Pictures of the Week – Friday, June 29th

Today we will finally reach our long-awaited destination – Alaska. But this trip isn’t just about the destination – the journey has been amazing, beautiful and well worth the long haul.

The past week we have spent camping in Banff National Park and traversing western Canada. The Canadian Rockies are GORGEOUS!! And the Alaska Highway is nothing to sneeze at either.

With all the beauty and incredible scenery, it was hard to narrow down our pictures to just 3 favorite shots, but we somehow managed to do so.

Rise & Shine

During our 4 nights camping amidst the Canadian Rockies in Banff, we had lots and lots of rain. LOTS.

Luckily, our first morning we awoke to clear skies and this breathtaking sunrise over the mountains. Not a bad way to start the morning – taking Knox on a walk amongst the trees, listening to birds chirp and ground squirrels squeak, and watching the sun cast its glow onto snow-capped mountains.

The two sunsets we got to watch (our first & last nights) were pretty darn amazing, too. The orange-pink glow that was cast onto the clouds and peaks was beautiful. Pictures just can’t do it justice. But we always try anyway, don’t we?

Nom Nom Nom

After the gorgeous sunrise on our first day in Banff, we took scenic Highway 1A on our way to Lake Louise instead of taking the faster Highway 1. We had heard that 1A provided better potential for wildlife viewing, so Edie refused to take any other route.

As the road curved along among the mountains, we saw mule deer and a coyote. Cool but not tremendously exciting since we’d seen those critters before. Then we rounded a corner and got our first glimpse of a male elk.

Despite the snap, snap, snap of Edie’s camera, the elk refused to let his breakfast be interrupted. He happily munched away, oblivious to Edie and the other tourists who had stopped to watch.

Challenge to the Caribbean Waters

After 4 fun days in Banff, we started our long travel days up to Alaska by taking the Icefields Parkway through the Canadian Rockies. We saw mountains, glaciers and countless waterfalls. Wildlife was plentiful – we saw elk, mule deer, big horn sheep, a wolf, a moose, a black bear, and a grizzly with 2 cubs (thankfully, from a great distance!). It was an incredibly beautiful drive with lots of scenic stops along the way.

One of those scenic stops was at Peyto Lake (yes, Peyto, not Peyton), pictured above. The opaque turquoise color of the water seems fake, but we promise it’s not. This glacial lake gets it amazing color thanks to the sediment deposited at the bottom (read more here?).

Regardless of why, it is breathtaking and almost makes you think of the warmer waters of the Caribbean. Almost. The snow on the ground during the short hike up to the lake quickly reminds you otherwise.