22nd. Drive to Yoho Nat Park, camping at Takakaaw Falls
The next morning we jumped back in our overwhelmingly underpowered Dodge Caliber with a very strange automatic gearbox and headed for the group of National Parks that make up the Canadian Rockies. Our aim was to get to Yoho National park and get a place in the Takkakaw camp ground from where we could undertake a 'four boot' walk as described in the book called 'Dont waste your time in the Canadian Rockies'. Highway 1 didn't disappoint us with the scenery. We stopped in Golden for some coffee and perfect cinnamon buns and were entertained by the very un pc owner with tales of the two season, winter and construction, and the pros and cons of immigration! I spotted a Drascombe lugger on a trailer and chatted to it's owner. He was a very British expat, with an incredibly bulbous nose, and had found it for sale in California and brought it up to BC. We continued on to Revelstoke and then glacier National Parks stopping at the Rodgers Pass information centre to get our day pass and pick up some maps and information on campsites. Then on to Field where we thought we had arrived to late at the Park office only to discover we had crossed our first time zone and had an hour more than we thought. The Park staff were excellent in suggesting where we should go and told us there were 11 sites still available at the Takkakaw site. You reach this up a narrow road with a proper switch back that RVs are supposed to use before arriving at a large car park at the foot of the most stunning waterfall. We made a dash for the site which is 1pm further on by foot and after some indecision, grabbed one of the four remaining sites. We set up the tents, got our firewood, and made our supper of freeze dried mexican rice and tea using the Jetboil. The roar of the waterfall, the smoke rising from 20 campfires and the rapidly dropping temperatures in the fading light sent us to bed by 10pm.
23rd -Aug
We rose early and had porridge and tea, packed our day bags and set off on the 18km Ice-line path. It was another glorious blue sky day as we set off up the 500m climb through the forest eventually emerging above the tree line into a seemingly bare and barren landscape of scree, moraine and bare slabs of rock. We walked parallel to the remnants of what only 30 yrs ago had been an extensive line of mini glaciers dropping down from the peaks to our left. There is still ice but the pace of retreat is clearly visible in the areas which have yet to begin being colonised by plants. Eventually we dropped down past the tongue of a recent advance, evidenced by the tundra being bulldozed by the boulders and rocks at it's leading edge. Here we spent some time in the company of some picas which are very endearing little furry things with a high pitched squeak!  The walk back to camp was now downhill all the way through fairly dense forest where we thought we should see bears... The single bear bell was deployed and we said 'Hey bear!' to warn any that might not hear us approach. We found the Laughing falls  which were impressive and kept on going.... the path back to camp turned into a long, long straight, about 4 mikes long. Knees were grinding, muscles aching and we all had sunburnt calves! We lit the fire, fired up the Jetboil and had organic pasta primavera from freeze-dried packets!


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