How The River Winds.
Mount Aberdeen, Mount Lefroy, And Lefkoy Glacier.
Unfortunate is the tourist who does not interrupt his journey through this wonderful country. For, if he travel continuously from Alberta to the coast, not only will he be unable to retain in memory the splendid scenes through which he passes, but even his eyes will soon grow weary from the constant strain, and his brain prove incapable of registering distinctly anymore impressions. One must be ever on the alert. The ten-sion of the mind resembles that of a drawn bow. The train sweeps round a curve, disclosing a fine view. A glance, a rush across the car, an exclamation - and the scene is changed ! Yet, after all, how differently are most of us traveling through life ? How few of us have time to think! Thrice happy he, however, who spends an entire summer here; and surely no one, unless driven by some dire necessity, will deny himself the rest of a few days at two or three places of peculiar interest, where good hotels have been provided, and one finds every facility for making desirable excursions.
Distinguished Alpine Climbers Who First Ascended Mount Lefroy.
Mount Lefroy, Mount Victoria, And Victoria Glacier.
Starting For The Heights.
Birth Of A Mountain Stream.
One of the most enjoyable of these trips can be accomplished easily in a single day, during a stay at Banff, by leaving there in the morning for the railway station, Laggan, thirty-four miles distant. This is the point of departure for what have been appropriately named "The Lakes in the Clouds." Accordingly, on the arrival of the train, ponies and wagons are always waiting to convey the visitor to three lovely sheets of water, romantically hidden away among the treasures of the upper world. The fi r s t of these, called LakeLouise, is reached by an easy carriage road, two and a half miles long, while bridle paths ascend a little farther to Lake Agnes. To one of these, at least, I must allude particularly. The flawless glacier-jewel, Lake Louise, is like a liquid sapphire set in a diadem of silvered peaks. Grand mountains rise precipitously from its blue rim to the realm of ice, while the soft wraiths of their reflected forests, glaciers, cliffs, and snow-fields sleep in its pellucid depths, and seem almost within our reach. It is a spot where every thoughtful soul desires, for a time at least, to be alone. An hour's solitary musing here is worth a month of feverish life in the materialistic world so far below. I felt that this was one of Nature's masterpieces, which, tiny though it be, she had reserved for her exclusive satisfaction. Eons before a human foot had left an imprint on its shore, the sun, day after day, as now, completely flooded its pure heart with light, yet found within no fault. Night after night the tender moon rose silently above the peace-crowned heights, and, like a guardian angel, smiled benignantly upon its sleeping face. And when the moon came not, innumerable stars, the faithful pilgrims of the skies, in their slow, westward march, dimpled its surface with their points of gold, thus linking this sweet lakelet to the farthest limits of sidereal space, whose countless orbs of fire repeat the ever varying story of the birth, the evolution, and the death of worlds. Perhaps the silent influence of this fair spot, so typical of deep repose, is the more powerful from the contrast it presents to the great sea of mountains surging all around it. For, if the dominant characteristic of the ocean is untiring energy, that of this sheltered lake is peace. May it not be that some of the tranquillity which it acquired during centuries of seclusion is here imparted to our restless spirits, much as the sunlight which the plants of distant geologic epochs stored away is now released from its dark prison-house, and given back to us in glowing coals?