Today was our last day with the Conzettis, which is sad, but they had to get back to Vancouver. They accompanied us to Lake Louise, about 60 K west. LL is obviously gorgeous but also rather crowded. We had a picnic there and then pretty much went our separate ways.
Our separate way took us as far as Emerald Lake, where we went boating (row) for about an hour before heading back to Banff and a relatively rare dinner out, at the Old Spaghetti Factory.
Emerald Lake is about 25K west of Lake Louise, and 10K or so inside BC. The boys were excited to see the BC border and Sam whipped out the GPS to see how accurately it picked up our change of provinces (answer: indeterminate, at first it seemed to change within 10 feet of the sign, but later tests were less encouraging). I was excited to see Field and Emerald Lake as I have spent 2 consecutive summers’ boys hiking trips up there in 2005/2006.
On the highway we saw a few extremely expensive looking wildlife overpasses, eg. placed solely to facilitate bears travelling across the highway. Now, I consider myself fairly wilderness-friendly, but those things must have cost a few million each. And they are building more! I reckon for that they could have hired people to stand there 24×7 and watch for animals wanting over, and when one finally showed up, helicopter it across. Plus, why all the interest on animal traffic across the Banff-Field portion of the TCH? What about the other 500-odd K of TCH from Field to Kamloops, for example? Or the Cqoauhalla (which has ONE animal overpass, it is true). It doesn’t make much sense to me.
The BC-Alberta border signs are the only impressive ones we’ve seen the whole trip; the others are nondescript and hardly noticeable. I guess this is a function of all the tourism in the Banff area.