This was my first trip to the Canadian Rockies. To get ready, I read all the books I could lay my hands on, looked at all the pictures I could find. I had visions of dramatic sunrises and sunsets, of magnificent mountains and lakes, of reflections and flowers and of animals. I have spent the first half of the trip in the Banff/Lake Louise area, and my visions just did not come through. I could tell that the mountains were there, lurking behind the clouds and the rain, their heads peaking out from under their cover, just to tantalize me. The sun rose and set, but I would not have known, except for my watch. I consoled myself with magnificent wildflowers, almost glowing in the diffused light, and with waterfalls, but this was not what I came here for. I wanted the mountains and the lakes and the reflections!
I had a hard decision to make. Should I stay here and hope that the weather will clear up, or should I believe the weather reports that it was clear in the north, and go to Jasper. I decided to play it by ear, start driving north, and make my decision as I go. By the time I got to Bow Lake, I could see some blue in the sky. I hiked to Bow Summit, gawked at the view of Peyto Lake and the Rockies. It did look more promising in the north, so I decided to go on.
At first the weather was nice, but by the time I got to Jasper, it was raining on and off. I did not want to sit idly in a wet camp, so I decided to drive around to see if there was something I could do in a light drizzle. I went to Maligne Canyon. While it was an interesting walk, it was not photogenic. It was still only 5 PM, so what else was I to do? I knew that I already missed the last boat on Maligne Lake, but I thought I would go and at least look at it from the shore.
By now the weather was pretty miserable again, with heavy clouds in the sky and quite dark. As I was driving, I saw a lake through the trees. I thought it was Maligne Lake, and I started looking for a spot to pull over and take a peak. As I came around a corner, I saw a sign for a rest area. When I pulled in, I had an incredible sight in front of me. I scrambled out of the car, trying to get the 2X teleconverter off my 70-200 mm lens (I always drove ready for wildlife), get the tripod legs extended, and set up.
The result of this scramble is the picture you see here. It lasted only for another minute or two, then it slowly faded away, and the clouds took over again. Somebody was saying to me in the parking lot "too bad you did not get here earlier, when the rainbow was full." I told him that I was happy with what I had, after all, I got the mountain, the lake and the reflection, and a magnificent rainbow for a bonus!
Editor's Note - Be sure to visit Judit's personal web site.
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