Fall Foliage Through Domes
Fall Foliage Through Domes
Monday October 3, 2011
Lake Louise to Banff

A Morning Walk Through the Village of Lake Louise and an Afternoon Tour to Banff Including Stopping to Watch a Train Pass Through the Spiral Tunnels
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This morning was meant to be our time to explore the Chateau at Lake Louise had we been staying there except because it was full due to a conference and we were staying down in village, the highest incorporated town in all of Canada at 5,411 feet (by far not in the Rockies, for example almost the entire state of Colorado is higher).

It started with more luggage confusion after we slept in a bit to 9:00am and I called the front desk to ask about check out time and what to due with our luggage. They knew nothing about what Rocky Mountaineer and said they would get back to us, we were in a building far away from the front desk and I wanted to accept our supposedly included porterage.

Eventually they let us check out and said they would move and store our luggage for us and at 10:00 we were off to the youth hostel (and where I felt at home) across the street for a highly recommended restaurant by our fellow travelers for French Toast for me and a parfait for my grandmother. Next we were onto the one gift shop in town to buy some Lake Louise gifts because Louise is a family women's middle name.

After, I left my grandmother, and walked over to the former train station turned restaurant where I was lucky enough to encounter a logging freight train going by what is still an open to the public platform. The restaurant also has a few old immobile dining cars that can be rented out for private parties.
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I spent the rest of my time in Lake Louise walking on the Bow River Loop trail (by the closed for the season campground with an electric fence around it to keep wildlife out). I also stopped by the Visiters Center and got annoyed by all the signage discussing Lake Louise as the highest town in the Rockies and all the high peaks. These signs are incorrect, Lake Louise is the highest town in the Canadian Rockies. The Colorado Rockies, for example, are much higher in elevation.
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Then at 1:45 I was back to the Inn where a different bus driver was already loading our luggage sorting it by destination in Banff. At 2:00 we boarded took a quick trip up to the chateau to pick up the rest of the passengers (she had gone up there to Luggage Land there to sort out their luggage before picking us up) and we were off driving in the opposite direction from Banff over Kicking Horse Pass back into British Columbia (but not mountain time) for our first stop at a viewpoint for the Canadian Pacific's Spiral Tunnels with switchbacks and horseshoe curves. There everyone briefly became a railfan as a single long 100+ car freight train made it's way through the complexities. Seeing it from the road just made me more excited about my upcoming trip through them.
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Next we were onto the Natural Bridge along the Kicking Horse River and could hear but not see a train through the woods.
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Then we continued onto the Emerald Lake for a longer stop.
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It was a short drive down the Trans Canadian Highway, now almost fully twinned (like a US interstate highway) in Alberta going beneath quite a few wildlife ovepasses (we have none yet in the states but one is being proposed for I-70 in Colorado) before being in the first group dropped off in Banff at our excellent hotel, the Banff Caribou Lodge. We had dinner at the Keg restaurant in the hotel since it looked decent and did not want to have the wondering of the previous night. I then went for a short walk down the main strip of Banff, definately the largest mountain town (yet) in the Canadian Rockies.

Fly Onto: The Final Day Flying Through the Rockies

Home<TripLogs<Fall Foliage Through Domes<Lake Louise to Banff via the Spiral Tunnels
Fall Foilage Through Domes

Last Updated: 8 November, 2011
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