Raphael and I have been enjoying Banff National Forest for two days now. The first, a (planned) day off in Lake Louise. Swimming in the Lake, under the Queen Victoria Glacier, was something for sure. The second day (today), we were supposed to head up north to a campground near the Columbia Icefields. However, a wildfire burning a little northeast of Banff waylaid us. The authorities shut down the Icefields Parkway (our road to Jasper) for most of the day.
The glaciers and mountains surrounding the small village of Lake Louise have been obscured since this morning by smoke. The air smells of conifer trees burning.
Apparently the prevailing west winds are keeping the fire from spreading over the highway, but the smoke is everywhere.
We are riding 20 miles to Mosquito Creek tonight, and then when the highway reopens at 9:00 a.m.; we’ll attempt to ride through the 20-30 mile section near the fire before it closes again at 2:00 p.m. If the wind turns east, however, we will have to turn back toward Lake Louise.
We’re hoping for the best. The only other road north to Jasper is a major detour requiring us to head back into British Columbia.
We are riding to a campground, 20 miles north.