US Trip 2019 – Day 5 – The other Rockies

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The route this day took us from Havre, Montana, to Canmore, Alberta. A long day on the road, with mostly good weather, lots of nice caches and beautiful scenery.

Approximate time on road/out caching:  15 hours, 35 minutes
Total miles driven: 541.6 mi / 871,7 km
Total caches found: 29
Total DNF: 1
States/provinces visited: Montana, Alberta, Saskatchewan
Famous places visited: Moraine Lake
Most memorable cache: GC16PVR Valley of Ten Peaks
Biggest surprise: All the available parking space at Moraine Lake
Weather: Cloudy, rain, light clouds, sunny
Highest temperature: 80°F / 26,7°C
Lowest temperature: 55°F / 12,8°C

Straight to the border

The first thing on the plan (besides a cache), was to cross the border to Canada. Didn’t take us too long to get from the hotel to the border, and since there was no traffic at all – there was no queue either. It actually took longer to get out of the US, than it did to get into Canada. No cache here, but we had to stop at the welcome sign anyway 😀

Just a quick stop in Saskatchewan

After driving what felt like forever (stopping at a couple bonus caches, and a couple on the plan), we finally got up to the Trans-Canada Highway. And the first we did, was driving east instead of west – we had a province we needed to visit.

After finding a couple caches in Saskatchewan, we turned around and went back into Alberta.

World’s largest teepee

A couple caches later, we stopped at GC7VTNT S9:World’s Largest Teepee.  Lots of muggles here, but the teepee was big enough that we could find the cache without any of them noticing what we did.

Olympic Park

We had a couple virtuals on the plan this day as well, and the second one, GC53C2 Calgary History Tour – Olympics, brought us to the Calgary Olympic Park.

The scenic route

There was a lot of caches to find along the way, so we couldn’t find them all, but we made sure to find GC5ZE0K CCARF15 – Black & White Magic II and GC5B9JA TB Utility Shed westbound, which both had a lot of favorite points. For good reason.

The scenery got a lot more interesting the closer we got to Canmore, and we got the two first earthcaches of the day along the road.

Early arrival

We arrived at the hotel early. Very early. The plan was to watch the sunset at Lake Minnewanka. But since the weather forecast for our planned trip to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake was a bit wet, we wondered if we maybe should do Moraine Lake now instead…

Let’s do it!

We decided it was worth the try – even though the Banff live parking map said the parking was full. We drove the 1+ hour up to Moraine Lake, and made it almost all the way before we reached the end of the queue.

But we didn’t have to wait too long, and once we parked all the way at the end of the parking lot, we realized that the waiting was completely unnecessary. Lots of free parking! Everyone just assumed it was full, so nobody wanted to drive into the parking lot…

It was so worth it!

Driving up here now means that we had to drive back in the dark, and sacrifice some sleep (since we still had to get up early to go to Lake Louise). But it was so worth it! The crowd wasn’t too bad, the colors amazing and the weather okay. This was the best decision we made on the entire trip!

The colors are unbelievable!

No wonder this place is packed with people during the day.

When the sun was almost gone, we started on the long way back to the hotel. Doing this had another very positive outcome as well; we didn’t have to struggle with the park shuttle system the next day. This was without a doubt a major highlight of the entire trip!


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