Few places in North America are as drop-dead stunning as Banff National Park in Alberta. In September 2010 Martine and I rented a car in Spokane, WA and took a grand loop that encompassed Banff, Yoho, and Jasper National Parks in Alberta and Glacier, Yellowstone, and Teton National Parks in the U.S.before returning to Spokane.
There was a period around then that Martine just couldn’t get enough of Canada. We had already visited Victoria and Vancouver and were to go twice to Eastern Canada, including Montreal, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. She developed a taste for lobster rolls that she can’t satisfy in Southern California because of the substandard quality of the shellfish here.
Perhaps the best hike we took was the trail that went around the northern bank of Lake Louise, where we saw the canoe in the above photo. The emerald shade of the water comes from glacial melt and the silt called “rock flour” that is constantly being deposited in the lake below. We saw this same phenomenon several other times that trip, at Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, as well as Peyto and Maligne Lakes in Jasper National Park.