Sunday, July 17, 2011

Alberta Ice

It seems that on each of our trans-continental trips we come across one or two locations or events that truly make the entire trip worthwhile. We visited such a place in Jasper National Park, at the end of a long, winding, narrow road up the side of a mountain. In the Park information packet, Edith Cavell was described as a place with hanging glaciers and mountain meadows. The official description turned out to be understatement.


The first overlook we came to on Cavell Road reminded us of the Swiss Alps. A sweeping glacial valley carved millions of years ago by the glacier the remains of which can be seen between the distant peaks.


Then , as we continued up the road, Penny spotted a flash of turquoise beyond the trees. Yes, that’s the actual color of the lake. We learned on our previous visit to the Canadian Rockies that mineral silt in the glacial lakes reflects light in various shades of green and blue. The color seems to depend on those minerals and the angle of the sun, but whatever the technical cause, the result is spectacular.

At the end of Cavell Road, on which, incidentally, trailers andDSC_0046 vehicles over 7 meters long are prohibited, is a scenic viewpoint beneath the glaciers. Since I don’t know how long our truck is in meters, I decided it would be okay to drive up the road.  It turned out to be okay since there were a number of small motor homes in the viewpoint parking lot. DSC_0048

There is a walking path up to the glaciers, a hike we would have made were we 30 years younger and 75 pounds lighter. But even from below, the view of the glaciers was breathtaking. I don’t think the photos do the scene justice, so if you want a better look at the glaciers, go to Jasper National Park and look for Cavell Road.



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