Experience. Appreciate. Alberta. Canada.


Experience. Appreciate. Alberta. Canada - M a y 2 0 0 9

I’m typically not a man of few words; but, every once in a while, I just like to Be. Still. And truly experience and appreciate my surroundings. I’m not sure there’s a better place to experience nature and appreciate your surroundings than Alberta. Canada.Well… maybe South Island, New Zealand (my favorite place in the world!); but, on the North American continent… It’s hard to beat Alberta. Canada.

"Frozen in May" - Lake Louise - Alberta, Canada

Ghandi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I agree 100%. Centering on Ghandi’s words of wisdom, I truly believe that if you see the world… it is impossible not to be changed. Lucky for me, I married somebody who is just as passionate about experiencing and appreciating the world as I am. With no regrets. And yes… TRAVEL has changed us. For the better. Want to learn who somebody REALLY is? Travel with them.

Sunrise on Lake Beauvert - Alberta, Canada - May 2009
Lake Beauvert - Jasper National Park - Alberta, Canada

That’s why my Austin GlobeTrekker motto is TRAVEL | EXPLORE | DREAM | DISCOVER. So, where did this inspiring slogan come from?

Lake Annette - Jasper National Park - Alberta, Canada

Well… I kinda snagged it from one of the great authors of American literature:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

Lake Minnewanka - Banff National Park - Alberta, Canada 2009

I love that quote! I added the word TRAVEL in front of it to make it my own; but, the inspiration was all Twain. Through it’s resilient people, fascinating cultures, incredible palette of foods, and spectacular raw natural beauty, this world never seizes to amaze me. So when my friends and family asked “Why Alberta, Canada?” My response… Why not?

Maligne Lake - Jasper National Park - 2009
Maligne Tours Boat House - Lake Maligne - Alberta, Canada

You know I can’t leave well enough alone, so here’s the real reason “Why Alberta, Canada?”. In May 2005, Anna and I took a trip to British Columbia, Canada for my birthday. I was in awe. I’ll save that story for another blog. The truth of the matter is this… Almost every Canadian we met asked “Are you going over to Alberta?” Nope. Just Vancouver and Whistler. “Oh… you MUST come back and visit Alberta.” I think the word awesome is overused; but, Alberta is truly bad ass! You thought I was going to say awesome, didn’t you? Yeah… Alberta, Canada is AWESOME! There. I said it.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel - Alberta, Canada - May 2009

Besides, Canada is our neighbor. Who doesn’t want to get to know their neighbors? I guess lots of people, because I’m always shocked how many Americans… well, Texans, that do NOT have Canada on their bucket list of travel destinations. And the Canadians are REALLY nice people. Very hospitable, kind, and friendly.

Athabascar Falls - Icefield Parkway - Jasper National Park

If that’s not enough, Banff National Park and Jasper National Park are an overwhelming abundance of scenic postcards waiting to happen around every corner. The only negative thing I can say about Alberta… pictures just don’t do it justice. You have to experience Alberta. And then once you’ve experienced it… you’ll appreciate it more than you could ever imagine.

C O L D! Jason (me) and Anna @Athabascar Glacier - Alberta, Canada
Austin GlobeTrekker (me) @Columbia Icefield - Alberta, Canada
Athabascar Glacier - Columbia Icefield
Athabascar Glacier Experience - Alberta, Canada - May 2009
The Ice Explorer - Columbia Icefield
Columbia Icefield - Ice Explorer

After driving an hour northwest of Calgary’s International Airport, it was apparent WHY Alberta, Canada was selected as our 3rd wedding anniversary travel destination. The grand scenic entrance to the Canadian Rockies lay before us, and we knew that our time in Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper was going to be both surprising and amazing. I dare say… AWESOME!

"Out for a Hike" - Jasper National Park - Alberta, Canada
"Gathering Trees" - Banff National Park - Alberta, Canada

Reflecting back on our May 2009 time in Alberta, it wasn’t supposed to snow. Why is it cold? The lakes weren’t supposed to be frozen. It was Mid-May for God’s sake! Ha! Ha! Ha! Whatever. I laugh at people who try to plan a flawless and error free trip. What I’ve discovered about travel is… The greatest surprises in life are the adventures never expected. Quoting the wise words of the great Yves Chouinard, “The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong, that’s when adventure starts”. Yes sir. Agreed. Noted. That’s what I LOVE about travel!

Lake Edith - Jasper National Park - Alberta, Canada
Canadian Gesse @Jasper Park Lodge
Elk feeding @Jasper Park Lodge - May 2009

Like I said at the beginning of this blog… I’m typically not a man of few words; but, every once in a while, I just like to Be. Still. And truly experience and appreciate my surroundings. It’s difficult to narrate our emotional experiences during this journey to Alberta, Canada, because a lot of it was “in the moment” hiking, driving, walking, talking, sitting, standing, laughing… No background music. No cameras. Sometimes no other people. Just Happy. Experiencing. Appreciating. Alberta. Canada.

Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course - Alberta, Canada
"fresh snow covered trees" - Lake Louise - Alberta, Canada - May 2009
"Idiot vs Grizzlie Bear" - My money's on the Grizzlie!

I truly hope that the photography we captured throughout the region translates our story and provides you with a glimpse of this breathtaking travel destination. Whether it’s the remote silence of Maligne Lake, grandeur of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, awe inspiring essence of Lake Louise, peaceful solitude of sunrise on Lake Beauvert, the chilling Athabascar Glacier experience via the Ice Explorer, or just the overall raw natural beauty of The Columbia Icefield and Canadian Rockies, I hope you enjoy these images and one day visit for yourself to Experience. Appreciate. Alberta. Canada.

The Boat House @Chateau Lake Louise - Alberta, Canada - May 2009
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise - Banff, AB
Lake Louise - Alberta, Canada - May 2009

Until we blog again… TRAVEL | EXPLORE | DREAM | DISCOVER

Be. Still. In Alberta. Canada
Two Jack Lake - Banff National Park - Alberta, Canada
Two Jack Lake - Banff National Park - May 2009
Lake Minnewanka Loop - Banff National Park
Lake Edith - Jasper National Park
Lake Beauvert - Jasper Park Lodge - May 2009
Castle Mountain - Bow Valley Parkway - Banff National Park
The Bow Valley - Banff National Park - Alberta, Canada
Austin GlobeTrekker (me) on the Athabascar Glacier - Alberta, Canada
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2 thoughts on “Experience. Appreciate. Alberta. Canada.”

  1. Had you not titled it and labelled all your photos I would have easily assumed you were speaking of British Columbia. I’v always considered BC to be a goldmine of esthetically pleasing landscapes in Canada. I have to say, though I did live in Alberta for 6 years, I haven’t visited most of your destinations. Perhaps it’s about time I trip back home. Great post.

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