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Showing posts with label Alberta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alberta. Show all posts

Saturday 30 June 2018

Exploring The Athabasca Glacier

Athabasca Glacier Across The Icefields Parkway.

Location: Jasper, Alberta, Canada
Address:  Columbia Icefields Discovery Centre, Icefields Parkway
Date: June 2005
Website:  www.banffjaspercollection.com

   The Columbia Icefield was once part of a giant sheet of ice that helped form the Rocky Mountains.  The icefield still covers hundreds of square kilometres today.  One of its toes is the Athabasca Glacier.  This glacier can reach depths of up to 1000 feet.  We visited the Athabasca Glacier when we were in Alberta back in 2005.

Ice Explorers.

   To travel out onto the glacier we went in an Ice Explorer.  These are large all-terrain, giant wheeled vehicles.  The wheels are taller than some people.

Old Ice Explorer.

    There was an old snowmobile that looked more like a tank.  This would have been the Ice Explorer used many years ago.

Road Across The Glacier.

    First our Ice Explorer crept down a steep incline and then we travelled along a road that had been worn into the glacial ice.

Lots of Free Parking On The Glacier.

    Then we parked right on top of the glacier.  Now we could enjoy more of the mountain view around us.  Despite being June, there was a cold crispness to the air.

Walking On Ice. 

  We stepped down onto the ice between the mountains and did some exploring of our own.

Snow Covered Mountain.

People Covered Glacier.

   We looked up at some of the mountain peaks..  These very mountains were formed by long gone glacial ice much like what we were currently standing on.

The Glacier Continues.

  We went higher up and could see the glacier continue on beyond the mountain.  The Athabasca Glacier is just one small part of the Columbia Icefield that extends beyond that point.

The Blue Pylon Is Looking Out For You.

  The glacier can be a dangerous place.  Blue pylons warned us not to venture out into unsafe territory.

Back In Time.

  Each year the Athabasca Glacier is slowly receeding.  This marker in the photo above shows roughly where the glacial ice would have reached back at the end of the 1960s.  Today the ice has receeded even further.  The ice water that melts out of the glacier could be snow that fell almost 150 years ago.  The glacier gave us a glimpse of what this part of Canada looked like tens of thousands of years ago.  We enjoyed our walk on the ice and we also cannot stop admiring the mountains that it left behind.

Map of Our World
Athabasca Glacier
Colombia Icefield Discovery Centre

Post # 219

Thursday 10 August 2017


Rocky Mountain View.

Location: Banff, Alberta, Canada
Address:  405 Spray Avenue
Date: June 2005
Website: www.banff.ca

  Banff, Alberta is located in the Rocky Mountains on the west coast of Canada.  The Rocky Mountains are filled with beautiful views.  As long as a mountain is in your shot, it is impossible to take a bad photo.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

  We started with a meal at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.  The hotel has been on this spot since 1888.

Bow River.

  Behind the hotel runs the Bow River.  This river starts further north in the Rockies and then runs down through Banff.  It is best known for the portion that wraps around the capital city of Calgary.

Bow Falls.
Banff Springs Hotel from the Bow River.

  The section of the river in Banff contains a small waterfall.  Standing beside the waterfall we could see the Bow River wind through the mountains in one direction and in the other direction we could see the back of the hotel through the trees.

Banff Gondola.

  After being down by the river's edge, we headed to the nearby Banff Gondola for a completely different view.  The gondola slowly lifted us towards the top of Sulphur Mountain.

Looking Down On Banff.

  As we rose to the top of the mountain, we could see the Banff Springs Hotel and Bow River behind us.

Top of Sulphur Mountain.

  At the top of the mountain is a series of stairs and wooden platforms to make it easier to climb and take in the panoramic view.

Sulphur Mountain View.

  As you get higher up a mountain you reach a point called the tree line.  After this point the ground and climate make it impossible for a tree to grow.  We could see the changes from the denser forest below.

Tree Hanging In There.

  This tree had its roots wrapped around a rock searching for some soil to keep it alive.

Lonely Tree.

  This lonely tree looked as if it had lost its battle with the elements while its nearby neighbours were all growing strong and tall.

Clark's Nutcrackers.

  Banff is filled with large creatures like grizzly bears and big horn sheep.  Up here at the top of the mountain we only encountered a few smaller creatures.  A pair of Clark's nutcrackers sat on the railing near the gondola station.

Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel.

  A golden-mantled ground squirrel checked us out from amongst the rocks and then just as quickly ran away again.

Peek At A Peak.

