Today we covered another seven or eight hundred kilometres. No time zone changes today, only because we're in a tiny corner of B.C. that observes Mountain Time rather than Pacific Time.
I began the day with a run straight out into the prairie. Our hotel for the night was right on the northern edge of Swift Current, and from our room window I could see a road heading off into the grassland, and it called to me. Tim wasn't too keen on me running on what looked like a busy road, but only the first kilometre or so was busy, and the shoulders were wide. Surprisingly, it was a constant ascent for 4 kilometres, and the communications mast that was at the crest of the hill had looked to be only a kilometre or so from the hotel.
I saw an osprey perched on a telephone pole, and stopped to admire it.
We were on the road by 9:30. The stretch between Swift Current and Medicine Hat is cattle country, with progressively more rolling hills and scrubbier land than the farm fields of central Saskatchewan. Beautiful, in its own way.
The stretch between Medicine Hat and Calgary, though, was rather dull and flat and unremarkable.
Just before Calgary, Tim told me to look over to the left, and there were the ghostly profiles of the Rocky Mountains showing on the horizon.
From then on in, it just became more and more glorious. I pride myself on having a rich vocabulary, but for once I just don't have the words. There is no describing the enormity, the grandeur, the beauty. I think this has been one of the happiest days of my life.
We put the cherry on top with a stop at Lake Louise; we arrived at about 18:30, and found parking easily. There were remarkably few people around, and I don't think we could have timed it more opportunely. The sun was just arcing its way towards the peaks for the night, and the light was simply lovely.
I took tons of pictures at Lake Louise with my ''proper'' camera, as well as hundreds through the car windshield with my little camera, but I think this one will have to do as an eloquent summation of the day.
Tomorrow, we are not travelling anywhere; we intend to spend the day exploring Banff and Jasper and Yoho parks.