Harry R. Matthews' Retirement Home Page

Canadian Rocky Mountains, 2007

by Harry R. Matthews and Iris M. Matthews

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In July 2007, Iris and I flew to Vancouver and waited out 5 rainy days. Then, we hired a motorhome and set off for the Canadian Rocky Mountains or Canadian Rockies for short. There are several parks encompassing these Rockies and they comprise a World Heritage Area. We entered the Rockies through Mt. Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia, and then used Jasper as a base to tour the northern part, basically Jasper National Park. The road south from Jasper is the Icefields Parkway and quite spectacular. We also stayed at Lake Louise and Banff to explore Banff National Park. Finally, we returned to Vancouver via Glacier and Revelstoke Parks.

The motorhome was small and packed with mostly useless gadgets, leaving very little room for people. There is a surprising amount of accommodation in Jasper and Banff but it is expensive, so we may have saved a little money using the motorhome.

The Canadian Rockies are unusally accessible with an extraordinary number of beautiful sights found along the roads, day hikes, short lake cruises, gondolas, and the Athabascar Glacier snow coach. The summer season is short and the popular spots are crowded but not to the extent that they are not worth visiting. We also saw, and photographed, quite a few wild creatures, from butterflies to a grizzly bear. Solitude is probably available in the more remote areas of the Parks.

Jasper is a pleasant tourist resort, although it lacks a good supermarket. Banff is destroyed by the traffic that is encouraged to clog up the town. The environmentally hostile street renovations made things worse, with the horrible dust, dangerous walkways and careless workmen. On a more positive side we enjoyed an excellent concert in the Arts Centre, and many excellent walks in the area. Banff Falls, though, are a great disappointment being just a rather ordinary set of fairly shallow rapids with no waterfall in sight, at least in summer.

You will see from the pictures that we had a very exciting and memorable few weeks in the Canadian Rockies.

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