Banff or bust, part 4: Kootenay National Park

Today was a haunting day to be driving through British Columbia’s national parks. Over 600 wildfires are burning in BC alone, and our trip continues to be besieged by smoke and haze as a result.

The bulk of today’s drive took us through Kootenay National Park, on roads which only days ago had been completely closed due to the fires. Today we were able to see plenty of evidence of the fires still smoldering — not only from the smoke itself, but from the fire crews scurrying all over the park on foot and by helicopter. We were not permitted to stop the car along the route, so we have few decent pictures (and those have been taken through our windshield), but below you can get a good idea of what our drive looked like.

We have arrived in Banff National Park, which is essentially unrecognizable through the haze. We are crossing our fingers for a clear morning, but even without mountain views, Banff is full of beauty. We have adventures planned for tomorrow, but tonight all we had time for was a quick hike along Bow Falls. (Brace yourself — I love to photograph my husband. If Dan’s not in the picture, Dan probably took the picture.)

Below is a peek (ha!) at the mountains of Banff. This is essentially how the mountains have looked all day. At least the waters are glacial and stunning; we’ll spend some time on a lake tomorrow.

P.S. By the way, here’s a small collage of some of the drop-dead gorgeous textures around our hotel, the Mount Royal. I can’t get enough.

Part 1: Jackson Hole 
Part 2: Craters of the Moon 
Part 3: Idaho Falls
Part 4: Kootenay National Park
Part 5: Banff National Park 
Part 6: Calgary
Part 7: Edmonton Fringe Festival
Part 8: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Part 9: The Home Stretch

Hello, gorgeous.
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