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One of the classic places to visit in the Banff townsite, within Banff National Park, is the Indian Trading Post. It has been around since 1903 and was originally called the “Sign of the Goat Curio Shop”. It’s one of those places that hasn’t changed much during the years.
Situated on the bank of the Bow River, it is removed from the busy touristy part of Banff. The exterior decorative items are interesting, but not as interesting as what you find when you enter the shop.
The walls of the shop are a museum of taxidermy, with a large variety of local species on display. Initially dealing primarily in furs, the shop now sells mostly First Nations (Aboriginal) handicrafts. These include items like …
One of the classic symbols of the Canadian Rockies is Peyto Lake, which is situated adjacent to Icefields Parkway, the road which connects Banff and Jasper. Peyto Lake is a popular stop with travelers who enjoy taking in this panoramic view from Bow Summit.
The lake is glacier fed, the glacial silt giving it a lovely milky turquoise-green color. It sits at 1860 m (6100 ft) above sea level.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)
The first Europeans to live and work in the Rocky Mountains were hunters and miners. Canada’s Rocky mountains are rich in minerals and the Canmore region — just south of Banff — has especially good coal deposits.
The Canmore Miners’ Union Hall has been part of this community for more than a century and the building is one of the oldest in the town. Completed in 1913, it was built to serve as the union office for local coal miners. The building was one of the first in town to have electric lights. The miners union helped improve working conditions, safety and miners’ wages.
Coal mining has ceased in Alberta and the mining jobs have also disappeared, so there is no need for a …
I’ve always thought Calgary had a pretty skyline — and I’m not alone in that opinion as it’s been featured in several movies. Rising from the prairies, a modern city that seems to be optimistic about its future.
Downtown Calgary is about 12 miles southwest of Calgary International Airport, so you often see it as you fly into the city. Usually it’s too dark or I’m sitting on the wrong side of the plane or there’s some other reason not to pull out my cell phone and snap some photos, but recently the conditions were perfect.
My plane approached downtown from the west, looped south of downtown, then to the east and north up to the airport. From my seat in the …
I left for a 2 week vacation to the Yukon and Alaska last June 29th, just 8 days after the summer solstice. My flight departed Calgary at 9:45 pm just in time to enjoy a pretty sunset, which you can see below (photos are in sequentially arranged). There had been heavy rain that day and the clouds were starting to break apart as the sun dipped below the Rockies.
As we flew further north, the daylight seemed to be increasing, something I expected but still surprised me by how relatively bright it was. Soon the sun was above the horizon again, illuminating our plane’s engine. It only grew brighter the further north we flew.
We were scheduled to arrive in Whitehorse at …
Alberta has a fine network of provincial parks (analogous to American state parks). One of these is situated just east of the Alberta Rocky mountains on the banks of the Bow River as it makes its way from Banff to Calgary and ultimately to Hudson’s Bay.
The park has several campgrounds which are very popular during the summer months. It provides excellent access to Banff and Canmore, and is also not that far from Calgary. The park also offers some easy hiking trails that provide a nice way to explore the terrain of the Rocky mountain foothills.
We parked at Middle Lake and explored many of the trails in the area — Middle Lake, Moraine and …
At first glance, the small city of Drumheller seems an unlikely place to find a superb science museum – one of the finest in Canada and one that is very family-oriented. The museum opened in 1985 and was given “Royal” status in 1990 by Queen Elizabeth, a sign of high distinction.
I live in Calgary and when I have visitors who are inclined to see a museum, I always suggest they drive to see the Royal Tyrrell. Alberta is the dinosaur capital of the world and this museum houses one of the most interesting and diverse collection of fossils and related items you’ll find anywhere. The Royal Tyrrell has a collection of over 125,000 fossils, mostly vertebrates.
The Museum is located in …
Grain elevators, prairie sentinels, prairie cathedrals — all synonyms for the large structures that have dotted the Canadian prairies for more than a century. I recall when traveling across the plains as a boy, you could spot these wooden towers at great distances — often 20 or more miles away — providing welcome relief to the otherwise flat landscape. Each elevator was a storage facility that marked the location of a prairie town; the larger and more plentiful elevators were in a given location, the larger and more prosperous the town.
The business of the prairies is agriculture and mechanisms needed to be developed to get the bountiful grain crops to world markets. After some experimentation with bagging the grain, it …