Around Lake Minnewanka
We spent the day at Lake Minnewanka We got there early and had time for a quick look around before going on the first boat trip along the lake. The round trip took 1.5 hours which gives some impression of the size of the lake.
There was a guide and a navigator who were both very informative about the lake's history and natural features. The power of the national park became evident, especially over land use. It has closed down one side of the lake to walkers to potect breeding wolves who are very nervous of human company (Imagine walking 15 miles and then being told you cannot continue along the lakeside path; the fine for continuing is $2000)
One hill that I liked particularly was Mount Pechee. It is also called Pechee's Grave because the summit ridge looks like a body laid out to rest. You can see the head. knees and feet very clearly.
We had lunch on our return and then had a walk along the shore line to Marilyn Monroe's bridge. This is where she kissed her leading man in "The River of No Return". It's a super wooden structure giving a good vie up Stewart Canyon. It featured in another film. Lassie jumped off it to go and rescue the young boy. Apparently she was seen emerging from the river at Banff, some miles away and across the hills.
We walked up the canyon for about a mile. It is stunningly beautiful and the white water looks brilliant. The path eventually drops back down to the river. This came very close to how I had pictured Rocky Mountain streams beforehand. We had a good play on the banks. We had to return the way we had come but the path was still fascinating. I was really warming to the Rockies as each day seemed to get better.
We returned to Banff via Five Jack Lake and Johnson Lake. The first is much smaller than Minnewanka but I thought it was more beautiful because the trees seemed greener and came right down to the lakeshore. We had a walk round at Johnson Lake which seemed to be where the locals go to sunbathe.