Saturday, July 11, 2020

Socially Distant Banff, part 3 (and final)

After a particularly miserable night's sleep, we packed up and checked out. We decided to visit a couple of Banff's recommended lakes and figured we'd be home for lunch.

Vermillion Lakes puzzled us a bit. There seems to be no actual path along the waterways. COVID restrictions meant we couldn't just pull off on the side of the road by the openings in the trees with views of the water. We saw a number of cyclists race past and a few people launching watercraft. Maybe the draw of the lake is being on the lake? We couldn't really tell.

Onward and upward, they say. On our way to the second stop we passed a herd of mountain goats that seemed unsure whether they wanted to cross the road or not. The babies were pretty darned cute. We pulled over and departed the vehicle for some photos (as did several others. This kind of thing happens frequently in the park).

We had visited Lake Minnewanka in winter, and thus had to make a comparison trip to see whether we preferred its summertime activities. The deep blue of the water and the green of the vegetation is a very different experience compared to the whites and blues of winter. We wandered around the shore and over the rocks, stopping to note just how very cold the water still was. And, as it turned out, we were still there at lunchtime. The number of unoccupied picnic tables spoke to the reluctance of hoards to, well, horde. The parking lot was completely full as we departed, though, so it seems that morning is the prime time to show up. 

To round out our wildlife safari, on our way back to the highway we encountered a couple of herds of elk. They had been way back across a field when we passed them the first time, but on our return they had apparently decided to see what the commotion was all about. Once again we pulled over to get a better shot. When we looked back, one of the elk had decided to cross the road, then forgot what she was doing in the middle. Happily, we were able to get by and continue our journey home.

Still no bears. I'd like to see a bear - from my car.

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