Memories of Wild Rose Country

It's a sunny July afternoon in Alberta and we're driving the Icefields Parkway, cutting through the beautifully rugged landscape of Alberta. We pull off at a parking area above Peyto Lake, and make our way along a narrow trail through the woods to a rocky outcropping, where we survey the expanse far below us. The sun is hitting the glacier-fed lake, that stands out like a shard of turquoise. A storm is rolling in over the mountains. It is just me and my love alone here in the wild. This is a highlight to a trip defined by highlights.

It has taken me more than a year to get to this post. In July 2014, my wife and I took a bit of a belated honeymoon, spending more than a week adventuring in Alberta and British Columbia. We quickly fell deeply in love with Canada. The rugged beauty of its landscape. Its friendly people. Its gorgeous late-night sunsets. And the food. Oh, the food. 

There is something inspiring and invigorating about going new, unseen places and seeing new beauty, sharing time with the one you love and coming home recharged and refreshed.

So settle in, there's a few photos ahead.

The trail through Johnston Canyon outside Banff is in itself a delight, laced with the heavy fragrance of fresh mountain air and pine trees, every turn in the trail presenting new vistas.

Then there is the matter of the upper falls in Johnston Canyon. Standing at the end of the catwalk, the cool, misty spray in your face is like shot of adrenaline.

When it comes to long summer days of driving mountain roads and exploring new places, it's crucial to start the day with the proper fuel, and the folks at Kicking Horse Coffee in Invermere, British Columbia, roast and serve fantastic coffee and baked goods. 

The water. Can we talk about the water in Alberta? Nothing really prepares you for seeing the glacial lakes of Alberta, shining bright like turquoise in the sun. Lake Louise is a splendid place to simply walk along the shore, soak in the summer sun, and breathe crisp mountain air. 

A hike up the mountain from Lake Louise is Lake Agnes. Beautiful in its own right, it also includes a tea house built in 1905, a great place to sip fresh, hot coffee and have a snack while enjoying the mountain views.

Whether you're heading up to Lake Agnes, or making your descent to head back to Lake Louise, Mirror Lake is a nice, calm stopping point to take a rest.

I might be biased, but the gorgeous views in Canada still pale in comparison to this beauty.

In addition to seeing Lake Louise up close, taking a ski lift ride up a mountainside inhabited by grizzly bears also provides a great view.

Was it just the thrill of the entire trip, or was this 9 p.m. pizza in Invermere really that delicious?

More than a year later, I still think longingly about this trip. Alberta is one of the most beautiful places I've spent time, where the handiwork of the Creator is on full and vibrant display. These are the kind of adventures that are so good for the mind, body, and soul. The time to explore new places and be rejuvenated is priceless. 

Signing off with a photo of my cutie wife in the trusty Nissan Versa that zipped us all over the place.