In honor of our one year wedding anniversary today (May 2nd), I'm finally blogging my photos from our gorgeous honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta, Canada. It was a time I'll never forget, and I miss these places every day. I'm not always great with words, so I've taken excerpts from my husband Ben's journal, written on the plane ride home. I've sprinkled a little commentary in here and there, but I feel it's most appropriate to have his words describe even a fraction of how we felt during the best week of our lives. <3
"As we sit on the tarmac in Minneapolis, the dust of Canada clinging to our pores, clothes, and hair, I'm finding it hard to wash the views we took in from my mind. I'd like to keep it that way.
I wasn't able to write due to constantly exploring and staring slack-jawed at the snow covered peaks that yawned out of the ground and well above our heads. Speaking of snow, we experienced it twice (three times?) while honeymooning in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. Big, luscious, snowflakes met us with wet splashes. We were (and are) so very happy.
We ate a shitload of poutine, [S- an incredible dish comprised of fries, brown gravy and cheese curds. Canada's greatest gift to mankind] and even had Tim Hortons once. But this trip was actually about celebrating our marriage and seeing incredible sights. [S- but the food was great. The gravy. The hollandaise. The elk burgers!]
We stayed at a hotel nestled in the valley between the peaks of Mount Rundle, Ha Ling, Mount Charles Grassi, Three Sisters (Hope, Charity, and Faith) and Mount Lady MacDonald, and Mount Charles Stewart. Our hotel was the Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge, and we even put it in our GPS as "Home." They had nice soaps, clean sheets, and shitty wi-fi, though we made do. It was actually kind of refreshing to not always be staring at our phones. [S- I mean how could we, the view through our hotel room window was beautiful enough!]
The real meat of the trip was the driving, and plenty of it. The countryside is expansive. We hiked the Grassi Lake Trail which started off strenuous but was plenty rewarding [S- despite the constant threat of cougars and bears] seeing the snowmelt stream down the mountain with Ha-Ling peak standing watch above [S- as well as all the cougars].
Wednesday (maybe? the whole trip blends together in hind sight) we drove out to an area called Kananaskis Country. While we didn't take the entirety of the drive, we absolutely got what we were looking for. The Spray Lakes Reservoir and Goat Pond areas provided Sam with landscapes galore to capture and revel in. [S- as well as a cougar paw print in the mud. A very fresh print. We basically barely got out alive.] Seeing her light up at the sight of monumental mountains or goat families was worth any bit of stress involved with wedding planning, traveling, money...I just love seeing her, my wife, happy.
The Icefields Parkway was another awe inspiring stretch of road. I ran out of words to describe the view very quickly, and was soon resorted to breathy expletives. When this became tiresome I could only stare at the peaks in slack-jawed silence.
We did in fact see a bear- a younger grizzly was lumbering along the roadside as we were driving to dinner at the Chateau Fairmont at Lake Louise. While the bear was nowhere near full grown, the respect for such a beast was very present in a part of my brain I forgot existed. It's ear was tagged, and our waitress informed us that it is one of the sixteen bears that roam the Chateau's property.
Other wildlife include:
-Porcupine- his name was Gus, apparently the Chateau staff named him
-Coyotes (only Sam saw these, I was driving)
-Tracks for some sort of big cat, I think Lynx. Sam thinks it was a giant cougar monster that only spared us because it was still full from yesterdays meal of meddlesome teenagers. [S- Yup.]
It was experiences like that that make this flight to Charlotte a bit mournful. We have to return to a life of budgeting for groceries, cleaning the litter box, and deciding what we actually want for dinner any night of the week. We would and will absolutely return to that area again. I can't speak highly enough of that area and what it has fostered, and what is has to share with it's visitors.
We want to be surrounded by vistas, seeing wildlife, and to get to the tops of the aforementioned vistas. We want adventure, we want it now, and we want it forever."