There is always a light

There is always a light
Don't be afraid if you are alone or surrounded by darkness. In some part of the world, the day has just begun. There is a always a light waiting for you to find your way to touch its radiance.

Friday, November 19, 2010

High on Canadian Rockies

By Bidisha Bagchi
St Joseph, Michigan, USA

Our Rocky Mountains vacation was in full swing and we'd had our fair share of lakes, waterfalls and the cool weather. It was now time for glaciers, ice fields and some wildlife watching.... We couldn’t wait!! It was our last day in Banff; we would be driving off to Jasper, another picturesque town in the Rockies region. On the way we would be halting at some places that till now I had the chance of only seeing from a distance. 
As we drove on the Trans Canada highway, our first stop was the Crowfoot Glacier . The Crowfoot Mountain stood tall, and clouds floated around the peak, softly touching its jutting contours. It was majestic! 
The glacier is on the north eastern side of the mountain and when it was first named by the explorers, it resembled a crow foot, hence the name. Changes in weather have even changed the shape of the glacier and there is no ‘crow foot’ any more; only the name. The water from the glacier feeds the river that flows through on the foothills and it makes for a delightful tableau. 
We couldn't seem to do without lakes, in our quest for glaciers though! So up came another one — Peyto Lake , known to be one of the most photographed locations in the entire Rockies. 
When our car pulled up at the summit parking lot, I felt a little tired, another hike? But then again I would not be coming back here every day, so off we went for another climb to the bow summit which had the best view of the lake. It was an exhausting ascent but the first view of the surroundings was mind blowing and we understood why people go crazy about this location. The turquoise lake was striking and its juxtaposition with the glacier and the mountain was stunning. We even had a close look at the Peyto creek that drained water into the lake. After hundreds of snapshots from all possible angles, it was time for us to our main attraction: the Columbia Ice fields. As we drove on the Trans Canada highway, our gypsy guide (a sort of GPS that is popular with visitors to the Canadian Rockies) suggested a location that was good for a quick stop — the evocatively named 'the weeping walls'. But there is nothing architectural about it! The Cirrus Mountain towers over the landscape and small streams of water stream down its vertical 'walls' from snowfields above. Even though the streams were thin, they were rivetting. Especially as the weeping effect was quite apparent. 
Our interest perked by the sight, we obviously could not wait for our final stop for the day — the Columbia Icefields Parkway . We stopped at the Athabasca Glacier Visitor Center to join a tour to the glacier. With tickets to ride the huge snowmobiles out onto the glacier, we went around the mandatory gift shop as we waited for our turn to board the vehicle. 

The article was first published in the Economic Times

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