Thursday, May 26, 2011

Finally Saw Mountains!

 We've been here in Alberta for months and the kids don't remember seeing mountains when we lived here before. Jasper is too long of a drive from Edmonton to just skip over and see on a regular weekend. As the long weekend approached we decided that we were overdue. For our Calgary trip we decided to drive to Banff.

 Austyn loved the drive and found everything so interesting but Zoe is still a bit young. She just wanted to stay in the hotel and swim. Each time we stopped to look at something she started to get more into the trip though.

 This is a little park that we have stopped at before. It's located just on the inside of the Banff entrance. These holes were all over the ground. Not sure if they are from gophers?

 When we were here before the little lake and stream in front of us was full of water and it looked like glass. This time it was almost empty, exposing the bottom. It's a huge difference from the beautiful picture hanging on my mother's bathroom wall from her trip here.

 Signs of the hard winter are everywhere. The snow fall was more than usual this year. The trails were snow covered and there were still avalanche warnings on the radio.

 It turned out to be a beautiful day. The sun was shining, it was warm, and there was hardly any wind.

 This is the bottom of the little lake, exposed. .It looks like some sort of plant life use to live on the bottom. It seems strange that it is dried up with so much snow this year.

 This is the Ice Explorer. We hope to visit when the kids are a bit older and go on this specially built bus. It takes passengers to the ice fields. Hopefully they are not all melted by the time we get to visit.

 We took a ride up Sulfur Mountain in a gondola. 

 The views were amazing!

 It took us up over 7000 feet!

 We had lunch with a view!

 There were many mountain illustrations to look at with names of the peaks and information.

 This is an optional hiking path that some people took. It's on this cliff and seemed too scary for us. 

 This is how high the snow still is up on the mountain. You would never know it by the nice weather that day. This picture was at the top of the hiking path, located at the top of the mountain. It leads to a special tower that was used in the past to monitor radiation that showers down on earth all the time from space. We learned that they believe that it changes our DNA and could be involved in the process of evolution.

 The view of the mountains from the tree line is different from the view from the valleys. 

 I was excited to see wildlife and had my head hung out the window most of the drive. After previous trips here from when we lived in Alberta before, I remember all of the beautiful animals we saw. This trip we didn't see much. Just a few interesting birds and chipmunks. I hope that this isn't a sign that the populations are dropping.

I found the moss hanging off of all of the trees so interesting.

 We showed the kids the hot spring and talked about what hot springs are.

This cool spider was ready to capture his victim.
We went to the main street to check out the shops before heading back to Calgary. Of course I had to take a picture of this hot rod that pulled up.

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