I remember when my husband and I were driving from Calgary to Moraine Lake, we kept wondering (are those the mountains? Are those mountains!). Boy did we feel silly not thinking we would know for certain when there were mountains! No – we weren’t beamed down to earth that day – but it was overcast through portions of our drive – and let’s face it, we are from the Toronto area and our largest mountain is Blue Mountain – which doesn’t even come close to the Rockies !! The Trans Canada highway, once out of Calgary, is a flat drive – when the road begins to wind, and you can notice the elevation change, it is still just a bit before you enter the section that makes your jaw drop. You’ll feel the same! I remember it was one curve to the right and then it was down in a little valley – then – we were surrounded. Awestruck. The size of them was overwhelming and mesmerizing! We took the Bow Valley Parkway from Banff to Moraine Lake, a more scenic drive than the Trans Canada (heavily wooded and curvy). If making this trip yourself – be sure to plan extra time for the bump outs – they are these touristy little jut outs in the road that allow for you to pull over and looky-loo without making a mess of traffic or endangering yourself or others. The other really neat thing on the Trans-Canada is these animal bridges that exist.
In 2015, we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. Wanting to make sure we did something special, I took to an internet search – ‘Most Beautiful Place in Canada’. It was my inner photographer doing the searching – but the result could not have been more true. Moraine Lake has to be one of the most majestic places I have seen. Now – I am far from a world traveler, but this place will leave you breathless (literally – it’s 6,183ft above sea-level). The scenery was once on the back of the Canadian twenty-dollar bill (below) – but for nearly a week – it was our scenery everyday! The bench in this picture is at the top of the ‘rock pile’ which was just a small hike to enjoy this view. I spent every morning there – until the sound of the air-breaks would indicate the tour buses had arrived (I recommend getting to the top early in the morning – 6am in June). I would get my seven-dollar coffee (I also recommend bringing coffee!) and take it all in – can still feel the crisp glacier air on my face. I can smell the freshness of being so isolated from civilization deep in Banff National Park. I can hear ….I can hear ….nothing – absolute silience. Peace. It was one morning that everything came into perspective for me – everything stopped, yet everything started. So many things that had created mind clutter, became clear, became calm, became in perspective. By no means does this mean, that since this moment, my life is together. What it does mean – is I found a happy place. That place in my brain that I can recall, and have every sense go back to a morning on the rock pile. Where is your happy place? Your Seashell? Look for more posts from this vacation to come soon!