The beautiful if cold morning stirred me to make an excursion in a four-horse coach to the lake Pamasae-wapta (Lake Minneswanka) or devil’s lake to the East of Banff. On the way we passed first a police station consisting of a row of log cabins in which a detachment of the Canadian Mounted Police was stationed. Then the journey continued for about one and a half hours through a wide valley basin flanked by mighty imposing mountains that were unfortunately nearly completely bare of any vegetation. Bare walls were alternating with uncountable rock and rubble piles.
At the lowest point of the valley lies the blue lake embedded between the mountains. At its shore blinks a small white house in which an unsophisticated Canadian is catering for the foreigners by offering bad sherry, antlers and furs at fabulous prices. An osprey flies fast above the water level pouncing now and then upon its prey. A festive silence reigns on the mountain lake out of which flows a small river that has to thunderously fight its way through narrow gorges toward Banff. In the valley are some pine forests whose trees have strange short branches so that the forest looks like as if the brave Tyroleans had cut them back („g’schnatzelt“) according to their strange bad habit.
Returned to the hotel we learned that the train that was to take us towards noon to a hunting expedition at Gold Range was delayed by three hours — a quite common occurrence here. We thus had to be patient and await the delayed train that brought us back on the same track we had come but only to the station at Sicamous Junction, from which we were to use a line of the Canadian Pacific railway going South.