Partly on the advice of my dad, I looked forward to our visit to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in the heart of Banff National Park, Alberta Canada. What fun it would be to have a room with a balcony overlooking beautiful Lake Louse and hike in the surrounding mountains.
We quickly learned that would not be the case. The Fairmont Chateau is a five star resort with room rates well over $1,500 a night. (Fairmont Chateau Room Availability and cost) That price is for a room with no balcony. Well, at least we could have a light breakfast on the veranda as my dad suggested. Nope. Only paying guests are allowed inside this compound. The parking lot is jam packed much of the day, so you need to take a bus to the lake. There are, however, nice waking trails around Lake Louise.
The turquoise water of the lakes in this beautiful area is due to the fine rock flour created by the glacier grinding down granite rocks. This murky, ground rock floats near the top of the lake reflecting blue light. Strong blue colors are best in the Spring. We were there in the Fall. Having got kicked out of the five star hotel, we followed a trail halfway around the lake.
Lakes Moraine and Peyto
Peyto Lake was visited only on the last minute advice of a fellow photographer. It is easy to get to with an uncrowded parking lot and a very short paved hike. The above shot is a stitched panorama. As you may know, my photography style is to zoom in and pick out details of the area, not to take these grand landscape photographs.
People next to us in the long return bus line showed me the photo they had taken of Lake Moraine. It was much better than anything I had at the time. So after a short debate with myself, concerned about missing the bus, off I ran off up and over a hill they told me of to capture the above stitched panorama photo. The light was not great, but still a pretty site.
This trip to Canada was no photography trip. It was a quick, fun trip made with relatives. It is difficult to get good photographs when you need to head down the road and cannot pick the best light or times for photography. For example, this sculpture is beautiful at night. These constraints are partly what makes one a travel photographer, by taking the best photos with the light you have for the short time you are allowed to be in that spot. I’m also getting more lazy. Not getting up early or staying out late hoping for good light is suiting me just fine. As proof of my laziness, these photos are now a year old…
No Calgary Stampede on this visit.
Glacier National Park
My first visit to Glacier National Park years ago was a great experience. It happened to be the first day the park’s famous Going-to-the-Sun-Road was finally cleared of snow and open for the season. There were many mountain goat babies that were seeing humans for the first time. They were very excited and pranced about. But for their calm parents, this was not their first rodeo. On this trip, I guaranteed all in our car we were sure to see many mountain goats, up close and personal. Ooops, nary a one. I’m not even sure we saw a bird in this park. However, this park is very beautiful. Lots of photography tours spend days here. Not us, we breezed through, stopping just long enough for me to take some photos of a waterfall and some dead trees.
From an artistic perspective I liked the appearance of the many dead trees, but could not find a good clean angle. I’m not expecting an invitation from Glacier National Park for rights to my photos of the park any time soon. So off we went.