Canadian Sabbatical

While I was visiting my homeland, my brother generously loaned me his Jeep to roam through Banff and Jasper National Park along the Icefields Parkway. 

Maybe you've been to other mountains or a few tropical paradises, but you might never feel quite so intimidated by a landscape or amazed at how pristine some parts of the world can still be. I'm no Jack Kerouac but if you need a road trip to level your anthropocentric (24 point Scrabble score!) illusions, visiting Alberta's national parks will make an impact. 

You don't need to take many photos to capture some of what it's like to be awed by the Rocky Mountains. Driving or walking the trails, it's as though you're surrounded by some great revered ancestors who stand quietly in judgement. You're only graciously allowed to pass through without incident, and you quickly understand you venture off a marked trail at great risk.

Peyto Lake
Even the Daintree rainforest, full of horrendous spiders, venomous snakes, paralysis ticks, cassowarys and crocodiles never bothered me as much as the thought of wandering down one of the paths with a sign reminding me to "have bear spray and know how to use it".  Two suggestions of which I had neither. Not to mention the danger of mountain lions, who are known to attack near major cities, never mind when you're waltzing through their backyard.

Herbert Lake

For all the bucket-listers out there, go on and add it. For Albertans themselves who've never explored their own province, get out there.  It's only two hours from Calgary, and four from Edmonton.

Your excuses are invalid.  

Photos ©Tezza 2014

Special note: Considering how much I had criticized the Skywalk before it's creation I nearly stopped to see it and determine if it turned out to be as awful as I'd expected.  It was.  Ugly, and smaller than it had looked in it's designs, it was also near impossible to access without using a Brewster coach bus up to the site.  At a ridiculous $25 admission for a single adult, I drove on to better things, saddened that the petition had done nothing to stop it's construction.

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