Friday, October 15, 2010

Yoho National Park

We were given the gift of a three day weekend due to the Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday, October 11th. (The holiday is officially observed on the second Monday of October, and though it's not as big a celebration as it is in the United States, the meal is the same.)

We were looking for something to do on Saturday and since we've spent so many weekends exploring the area around Calgary, I asked Greg if there was anything left to see. I was joking, but he just stared back blankly and picked up a travel brochure. (Sometimes he doesn't get me. ha) Eventually, he suggested Yoho National Park.

Despite the fact that he never thought it was funny when I called it "Yoo Hoo" National Park (see previous paragraph), we wound up having a really nice day. It was a 2 1/2 hour drive, past Banff, past Lake Louise.

Our first destination was Takakkaw Falls (don't get me started on that name), Canada's second highest waterfall. We had to drive up this wacky road in order to see them. Look down below on the left- more of the road we drove up:

(Let's pretend I took these photos behind us as we traveled UP)

What's interesting about these falls is that the water seems to come out of solid rock.We read that they are fed by a glacier hidden from view behind the mountain.

(Greg's in this picture. You'll find him on the edge of those trees in a dark sweatshirt and light blue jeans.)

The water rushing by at the bottom of the falls was a milky blue.

Next stop was the Natural Bridge. It's a rock formation created over time by the rushing water. I'm not going to bore you with a lot of explanation, just enjoy the photos.

We were about the get on the road to head for home when Greg remembered a sign he had seen for Emerald Lake. What an incredible surprise that lake turned out to be. As we drove into the parking area, I caught a glimpse of the water through the trees and gasped. Seriously, when was the last time you gasped? The color of the water was gasp-worthy. Emerald. No kidding.

It was getting late in the day so we settled in for our mundane drive home: ;)

Surely we've seen everything now!

Monday, October 4, 2010

I'm Falling in Love With This City

I spent the last ten days or so confined to my Calgary condo with a cold. I spent the better part of every day in my sad little sick room, occasionally venturing out on the balcony to see if summer was indeed, over.
And then late one afternoon, I felt well! I had to get out, put my legs in motion and breath fresh air. When I stepped outside into the sunshine, it felt as if I'd been away somewhere- not quite on vacation, perhaps powered down and tucked away in storage for a while.

Our apartment building is right across the street from the Bow River, so I headed on down there.

Sometime during my convalescence, autumn had arrived. Bursts of yellow surrounded me and distracted me from my walk.

And then the shocks of RED, begging to be photographed.

One of the things I've come to enjoy about the city of Calgary is that a good dose of nature is never far away. Once I got down by the river, I walked over one bridge and then back on another, pausing now and again to stare down into the clear water.

Then I continued on the path that leads to Prince's Island Park.

On a whim, I abandoned the paved path and headed down a dirt trail, running along the water.

I was vigilant about my surroundings, but felt completely safe at the same time. The well-travelled path I had given up on was within sight, but the wild flower pickin's were better down by the water and I had decided to gather some.

Soon the path curved back up towards the city, throwing me again into the company of joggers and business folk puffing home with their laptops. I'm sure I made the perfect tree-hugger impression, bursting out of the trees clutching colorful branches in my fist. I don't care. I got myself a nice souvenir of my re-entry into the world after being sick for almost two weeks.

I've officially been a resident of Calgary for about two months. I've enjoyed the bustle of the city and the quiet of the nearby mountains but that walk may be the first time my surroundings connected with me in a personal way. It felt like home.