Sunday, September 18, 2011

Keep Close To Nature’s Heart: Alberta’s National Parks

Icefields Parkway, Alberta
"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." - John Muir
Over the last few days of August and into the early days of September, Kathryn, Alex, and I took off for 5 day road trip to visit Banff & Jasper, Alberta and numerous points of interest along the way. We journeyed from Banff to Jasper via the spectacular Icefields Parkway and saw many beautiful sights and even drank some glacier water while standing atop the Athabasca Glacier. 
Established in 1885, Banff National Park is Canada's oldest national park in the Rocky Mountains, whereas Jasper National Park (est. 1907) is the largest national parks in the Canadian Rockies. Both parks are comprised of mountainous terrain, with numerous glaciers and ice fields, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls, dense coniferous forest, and alpine landscapes. Wildlife in the park includes elk, caribou, moose, mule deer, white-tailed deer, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, grizzly bear, black bear, beaver, pika, hoary marmot, grey wolf, mountain lion and wolverine.  
As much as I love the sea, there is also something spiritual about being in the panoramic heart of the Canadian Rockies. It does, indeed, wash your spirit clean. 

 Peyto Lake, Alberta
 Peyto Lake Snowman, Alberta
     Athabasca Glacier Ice Bus
 Kathryn and Alex atop Athabasca Glacier
Jett and Kathryn Britnell atop Athabasca Glacier
 Castle Mountain, Alberta
View from Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta
Moraine Lake, Alberta
Athabasca Falls, Alberta
 Icefields Parkway, Alberta
Bow Valley Summit, Alberta
Mistaya Canyon, Alberta
Mistaya Canyon, Alberta