Standing on the shores of Lake Louise and Lake Moraine I was mesmerized by turquoise waters reflecting snow covered mountains and steep tree covered slopes. These lakes are beautiful; they are exquisite; they are amazing! They also reflect the evidence of a dramatic story, a tale of violence, extraordinary transformations, and possibly the first form of “rock and roll!”
Once upon a time, about 660 million years ago, grains of sand and dirt were washed into the vast ancient seas covering this area. They sunk to the bottom and over millions of years more sand, more dirt, as well as countless sea animals piled up on top of each other, creating layer upon layer, that with constant pressure transformed the sand into sandstone, the mud into shale, and the lime into limestone. Then about 160 million years ago the hardened rock layers were violently pushed, shoved, and twisted as colossal forces deep within the earth forced the earth’s crust to buckle and heave upward, pushing the land at Lake Louise approximately 60 miles east. These great forces from deep within the earth came from the west, shattering the ancient sea bed, creating the Rocky Mountains. Wow, talk about drama! And as if that intense conflict of forces was not enough, when temperatures dropped and sea water froze creating glaciers, or massive rivers of ice, they ground their way over the rockbed creating valleys, and transporting boulders it piled into a mass of rocks, or Moraine. But as with all dramatic stories there are alternative interpretations. Some scientists believe the pile of rocks at Lake Moraine are actually the result of “rocks a’rolling,” or the more technical term, a rock avalanche.
Fortunately Tom’s and my day was less dramatic! We woke up early, drove to the Chateau Lake Louise Hotel, ate breakfast, and hiked the easy lakeside trail. We then drove to Lake Moraine where I found a great parking space; we then walked the trail around the lake resting to contemplate the beauty, stopping to take photographs, and halting in awe and appreciation! It was a great day!