Bonkoski's Alaskan Trip Journal 2008 travel blog

The Chateau Fairmont Hotel, at Lake Louise, just a short drive from...

Lake Louise, crystal clear lake fed by the glacier of Mt. Victoria;...

Unecertain as to the type of this bird; Lake Louis

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

The entire crew of the Bonkoski's, to include a Bondar & a...

Bob & Debbie...Lake Louise

Jacob 7 Debbie...Lake Louise

Jacob & the Harp player in the Chateau Fairmont Hotel, Lake Louise

Jacob has now decided to take up the harp upon returning home!

A view of the beautiful Lake Louise; I had only wished it...

Beginning our drive on the beautiful 93 mile stretch of the Columbia...

Bob & Kiki on a break on the Ice Field drive

One of the glaciers from the 25, or so ice fields, along...

One of the many glacier fed lakes on this beautiful drive

It was breathtakingly beautiful and hard to describe without being there, up...

Along the Ice Field Parkway; this is all part of either Banff,...

A motorhome rest in the Ice Fields

A view of the road we just climbed up!

Big Horn Sheep along the Parkway

One of my favorite photos along the Parkway!


Wednesday, June 11th, packed up the motorhomes and headed out of Banff, north on Highway 93, towards Jasper National Park. On our way, it was a “must stop” at Lake Louise. A beautiful glacier fed lake that is a turquoise in color, very cold and offers extremely high peaks, to include Mt. Victoria. The Chateau Fairmont Hotel, boosts a wonderful structure that was originally built as log, in the early 1920’s. The only means of transportation at that time and in this location, was the Canadian Railroad. Along came the automobile which allowed for additional traffic, of not only the wealthy to visit this exquisite hotel, but also the average person. It would have been nice if the sun was out! After leaving the Lake Louis are, we drove further along on turned onto Highway 93, famous drive of the Columbia Icefields Parkway. As we entered onto the parkway, the Canadian Rockies began to reach high peaks of 8,000 to 12,000+ in feet. They were mostly snow covered, and saturated in glacier like, Ice Fields. Along the two lane highway, that you have to pay to drive on, were beautiful vistas of mountains, lakes, streams, and glaciers of ice. We took so many beautiful photos; I’ll have to pick only the best of the best, to include in our journal. The 150 mile trek to Jasper took most of the day. We encountered various grades of mountain driving, large mammals, and Sunwapta Pass. After climbing, and climbing along the two lane road, we reached the pass at about 8,000 ft. then stopped to let the motorhomes and drivers rest. Jacob anxiously encouraged Rob to take a mountain climb, during this “driver needed rest”. We watched them hike into the trees, noticed they disappeared, and then saw their tiny figures pop out into a snow covered clearing, near the top of the mountain. As they huffed and puffed their way uphill, I noticed the large warning sign that was posted along the beginning of the trail. “DANGER”…EXPLOSIVE AREA” The park had strategically placed Avalanche explosives, needed during the winter months, along side the mountain they were climbing so that the highway was not always in danger of a sudden Avalanche. We relayed the message to the boys over the walkie-talkies; they quickly descended! Arriving in Jasper, we discovered the beauty of this National Park, immediately. Situated along side Mt. Jasper, this park was peaceful and full of “calving” elk. Many oversized, mothers-to-be, lay awaiting their new born calves; right in the park, amongst the RV’s and tents. I know Jacob and Rob got quite close to one female, lying peacefully, however with some uneasiness of their intense photography. Our 2nd day in Jasper brought us a full day of sunshine; we almost forgot what that looked like. We planned on visiting Mt. Jasper, by way of the Jasper Tramway. After convincing Larry that we were not in terrible danger, all six of us advanced a short drive up to the start of the Tramway. (We could actually see the top, where the Tram would let us off, from our motorhome). A short 30 minute wait, and all 30 of us boarded Flight #23 Tram for a 6 ½ minute uphill ride to the top. What an awesome view of the lakes, the Athabasca River, the town of Jasper, and the surrounding mountains that towered in excess of 12,000 ft. The Tram allowed us to reach a peak altitude of 7,425 ft. The walk to the Summit of Mt. Jasper was approximately 45-90 minutes, afterwards. Noticing that the air was somewhat thinner at this altitude, the five us off us did not reach the Summit. However, Jacob did, but I do have to say that we gave it our all and we were very proud of it. Jake brought us some slate pieces and rocks, from the top. I believe the altitude at the Summit was approximately 8,300 ft. We took a gross amount of awesome photos that hopefully will tell enough of the story of our journey up Mt. Jasper, and one young mans quest to reach to top.



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