Adrift in the Canadian Rockies with Jake & Lyndsay – Part 2

 
 
Jake and Lindsay reach the Rocky Mountains and paddle their first glacier lake of the trip in Part 2 of their blog series:
 
 
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Day 2: Lower Waterfowl Lake, AB

Today we headed from Osoyoos, BC (elevation ~950 ft) into the Rocky Mountains.  Both Jake and I don’t really know how to properly communicate the feeling that one gets when entering the Rockies.  The joke for most of the 7 hour drive (to our day 2 destination) was that we may pass out from the overwhelming enthusiasm.  At the beginning we tried to record every new mountain peak we saw – we soon realized that was an impossible feat as after every corner a new and more outrageous peak awaited us.  The bottom line: the Canadian Rockies makes you feel small.  VERY small.  The elevation we were driving at was between 3500 – 4500 ft, and every peak around us was between 10,000 – 13,000 feet (say the brochures).  And to add to the excitement we rounded one corner to find a herd of mountain goats chilling on the side of the highway (thank you, GoPro!).  At a certain point your brain just cannot compute that amount of awesomeness.

 

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We trekked on to our destination, Waterfowl Campground, which was a first come, first serve campground about an hour up the Icefields Parkway (7 hours north east of Osoyoos) into Banff National Park.  Talk about a remote area.  There were bear warnings everywhere, very few cars, and lots of towering mountains.  Once we finally reached our campground it was about 5pm Mountain Time (this is important to know –we didn’t at the time).  We chose a campground near a lake (Lower Waterfowl Lake) so we could paddle it, and after setting up our campsite we did just that.  Keep in mind that we are now far enough north that it doesn’t really get dark until around 10 or 11pm (and really, it doesn’t get that dark at all).

 

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And so on day 2 of our trip, we paddled our first emerald colored, rocky mountain, glacier lake.  Again, no words.   The emerald green color, we soon found out, was due to the rock ‘flour’ run-off from the glacier into the lake below.  This is a common theme for this area as most lakes are glacier lakes and they are pretty much different shades of emerald green.  Paddling our first glacier lake was surreal.  It was cold as hell and just as beautiful.  It actually took us awhile to relax on our boards, since we were initially so nervous to fall in.  After our paddle we watched a beautiful rainy sunset, ate our dehydrated dinner, and went to bed.  It rained on us most of the night, but who cares.  After all, we are in the Rocky Mountains.  On to tomorrow…

 

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Stay tuned for more updates on Jake and Lyndsay’s Canadian Tour….
 
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Click a link below to read the 6-part series to their story:
 
PART 1
PART 3
PART 4

PART 5

PART 6
 
 

4 responses to “Adrift in the Canadian Rockies with Jake & Lyndsay – Part 2

  1. How far north are you planing on going? I’m in Northen Alberta, 3 hours north of jasper. If you are going to Jasper I could meet up with you and show you a couple of AMZAZING lakes to paddle. Also if you go to Lake Louise check out trail head Cafe in town. Great coffee and trail food. And go paddle Maligne Lake it is less crowded then lake Louise and beautiful.

    1. Hi Darcy! We only went as far north as Saskatchewan River and have now made our way down to Banff/Lake Louise area. We are planning on paddling Lake Louise in the evening and getting up VERY early for Moraine Lake in the morning. We would have loved to come paddle with you if we knew ahead of time! Maybe next time? If you are ever in the Lake Tahoe area let us know we can meet up and paddle!

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