  We were in awe of the mountain scene that greeted us in every direction.  We would never tire of this mountain view.  The small creatures seemed to agree with us as a Clark's nutcracker flew into the branches of a tree to admire a snowy peak in the distance.

Squirrel On Top Of The World.

  The golden-mantled squirrel reappeared again and stared out into the wilderness.  As we descended the mountain once more we were jealous that the animals get that experience every day of their lives.

Map of Our World
Banff Gondola , Bow Falls
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Post # 185

Friday 30 June 2017

Canada Coast To Coast

  1. British Columbia
  2. Alberta
  3. Saskatchewan
  4. Manitoba
  5. Ontario
  6. Quebec
  7. New Brunswick
  8. Prince Edward Island
  9. Nova Scotia
  10. Newfoundland
  This year Canada is celebrating its 150th year of Confederation.  We are lucky enough to have seen the country from coast to coast.  We have been to all ten provinces and even touched the tidal waters of Nunavut from Churchill, Manitoba.  The territories are on our travel wish list.  Below is a list of just one of our favourite things from each province.

1 ) British Columbia
Afternoon Tea At The Empress.

BC has the animals, the Pacific Ocean and so much more. One of our favourite things was tea at The Empress Hotel in Victoria. Read More

2 ) Alberta
Banff Mountain View.

Alberta shares the Rocky Mountains with BC, but Alberta has Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise.  We fell in love with the snow capped mountains. Read More.

3 ) Saskatchewan
Roll On Saskatchewan.

Yes it is flat, but the fields with rolls of hay and the blue skies have a feel all their own.  It also seemed to have a never ending sunset as we drove westward. Read More

4 ) Manitoba
Churchill Polar Bear.

This is the furthest north we have ever been in Canada.  Our favourite thing in Manitoba is the polar bears of Churchill. Read More.

5 ) Ontario
Algonquin Getaway.

We spend most of our time in the province of Ontario.  Algonquin Park is our favourite place to really get away from it all. Read More.

6 ) Quebec
The Ice Hotel Bar.

Hotel de Glace is built each winter just outside of Quebec City.  We spent a night inside this palace of ice. Read More.

7 ) New Brunswick
Hopewell Rocks Low Tide.

The Hopewell Rocks are formed by the high tidal fluctuations that occur in the area.  You can walk down beneath the unusual rocks and 6 hours later the water has returned and filled everything back in. Read More.

8 ) Prince Edward Island
PEI's red soil.

Our brief two day visit to PEI was 48 hours of rain.  We did enjoy getting to and from the island.  First we drove across the marvel that is Confederation Bridge and then we saw the red soil when we left on a ferry.  We will return.  Read More.

9 ) Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has Peggy's Cove and Cape Breton Island.  One of our best days in the province was spent at the Halifax Public Gardens. Read More.

10 ) Newfoundland
Iceberg Alley.

Iceberg Alley passes right around the top of Newfoundland.  We were lucky to see these gigantic 10,000 year old pieces of glacial ice as they floated in the Atlantic Ocean. Read More.

Ten provinces and ten wonderful memories.  

Map of Our World
Banff Gondola , Saskatchewan , Hopewell Rocks Park , Halifax Public Gardens , Witless Bay
Empress Hotel , Hotel De Glace , Confederation Bridge
Tundra Buggy Tour , Algonquin Park (Lake Opeongo)

Post # 181

Wednesday 25 November 2015

World's Largest Dinosaur

One Very Big Dino.

Location: Drumheller, Alberta, Canada
Address: 60 1 Ave. W.
Date: June 2005
Website: www.worldslargestdinosaur.com

  Drumheller, Alberta is known as a site where numerous dinosaur fossils have been found.  It is often referred to as the dinosaur capital of the world.  It is also home to the world's largest dinosaur.  Located right next to the tourist information booth stands a 25 meter tall Tyrannosaurus Rex.  This T-Rex is about 4 and a half times bigger than the ones that used to roam the earth.  For a small fee you can also climb up inside and look out through its mouth over the surrounding badlands.  We didn't take the climb, but we did get up close for a better look.
  Being surrounded by all the dinosaur history of the area and looking up at this "tyrant lizard", we imagined what it would have been like to be alive millions of years ago.  There was a truck that pulled up in front of the dinosaur advertising "The Best Buffets in Drumheller".  Perhaps it was an attempt to appease the beast.  If the T-Rex did manage to take a step forward, our Ford Escape rental car would have been the next thing it encountered.  We decided it was time to get back on the road.
It's time to escape in our Escape.

Map of Our World
World's Largest Dinosaur

Post # 81