Monday, August 1, 2011

Banff to Glacier drive

Taking off from Banff on Saturday, we headed towards the Athabasca Glacier.  First, a parting shot of Banff.  I found this web cam while I was getting links for this post.  I've saved it as a favorite so I can come back in the winter and see it covered in snow....

Banff Webcam This is from the top of the Gondola.  We didn't have time to do this ride but we will the next time we go back.

Off to Athabasca and the Columbia Ice Fields.
 As you get closer to the Park, these are a common site.  They're just hanging off the mountains.

And even a little wildlife.  The San Diego Zoo has nothing on this!  Just so you know, I didn't use my zoom to get these.  I rolled down the window and turned the camera on.  That close.

More glaciers.  I'm obsessed with them.  All I can think of is that a few days before I was flying over these.  See this post to see what I'm talking about.

We hopped on Brewster for a ride out onto the Glacier.  Sorry, I only took video going up there but I have some shots coming down.  Its pretty impressive.  I've seen Glaciers in Alaska before but I've never been ON one....

Now this is bottled from the source!  They tell you to bring something with you to collect water from the glacier.  Its pure up here for sure.  We did drink some and its tastes great.  Cold, but good.  There really is no taste to it.
Andromeda Glacier.  Just one of the 5 major glaciers that branch off from the Columbia Ice Field.

 Meet Brewster.  He carried us out onto the glacier.  Those wheels.......
 my son is 42 inches tall.  You do the math.  Those are some big tires.
 Looking down.  This is the path up to the viewing spot on the glacier.  Each year, they survey the glacier and find the best route.  Then they plow a road.  My parents were last there in 1996 and said there was no path needed.  The glacier was smooth, not rippled and full of crevasses like it is now.  The Brewsters could just roll right on out there.  With global warming the entire glacier has changed.
 You can see how the ice has shifted here.
 Another one of the glaciers to the right of Athabasca.
 And a shot of Athabasca.  This is from the visitors center across the street.  The glacier has actually receded over the years.  In the 1800's when it was discovered, it actually covered the spot from where I took this picture.  In 1996, when my parents were last there, it was closer to that little lake at the bottom.  So its receding fast.
Some parting shots taken on the drive back to Calgary.  Some people don't believe I took this.  I did.  Again, no zoom, no color correction.  SOOC.  I'm going to fix it a little in PSE and then have it printed out real big and hang it up somewhere. 
 And maybe if I cover my walls with all of the shots I took like these it'll seem like I'm still there.

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