January 17, 2018

Travel | Banff National Park, Canada

Below are some shots that I am seriously behind on posting. Tessa and I went on this trip with our friend Katherine back around Memorial Day 2017! For a variety of reasons, I just never got around to posting them. Most of it was due to being busy getting the Ponce City Market book ready for publishing. That is all ready to go, and right now its a snow day in Atlanta, so it's the perfect time to get caught up.

The three of us flew into Calgary and rented a car then made the not very long drive west into the Canadian Rockies. We stayed at a sweet Airbnb in Canmore, just outside of the town center. Immediately we started to see the wildlife and stunning scenery. Our first morning we grabbed bagels at Rocky Mountain bagel, which would come to be our go-to breakfast spot for the next few days. Our first day packed in the popular spots to see in the National Park. We hiked the boardwalked path in Johnston Canyon to see some of the amazing waterfalls. Then, we headed to Lake Louise, which was overflowing with people. Despite the lake still being partially frozen, and with a fresh coating of snow around, we were able to walk the path around the lake. We wanted to do the trail up to the teahouse, but the trail was closed. Next, we went on to Moraine Lake, which was also pretty crowded. Still, the scenery was incredible. Pizza and beer back in downtown Banff hit the spot later on.

 Day 2 was the Icefields parkway, a long road trip north further into the Rockies. Our first stop (after bagels) was Herbert Lake, a stunning scene. It was still early enough in the morning that the lake was smooth and provided an awesome reflection of the mountains beyond. On our way north, we stopped at a couple trails, Peyto Lake, and made it up to Columbia Icefield to see a glacier. There were markers around showing how large the glacier was in previous years.

Later that night, I ventured out to the mountains around Canmore to get some twilight shots.  After making a couple stops (and two Black Bear sightings), I settled at a spot along Whiteman's Pond.  As it got darker, I noticed a grey haze in the sky above.  I figured it was just thin clouds, but a van full of backpackers arrived and immediately started pointing to the sky exclaiming "there it is!"  Curious, I pointed my camera up and through the electronic viewfinder were the unmistakeable Northern Lights.  My eye could not pick up the greenish hue right away, but the camera did.  I spent a couple hours draining my camera batteries getting shots of something I did not expect to see on this trip.  What an amazing sight it was.  The town of Canmore below with dancing light hovering above it.  At this point, I was freezing and running low on batteries, so I drove back down to the Airbnb, and woke up Tessa and told her to peak out the window where you could clearly still see dancing colored light in the sky.  So, we went back out to keep watching the spectacle until we were simply exhausted.  The next day, still giddy, we continued our tour around Banff National Park.  We hiked around lake Minnewanka, but it was cut short due to reported Grizzly cub sightings.

We only spent 3 nights in Banff (Canmore to be exact), but we were able to see an incredible amount of scenery during our stay.  It's no secret why so many people flock to this part of the world.

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