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Introduction to Yoho National Park and a short lesson in Cree

We left Alberta and crossed back into BC; Banff National Park became Yoho National Park. There were more lakes and mountains and general Rockies wonderment to behold from our new base in the village of Field.

To get to Field you turn off the Trans-Canada Highway and cross a bridge over the Kicking Horse River.

To get to Field you turn off the highway and cross a bridge over the Kicking Horse River.

Here the Kicking Horse River has a very broad width so flooding is rarely an issue.

Here the Kicking Horse River has a very broad width so flooding is rarely an issue.

Field itself was a fascinating wee place. I didn’t get that lazy half-day necessary to wander around properly but we did do a short walking tour with a local guide.

Borne of the time when the Canadian Pacific Railroad was built, Field is still important to rail operations being the changeover point between east and west. However, less than 200 people now permanently live in Field. I’m sure our guide said that in order to live here you need to work in the National Park. The school has had to close with children now travelling 45 minutes away to Golden.

Our guide was a volunteer with the Friends of Yoho organisation. (They have a great gift shop in the visitor centre just off the highway.) Infrastructure for the railway used to be located on the flat behind the information signs. The trains we noticed always seemed to be very long - the guide said they can get up to 4km in length

Our guide was a volunteer with the Friends of Yoho organisation. (They have an excellent gift shop in the visitor centre just off the highway.) Infrastructure for the railway used to be located on the flat behind the information signs. The trains we noticed always seemed to be very long – the guide said they can get up to 4km in length

Named for one of the railroad's presidents, Mt Stephen forms part of the 360 degree mountainous backdrop to Field.

Named for one of the railroad’s presidents, Mt Stephen forms part of the 360 degree mountainous backdrop to Field.

This was Field's first RCMP office before becoming a liquor store which closed during WWII due to the distraction it posed to soldiers en route.

This was Field’s first RCMP office before becoming a liquor store which closed during WWII due to the distraction it posed to soldiers en route.

The old telegraph building, the last pre-WWII railway building in Field. Back in the day, rail passengers used to send and receive telegrams here during their brief stops in Field.  The Friends of Yoho organisation want to set up a museum here.

The old telegraph building, the last pre-WWII railway building in Field. Back in the day, rail passengers used to send and receive telegrams here during their brief stops in Field. The Friends of Yoho organisation want to set up a museum here.

One of the log houses built in the late '20s by the railroad corporation for its officials.

One of the log houses built in the late ’20s by the railroad corporation for its officials.

The old catholic church may now be privately owned.

The old catholic church may now be privately owned.

Yoho aptly means awe and wonder in the Cree language. Most of the National Park is out of the reach of the main population but some gems, such as these examples close by Field a few kms off the Trans Canada Highway, were discovered and made accessible. I also saw them on a day tour while visiting Banff-Lake Louise in 2004.

Emerald Lake - a very popular spot so it took a moment of psyching up to go and join the fray.

Emerald Lake – a popular spot so it took a moment of psyching up to go and join the fray.

We arrived just as a wedding service at the lakeside restaurant had finished.

We arrived just as a wedding service at the lakeside restaurant had finished.

Looking across to the avalanche path. Not hard to see how the lake got its name.

Looking across to the avalanche path. Not hard to see how the lake got its name.

The lake was discovered by chance 134 years ago.

The lake was discovered by chance 134 years ago.

A popular place for couple-y photo shoots too - this couple had a canoe following them with a photographer. Wapta Mountain is the backdrop.

A popular place for couple-y photo shoots too – this couple had a canoe following them with a photographer. Wapta Mountain is the backdrop.

Mountains everywhere you look... Mt Burgess is a World Heritage Site thanks to some fossil beds up there.

Mountains everywhere you look… Mt Burgess is a World Heritage Site thanks to some fossil beds up there.

See the holes in the side of Mt Field? They're remnants of the Kicking Horse Mine, visible as you journey along the highway. It produced mainly zinc and was closed by the late '60s.

See the holes in the side of Mt Field? They’re remnants of the Kicking Horse Mine, visible as you journey along the highway. It produced mainly zinc and was closed by the late ’60s.

Down a road which closes for much of the year due to ice and snow is Takakkaw Falls. We were too late to see the falls at their best, late spring/summer when the water volume is dialled up from the snow melt.

Takakkaw is Cree for "it is magnificent". You need to really take the 10ish minute walk to get up close.

Takakkaw is Cree for “it is magnificent”. The falls are >250m high and you need to really take the 10ish minute walk to get up close.

On the left is a loose recreation of the other photo taken in 2004!

Where there are rocks, people make inukshuks.

Where there are rockpiles, people make inukshuks.

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Haley, Canada truly is a a wonderful place to visit, via your blog. I will never go there but each time you post I feel that I’m right there. I think that you just get better and better with each travel experience. Your photography is really nice. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and may you and your husband be blessed with a great New Year.

    27 December 2016
    • Thank you Yvonne and Seasons Greetings! I had a nice Christmas up with my family and now Mike and I are away for a few days in the South Island. I sincerely hope that 2017 is kinder for you and your family.

      28 December 2016
      • hank you Haley. I’s wishing you and Mike a wonderful New Year filled with many exciting travel memories and good health too.

        29 December 2016
  2. Janice Strong #

    So picturesque Hayley and the colours are incredible. Your photography is superb and I love the recreation of your photo. Very interesting and you make it all so lifelike. Thank you.

    27 December 2016
    • Thanks so much Janice – the then and now photos are a bit of fun, I’ll probably have to continue going back every 12 years or so to add to the lineup 🙂

      28 December 2016

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