Sunday, December 30, 2007

Banff National Park - Part One

Our family Christmas gift from my parents was a trip to Banff National Park during our visit to Alberta.  This worked out so great, because DH and I loved visiting Banff when we lived in Calgary (in fact we honeymooned in Banff), it wasn't something we had to pack up and cart home with us, and we even had a little bit of opportunity to see some things that related to what we'd studied in Science so far this year.

On the way to Banff, we stopped at the McDougall Memorial Church near Cochrane.  This church is maintained in memory of the Mission built by George and John McDougall in the 1870's.  As you can see, the sun's position made it difficult for me to get a good picture.

The view of the mountains from nearby:

The first thing we did upon arriving in the Park was take the drive around Lake Minnewanka.  Parts of the road, and the hiking trails were closed for the winter in order to allow the wildlife to roam freely.  But we were able to drive around the lake, and did encounter some wildlife along the way.

A lone elk (also called wapiti):

Not far down the road, we found the rest of his family:

Scenery from this drive:

At the spot where I took this photo, we also encountered this bighorn sheep who was quite intent on licking the road salt off all the vehicles that passed by!  This allowed us to get a good close-up look.

We also found this deer family taking advantage of the quiet around the parks buildings.

Of course it wasn't that big a deal to see deer - except that we are more used to seeing them bound across the road in the twilight and have to avoid hitting them.  So this was a much more peaceful way to admire their beauty.

More coming!


MayTheyBeMightyMen said...

What a pleasant surprise to find your entry! Many years ago my family took a vacation to Banff, and it was a trip I'll never forget!

Your photos are such a nice reminder, and they are well taken. I'm glad I stumbled in!

CrossView said...

Gorgeous scenery! What a neat gift idea.... =D

bethanyrae said...

You go to the nicest places! Thanks for the pictures. We spent almost a year at Estes Park, CO next to Rocky Mountain Nat. Park, and your pictures brought back a lot of nice memories. What a nice gift idea!


Tim said...

Beautiful pictures. I always consider myself lucky when I get up-close glimpses of wildlife. Glad you got to enjoy it!

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