Well, the comfortable beds and cool air of the Lake Louise Inn mean that we all slept well - so well that none of us woke up before 7:30. I walked round the Inn for some pictures in the early morning light.
We packed then headed to the village for supplies - pastries from the bakers etc - then we drove south to Moraine Lake. The views on the way were pretty good...
... but the lake itself was AWESOME. I'd side with those who say it's better than Lake Louise - certainly, it's less developed. It's probably benefited from not being so close to the railway or highway.
The morning sun picked out the colours
We sat and ate our pastries on the huge pile of rocks (landslip or moraine no one can decide) that retains the lake.
It wasn't long before we were joined by a ground squirrel whose interest in Peter's walking pole was simply that it led to the pastries.
Still, when he found a crumb we'd dropped he was pretty cute.
Bridget tried the cute look too
Anyway, that all took a fair time (well spent time - we wouldn't have missed this for anything). After refuelling in Lake Louise Village we headed north up the Icefields Parkway, with stunning views, especially to the west.
This is the Crowsfoot Glacier.
By Bow Summit, at just over 2000m the highest point on the parkway, we stopped to walk up to the lookout over Peyto Lake. The guidebooks give this maximum stars, and it is impressive (and amazingly turquoise) but the press of people onto the lookout meant it didn't have the peace of Moraine Lake. And the clouds had come over, which probably didn't help. Worth a stop, but not quite into the AWESOME category!
We pressed on north - we still had a good deal of ground to cover - and lunched by the side of a lake. We had thought about going onto the Athabasca Glacier, part of the Columbia Icefield, but the clouds had dropped and were dropping their rain on us, so we looked across from the car park without braving the elements (9°C and drizzly)
Our next stop was Sunwapta Falls, where the Athabasca River squeezes into a narrow gorge in impressive fashion
Continuing north, our next stop was Athabasca Falls, where the river has another go at getting through a narrow gap. Even more impressive than Sunwapta, and there are plenty of ways to explore the falls and the old water routes.
From Athabasca Falls we decided to take the back road to Jasper - it promised to be quieter, and the "rough road" sign suggested it might justify the Jeep. So we pottered along - oh, alright, we went a bit quicker than that, passing the road up to Mount Edith Cavell, until all of a sudden Meld shouted STOP. She spotted a moose and her baby beside the road. We reversed up carefully, and took a few pictures, and soon there was quite a huddle of cars stopped to look. The moose didn't seem worried.
So we pressed on to Jasper and located our cabin at Bear Hill Lodge. A shopping trip to town was followed by home cooked food and a load of washing through the Laundromat. After almost a week in hotels, the ordinary becomes quite desirable!
And so to bed: separate rooms, and separate beds for the girls. AWESOME.