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Across America

Greenbriar | Nashville | Memphis | St. Louis | Chicago | La Crosse | Badlands | Black Hills
North Dakota | Montana/Canada | Banff National Park | Columbia Icefield | Montana Return
Jackson Hole | Salt Lake City | Zion & Las Vegas | Observations


C0LUMBIA ICEFIELD

I really screwed up. Digital cameras are great, if you remember to offload the pictures before you erase the memory card. Guess who didn't offload his wife's pictures before he erased the card? Right. We had to retake the hike to the end of the lake in front of the hotel to reshoot the pictures. The penance for this mishap was to hike another 5 mile or so into the country beyond the end of the lake. Very hilly. I purchased Leki hiking sticks to help me negotiate the steep hillsides (down). I was the proud customer of "the last Leki's in Lake Louise"

The road to the ice fields is some of the most spectacular country we have ever driven through. Every turn is another postcard. I got Carol to agree that we would drive directly to the Icefields and then stop on the way back for photos. I had no idea that the contract was to stop every several feet. I think Carol would have been happiest with a movie camera affixed to the car. I can't say I disagreed but four hours for a 90 mile trip was pushing it.

We got back to the hotel and, as I said, hiked to the end of the Lake and further. A great day.


LEAVING CANADA

I realized last night that I had a great deal more to say about the experience of being on the glacier (I have been made aware that if I try and send more than three or four pictures, the e-mail fowls up). We took a tour which allowed us to actually walk on an ice flow. The ice is formed from snow (100 ft of snow is compacted into 1 foot of ice). We got to the flow on specially designed vehicles that are 6 wheeled, all with independent drive. The company that runs the tour has bought all but 1 of these specially designed vehicles (for $800,000 apiece). The one they did not purchase is owned by the National Science Foundation and is used in their Antarctic Station.

I am terrified of ice but the ice on the glacier around the buses is pebbly and not really slippery. Further, it was not too cold, as high as 70 when we were there. Carol had heard that the water was extremely pure so she had to sample some.

Speaking of the water, we learned that snow flakes, which are formed around a particle of dust or dirt, produces a lot of this substance as the ice forms. As the moves and melts it crushes this dirt into what is called "rock powder". We wondered on our first walk around the glacial lake that the lake was not clear but was milky. The milkiness due to the refraction of sunlight, is the cause of the turquoise color of the glacially lakes (water from streams is clear by contrast). In time, this sediment settles out and the lake fills in.
     



Greenbriar | Nashville | Memphis | St. Louis | Chicago | La Crosse | Badlands | Black Hills
North Dakota | Montana/Canada | Banff National Park | Columbia Icefield | Montana Return
Jackson Hole | Salt Lake City | Zion & Las Vegas | Observations


HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC