on Highway 93. Right after Lake Louise you turn right onto Highway 93 which is 20 times less traffic compare to Highway Number 1, obviously because Highway Number 1 connects West to East and Highway 93 is just a recreational road. This road is only for the people who want to go to Jasper National Park, the numerous lakes and summits in Canadian Rockies or eventually to Town of Jasper and Edmonton after that. It is 4 hours from Jasper to Edmonton.
Lots of cyclists on the road and also many motor-homes and RVs and coaches but that was all. It is a little tiring ride unless you stop off and on and the road is one lane each way but because of less traffic it does not cause much trouble.
The road got really scary when we were closing to Icefiled Center. It went so high and then the center was right in front of the glacier. It was a sunny day unlike the first two days. That was why it did not make it as nice. I don't like it when it is too Sunny. We changed our gear in case it's cold and windy up there and after a few minutes we got on a regular bus which took us to the big snow bus station. The good thing was we did not have to sit on a packed bus. But what was a bit disappointing was the distance we traveled on the big snow bus. I was expecting it to be a little more exciting but just after 10 to 15 min, we reached our destination. There are possibly two reasons behind that. First of all the more they travel the more they have to consume fuel and then they will have to increase their price and then the more they go, the more damage they do to the glacier and the environment. But the fact is if I had known it was that far only, I would have driven to the Icefield Center and walked the rest or simply would have found another spot to land! I might do that the next time I go. The next time I will go to Edmonton and then visit Jasper and then will drive down to the glacier somewhere. I can also plan to see another lake or walk to Bow Summit.
We paid a total of $33 and something for this ride and that was because we had bought a package for that, the Gondola and the cruise of Lake Minnewanka. We have not taken the cruise yet. Overall the ride was OK and we were let to be on the glacier for almost 20 min. to walk around and take photos. There were signed here and there which shows where the previous spots of the glacier were. I guess they started recording it in 1905 or so.
(Photo: People are getting on the snow truck to go back to the Icefield Center. Compare the size of the tires to the people to realize how big these trucks are)

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