This could possibly be my favorite wildlife photo that I took this trip and maybe ever. On out way out of Kootenay National Park, we stopped near Storm Mountain on the Continental Divide. While I was looking around a little bit, I spotted these little lovers which were cleaning each other. I took several snaps, but love this one because it looks like they're kissing. One of them decided to take up residence under my car as I was attempting to leave and just wouldn't leave me alone. I was afraid I'd run over it, so we tried and tried to lead it away from my car. The little chipmunk was so tame and brave that it walked on its hind legs reaching for my fingertips as I bent down to it trying to lead it away. Finally, I decided that while it's illegal to feed wildlife in the parks, offering it a small trail of almonds to get it away from my car would be a better alternative to accidentally running it over. Thor got several photos of me with the chipmunk. It was really cute.
We stopped at the Village of Lake Louise to gas up the truck on our way to our next campground. There was a beautiful bed full of wonderful poppies. The inside of a poppy is just divine.
We arrived at Mosquito Creek Campground at 1pm. It's a good thing we got there when we did because the campground was filling up fast, in fact, it was almost full. But somehow, in the 32 sites that exist there, we managed to get the best site. Right beside the pit toilets and the rinse sink with potable water. While it could be busy there at times, it was excellent to have site 30. And it was huge, we had more than enough space for everything. Fees are only $17.60 there too, so that's totally reasonable. It was a bit of a challenge to get the trailer in and out of the site, but it was doable with Thor's great skills and well worth the effort.
The coolest thing happened when we were leveling up the trailer. This wonderful guy (who's name escaped me completely) from Backroads Bike Tours greeted us as he was washing his dishes and asked us if we were just arriving or just about to leave. Since we said we were just getting there, he asked us if we wanted some lunch and explained that they had left over lunch from the bike tour and they hate to just throw it all away. He said it was some beet salad and another salad. So we graciously accepted the lunch offer. We took a tiny drive around the campsite and when we got back, there waiting at our trailer was a large brown bag FULL of food. Two kinds of salad, lettuce, olives, bread, a whole bunch of salami and prosciutto, and a mixed package of sweets. I mean, it was very generous and we felt so lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Not only did we get the best location there, but we also got all that free food. Who says nothing comes for free? So we walked back over to them and thanked them and shook their hands, and said we'd be putting their photos up on our blogs. I'll do one better and link to them as well. They looked to be a great company with really nice staff. Backroads is actually a ginormous company offering bike tours all over the world. So wherever you are, call them up! I have a feeling you won't be disappointed.
This is a photo of Mosquito Creek. It wasn't aptly named. There were less mosquitoes there than any other campground we stayed at. The scenery from the campground was really pretty. There were close mountains in all directions, and as the sun's rays played with them during the course of the day, lighting them up differently as it danced upon their cliffs and peaks, it was really pleasing to witness. One of my favorite moments was just after midnight one night, the moon rose sort of sideways beyond the right edge of that mountain on the left, below. I was freezing but Thor wrapped me in his winter jacket and his arms and held me tight, teasing me "It's gona pop up there any second.. just wait.. watch.. seeeee!" And then it did and it was beautiful.
I think the best part about Mosquito Creek Campground is that it's just a tiny 2 minute drive from Bow Lake. And the mountains that sweep down into Bow Lake are really gorgeous, boasting several different glaciers. The one off in the distant left side below is called Crowfoot Glacier (it's sort of blending in with the clouds unfortunately, but it's actually huge) and I think the one to the right side is Hector Glacier, but I could be off on that one. We set up camp, ate our free lunch and went for a drive down to see Bow Lake. It was Heavenly. A beautiful emerald green when the sun came out. We couldn't believe nobody was kayaking on it. On the other side from the picnic area is a Lodge. We went and checked that out and asked two things: Can we kayak on this lake, and is there a hiking trail to those falls over that way? The answers were both yes, so then we started planning the next few days. We got back to camp, I laid down for a few minutes and Thor got the kayaks ready. We decided to go for an evening kayak, which turned out to be one of the nicest kayaks we've had together yet. And we were the only people on or in the lake! Amazing. We decided to make this our Home Base Campground from which to plan the next few day's trips and events.