Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lake Louise

This was moving day again.  We move often, but we’re only going very short distances.  We haven’t had a 200 mile day in over two weeks.  Today’s drive from Radium, through Kootenay National Park, and then north a short distance to Lake Louise Village was just 85 miles.

Where we were at Dry Gulch, we had rain overnight, but in the high elevations in Kootenay a fresh snow had fallen.  The drive through the mountains was just beautiful.  Of course, some of you have had so much snow this past winter, you really don’t care if you ever see another snowflake.  I was thrilled at the beauty of it all.

Down in the valley at Kootenay, we saw our first moose of the season.  That was exciting.

After crossing the Continental Divide at Vermilion Pass we left Kootenay behind and entered Banff National Park.  We turned north for a short distance to Lake Louise Village.

This small village is inside the National Park and consists of an Information Center, several shops, boutiques, and galleries, a post office, small grocery, a few restaurants, and a couple gas stations.  I’m not sure there are any permanent residents, but there are plenty of townhouses, condos, and such like for rent to tourists.  There is also a large Campground/RV Park.

We are staying at the RV Park.  The campground, which is still closed for the season, is for tenters only.  The RV Park is for RVers only.  There are three loops in the RV Park, but only one is open.  Most interior roads are paved as well as all the sites.  I think they may all be pull-thrus; it’s hard to tell since there is still so much snow around.  Each site is wide enough for two RVs with electrical posts and picnic tables in a grassy area between the next two sites.  It’s a strange setup and if you want your picnic table on the passenger side, you have to run your electric cord under your RV to connect to the post.
Since our picnic table was mostly covered in snow, we just parked with our electric post on the driver’s side.  The sites only have electricity.  Water is available as well as a dump station.

When we arrived about 11 AM, the RV Park was almost empty.  However, there has been a steady stream of new arrivals all afternoon and evening, and now there is no more room in the inn.  The most amazing thing is they are all Class Cs.  I don’t know how many sites are in this loop--perhaps a hundred.  There are only three 5th wheels and maybe ten Class Bs.  The rest are Cs.  There are not this many at the dealership.  Not only are they all Class Cs--they’re all rentals.  We have the only car in the whole park.

There is a class B parked next to us--a 30 something couple from Australia.  They seem very nice.

We got a knock on our door late afternoon.  It was a couple from Nashville on their way to Alaska in their rented class C which they picked up in Idaho.  They saw our Davidson County plates and just wanted to say, “hi”.

After we got settled, we drove up the hill to Lake Louise.  Lake Louise is named for Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the sixth child of Queen Victoria.  The beauty of the lake and its setting in the towering peaks of the Rockies has drawn the tourist crowd for decades.  Once the railroad was completed and able to transport the rich and famous, they have come in droves.  From a humble cabin to the magnificent Chateau Lake Louise, visitors have found a place to rest at the edge of this beautiful lake for over a hundred years.

Today, the lake is still frozen, so we missed its brilliant emerald color.  With the overcast skies, the fog on the mountains, and the snow on the lake it was kind of hard to tell where one began and another ended.

Our plan, as of tonight, is to tour the village of Banff tomorrow, then visit Yoho National Park on Thursday.  We are paying a high price ($32 Canadian) for our electric only site, so we will probably move up the road a little bit to a no hookup campground for half the price tomorrow morning and stay there for 2 nights.  Friday, we’ll drive up the Icefields Parkway to Hinton where we’ll probably stay for the weekend.

We are having a few issues with the motor home.  The leak in the shower has not been resolved.  We were looking forward to getting to this campground so we could take on a full tank of fresh water and have a place to dump what we discarded.  That would give us a good opportunity to discover where the leak was coming from.

We got here, filled up the holding tank, turned on the hot water heater and the water didn’t get hot.  Gene got out the owner’s manual and studied for a while.  He also called an RV dealer in Hinton.  Whomever he spoke with suggested it was probably a fuse.  He found the fuse on the water heater, but after rummaging through his little box of fuses could not find one that was the same size.  I guess we’ll just have to wait on these repairs until we get to Hinton.

CRITTER COUNT:  1 moose and 30 deer.

So, that’s what happened today.  Thanks for tagging along.

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