Hey, everyone! I’m back!
…weeeeell, technically, I flew back on Tuesday night, but I neglected making a post until today. So. It’s been a day or so.
Anyway, Canada was absolutely MAGICAL. I’m so excited to share my stories and pictures with you guys!
So, here’s the run-down:
On our first full day, we stayed in Banff (not Bamf, haha) National Park. The morning consisted mostly of some scenic driving. The pictures came out surprisingly well, considering they were almost all taken out of the car window.
MAN, it was absolutely STUNNING. Even though I’ve grown used to being surrounded by mountains, these mountains were a different experience entirely. Even we were at a lower elevation than back in Colorado, the Canadian Rockies felt…bigger, more jagged, more foreboding, in an odd way. Beautiful experience, in or outside of a car.
That afternoon, we took a gondola up to Sulphur Mountain. Despite the wind, the views were even more stunning in person, out in nature. Absolutely unforgettable.
It was also around this time that we discovered the delicacy of maple creme cookies. I’m addicted.
This day was easily my favorite day of the whole trip, despite having to wake up early. We drove out to Lake Louise, and went canoeing on the lake for about an hour, and hiked around afterwards. It’s easily one of my favorite places on the planet now.
The water itself seemed to glow, and canoeing over it felt like gliding over turquoise glass. That early in the morning, it was a different kind of peaceful, with only the lapping of the water against the canoe, the chirping of birds, the breeze against the mountains, and the occasional calving of the nearby glacier (fREAKY) to be heard. The color of Lake Louise is probably my favorite color–though it’s an almost identical shade of turquoise to the one I painted my room with last summer, Lake Louise has an ethereal sort of glow from within. Absolutely stunning.
In the morning, we hiked around Lake Moraine, which was pretty close to Lake Louise. Moraine was almost equally beautiful, with the same sparkling, mesmerizing turquoise hue of its waters. The hike around Lake Moraine was heavenly, with a sort of fairytale forest spanning the length of it.
The rest of the day wasn’t quite so eventful. We drove from Banff to Drumheller, which, though sketchy (and home to its fair share of cursed, fake dinosaurs, which I’ll show later), housed something amazing…
…the Royal Tyrell Museum!
The Royal Tyrell housed one of the most impressive (if not the most impressive) collection of fossils that I’ve ever seen. It was there that I remember how much I enjoy learning about the Paleozoic era, before the dinosaurs evolved. (Pics 2-4 are all Paleozoic fossils.) It’s like nature was just experimenting, just saying, “hey, let’s give this critter 15 horns and 65 tentacles and let it run wild!” Gotta love it.
This took up most of the day. But, these weren’t the only dinosaurs we witnessed…
Behold, the Cursed Dinosaurs of Drumheller.
The Royal Tyrell is the biggest attraction in Drumheller, so they pretty much milked the whole dinosaur thing in every way possible. So, we had these freaky dudes on pretty much every street corner. The first one is actually the world’s largest fake dinosaur. Somehow they’ve got a world record for that. (*promptly flashes back to Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure)
We hightailed it out of Drumheller and drove through seemingly endless miles (*ahem* kilometers) of farmland until we arrived at Dinosaur Provincial Park. The Badlands there are a beautiful, austere landscape, something that I never would’ve expected to see in the middle of nowhere.
We walked around there for a bit, and took one too many panoramas on our phones. (Who wouldn’t?) Other than that, not much else took up our day. But there was still one more crazy event that happened on our last full day…
On out last full day, we went on a guided tour into the Badlands of Dinosaur Provincial Park, on the Centrosaurus Quarry hike. Though the skies were gray and gloomy, the hike was truly something else. Beautiful badlands, combined with the myriad of fossils sticking out of the ground at the very end of the hike. Most of them were from Centrosaurus, and paleontologists speculate that the sheer amount of fossils in the area was because there was a massive herd of them in the area. I scraped my elbow trying to get a good look at a fossil, but honestly? Completely worth it.
The hard rain that came upon us shortly after the hike concluded prevented us from doing anything else that day, but that hike was truly unforgettable.
We flew out of Canada the next day. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for this phenomenal trip. Experiencing the beautiful nature-alive and dead-was something I’ll never forget and always treasure.
Thank you so much for reading this post! I’ll be back next week with a Book Review Tuesday! I did happen to read two A-MAY-ZING books on the trip, so it’ll probably be about one of them. Have a great rest of your day, and enjoy the first day of summer! 🙂