Happy Tuesday! How did you guys survive the sale shopping yesterday? And the Thanksgiving leftovers?? Are those still going strong in your household? Personally, I can’t believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone and that we’re now moving right along into the rest of the holiday season. But first…the Canada adventures continue!
The third day of our trip was the one I was most excited for. We were going to be heading from Jasper back towards Banff, driving the Icefields Parkway. We had driven the parkway to get to Jasper but, since we had decided to explore Calgary the day we arrived, it was dark by the time we hit the road, and, with no cell service, street lights, or hardly any other cars, the entire parkway was a mystery shrouded in darkness. I was excited to finally see it in the light!
Before we hit the road, we had two stops to make, one back at the bakery (Yes, again, because yes, it was just that good. Also, because they had a day-old rack where loaves of bread were basically $2, so hello lunch!) and one at the town’s coffee shop, Snowdome, that was tucked away in a corner of the local laundromat. We got a maple latte and a s’mores latte (neither of which were, thankfully, overly sweet), both of which were so good, I only wish we had gone every other morning we had been there. And with those stops out of the way, we headed for the open road…
We were hoping to stop at Angel Glacier first, but the road was closed for elk mating season, so we continued on towards Athabasca Falls. The stop was a long one, as we decided to take advantage of the falls to experiment with long exposure. And, of course, there were a few overhangs just begging for some dare devil, living-on-the-edge photos. So naturally we obliged….
Once the life-risking was over (ok, let’s be honest, we peaced out because some lady thought it would be fun to act like she was our parent and yell at us to get down #imanadult #mindyourownbusiness), we continued on, stopping more times than was probably necessary, but like, really, I swear that pine tree, that exact pine tree, was for sure different than the other 1,628,359 surrounding it. And what if you see a goat?! Or a sheep? Or elk?? Or like, ya know, another tree??! But for realz, everything, and I do mean everything, is a bazillion times more beautiful here than anywhere else. For sure, 100%.
After wrapping up at Athabasca Falls, the next stop on our journey down the Icefields Parkway was the lesser crowded, but equally as beautiful, Sunwapta Falls. Here you can walk several different trails to catch a view of the falls and the small island that splits the river before the drop, or in Mr. RC’s case, he wanted a different perspective… So naturally up and away he went with the drone!
While the whole drive was breathtaking, the stop that truly (beyond words) took my breath away, was the glacier. Literally….I have no words. It was magnificent, it was awe-inspiring, it was other worldly. It made me feel so small and insignificant, all while making me feel so alive and happy. While we were there, a storm was moving in, with winds so strong I thought my face was going to blow off, and yet, all that I could do was stand there, facing the storm, facing this incredible object that I’d only ever read about, and just take it all in. I smiled the biggest grin, and though the wind drowned it out, I laughed. Pure, unfiltered, stress-free, joy-filled laughter. I laughed because I felt free. I laughed because I felt happy. I laughed because I realized, in that moment, just how beautiful nature truly is and that nothing man creates can ever compare. I laughed because I felt truly lucky, not only to be experiencing such a thing, but because here was this incredible structure…and then here was me. The God who created this monumentally stunning ice sculpture somehow also thought He should create lil’ ol me…and then put us in the same place. I could not comprehend the magnitude of it all, and I’ll never forget that moment and the way it made me fill.