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Jet-setting on a Whim "Adventure is nothing more than an inconvenience, rightly considered" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise Alberta, Canada

CANADA | Friday, 15 May 2015 | Views [283]

I almost don’t want to share this story for fear that it will become so commercialized that it will lose its mystique. That would be too selfish and a complete waste of beauty. Coming from a small town I kind of took for granted the natural elements that I was immersed in. You see, camping and outdoor activities were just part of the lifestyle norm. Everyone seemed to have a summer cabin on the lake or in the woods. I myself lived in a log cabin, with my Mom and younger brother on a mountain for part of my childhood.

My Grandparents owned some acres of land where I would watch my Grandfather break-in young horses to the sound of the whip cracking the fillies and colts. He looked so fierce and never flinched while in the stable with them bucking and kicking.

I didn’t realize how lucky I was until I moved to the city and have since been stuck in a busy downtown high-rise near a noisy bridge for the past eighteen years. The only chance I get to rekindle the joy of those childhood experiences is when my memories are ressurrected in passing conversations with tourists. Just yesterday an Aussie tourist reminded me of one of Canada’s hidden treasures 846 kilometers from Vancouver; Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise all closely clustered deep in the forests in Alberta, between Vancouver and Calgary. It drew flasbacks of standing on the edge of the lake gazing out across the water, looking up between the glacial mountain peaks and inhaling the clean unpolluted air. 

The  Canadian forest, mountains and landscape blend so naturally it's difficult to see when British Columbia ends and Alberta begins. A BC girl my entire life, I want to claim it as a British Columbian gem, but BC has its own magnificent places that are yet to be truly discovered. It’s deserving of reverence all on its own. So true that Canada has a lot of unchartered territory by tourism, and I’d like to it to stay that way for a wee bit longer.

I have travelled through this destination, not once but several times as a child and the impression has never left me. It just laid dormant locked away in my mental treasure troft. When driving through the mountains I can still imagine the feeling of solitude and complete separation from the outer world. The dense tree lined forests, and roaring rivers promise the habitation of grizzly bears, black bears, moose, deer, racoons, coyotes and wolves. You can’t help but ponder your inner most survival senses because there is a very real possibility that your car could suddenly blow a tire or run out of gas. There are truck stops along the way, but far and few between. You would be, as we say in Canada, ‘roughin it’ given an unfortunate circumstance.

 On one road trip to Alberta I travelled with my Aunty and uncle in their hippy school bus, back in the seventies. Yes, I said 'hippy'. We had been driving for hours, but I wasnt bothered. As a kid roadtrips were normal. I had lots of practice using my imagination sparked by the desolate feeling of fear and wonderment being swallowed by the dark dense wilderness as we ventured deep into the mountains and forests. We had been looking for a campsite for the night but passed by several that were closed due to Grizzly bears. Finally, after driving for so long  we found one  that was open.  The sun was starting to set so it was just in the nick of time. As we drove into the thick wooded campsite off the highway, the conservation officer handed us a pamphlet on bears, and how to recognize tracks. We were getting the warning, although inevitably and thankfully we didnt encounter any.

 As a kid, we discovered  how to recognize wildlife tracks early on, just like how city folk understand what parts of town are dangerous. I admit, the danger of potential sightings was spooky, yet  it was also disappointing when we didnt cofront anything that scared us. Every good Canadian should have a bear or wildlife story that they lived to tell, it makes for great story-telling around the campfire. The respect I have for the wild is credited to the exposure to nature and the discernment that is acquired on how be a good steward of the earth. The over-arching message is its best to not disturb creatures in their habitat, in short, stay out their way. I did sleep inside the bus that night, no question.

Lake Louise is pristine, clear and breathtakingly beautiful. There is a lot of wilderness that surrounds the resort so you never feel like you are at an all-inclusive. This is the best sight-seeing vacation place for couples, families and adventurists. Whether you want to be at one with the wilderness in a tent; camping or in a trailer; glamping, or just a drive through or night at the resort. You won't be dissapointed.

Tags: adventurist, alberta, bears, camping, canada, canada, glacier mountains, mountains, outdoors, wildlife

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