Thursday, August 25, 2016

Banff Vacation: Columbia Ice Fields

Who wants to go walk on a glacier?  Because that's a thing!  I couldn't believe it and was very excited for this portion of the vacation.  It was a tour booked again through Brewster.  I had no idea that the drive to the ice fields was 3 hours when I booked the excursion, but it was WELL worth the drive.  The drive up was FULL of amazing views and of course when we go there, the glaciers were amazing. 

I should mention that we were about 1 mile away form our destination so you know 2 hours 59 minutes into our 3 hour drive and George looks over at me and asks, "you have the tickets?"  Um no. NO I do NOT have the tickets.  I admit I panicked.  I said, "Let's just go home."  George stayed calm an we went into the booking place and they reissued our tickets with my confirmation email.  Thank God!  I was so, so thankful!

What does it take to get out on a glacier?  Well one of these bad boys-- an ice explorer with a price tag of $1 million. Crazy right?

It took us about 15 minutes to get out on the glacier and I'll be honest I was disappointed in the amount of space there was to move around.  I understand, they have to keep the people safe, but you were roped in a pretty small area.  But there are huge holes throughout and it's very easy (and dangerous) to fall through. Still, I wish there was more are to explore.  

Not allowed in this area 

Red tape marks the boundary 

Here's a glimpse of some of the "holes."  The water was so blue.  The aqua-ish color is caused by the "rock flower."  Rock flower is just basically rock dust and it only reflects the blue because of it's wavelength.  So it's pretty amazing to see this aqua blue water in the middle of a glacier.

This is the view facing back away from the glacier. Some people book tours to make the trek all the way up (remember it took us 15 minutes by vehicle) and some dumbass people try to do it alone.  Our guide told us they lose people every year.  Sad that people are so dumb.

To be able to say we walked on a glacier in the middle of the Canadian Rockies is pretty cool!  It was definitely a highlight of our trip. 

I hope my kids always remember this trip and all the awe inspiring things we saw and did.  I hope they're not too young.  They all talked about coming back some day with their own kids.  I hope they do.

I'll leave you with this pictures.  Because.  Hello.  Cute!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Banff Vacation: Johnston Canyon

When I booked our trip to Canada, I worried that there wouldn't be enough stuff to keep up busy.  I thought we'd spend a lot of time swimming at the pool and relaxing.  Um wrong. There is soooooo much to do at Banff National Park, you could stay busy for weeks.  I simply found out the best things to do by using, Trip Advisor, locals (servers etc), and our hotel manager.  

Johnston Canyon was a recommendation of our hotel manager.  She said there would be great views of waterfalls and she wasn't kidding.  

We got to the falls and the rapid flowing water was so pretty.  Again I rushed to take pictures not knowing we'd see far better views as we scaled the canyon.

My kids were really into taking pictures on the rocks so it worked out.

The hike to the top of the Canyon (on the trail that is) was 1.5 miles.  That meant we would get to see the Upper Falls.  I was determined to do it.

I honestly didn't know what Jack's hiking capabilities were, but I hoped he could make it.

The hiking trail was actually very easy to traverse.  I believe it was a manmade trail making it easy for hikers to make it to the top.  I saw young and old alike.  

Most people stopped at the Lower Falls and it was very busy to get a picture.  We had such an easy time getting that far so we decided to keep going.

It was worth it to go to the Upper Falls because hardly anyone was there and it was much bigger and such a sight to see.  The pictures never do all the beauty justice.

I really love the pictures we took at the top of the falls.  It was so peaceful up there with all the rushing water and the sound of the tranquil waterfall. Again, the kids were super  into taking pictures here.  

The also managed to get a rare shot of just mom and dad.  I really love this pic!

On the way back down the Canyon, we climbed these rocks.  It may not look steep in the pictures but it really was.  George passed and was all nervous watching us go up.  It wasn't actually hard going up, it was the coming down that was hard.

You only get some chances in life once in a while or maybe even once.  I did a little rock climbing at Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park.  It was worth scaring George.

He did come up and rescue Ella on the way down.  She was scared, but she did great!

I take all these pictures to help me remember.  I don't think I'll soon forget!  Come back soon for our next adventure in Banff.