“Pic of the Week”, April 13, 2018: Boo the Bear, Golden B.C.

Golden B.C . Grizzly Bear Refuge (35)

I’d like you to meet Boo, a grizzly bear. Boo is well known around the Canadian Rocky Mountain region because he lives at the Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge and gets lots of visitors. His home consists of a fenced 22-acre piece of natural land (apparently the world’s largest protected grizzly bear habitat) where Boo has lived and wandered freely since 2003. Boo and his sibling were orphaned at only a few months old when their mother was killed by a poacher; sadly Boo’s sibling didn’t survive his first hibernation.

Boo has found a good home here in eastern British Columbia, near the town of Golden. He’s been known to escape during mating season (he digs out under his electrified fence), …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Banff National Park’s best Short Hike — Moraine Lake Rockpile Trail

moraine lake

Moraine Lake is located a few miles south of Lake Louise in Banff National Park, in one of the most scenic and breath-taking locales of the Canadian Rockies.  In the winter the lake is buried under a thick layer of snow and not accessible by car.  The road leading to Moraine Lake is a popular cross-country skiing destination once enough snow has accumulated for the Park Service to groom it, but the skiing trail ends well before the lake because of high avalanche risk within its valley.  During the summer months (June – Sept) Moraine Lake is popular and busy, even though it doesn’t thaw out until late June.  Parking is limited so it’s best to arrive early.  The lake …

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“Pic of the Week”, May 27,2017: Spring in the Rocky Mountains

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I enjoyed a beautiful drive alongside and through the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and British Columbia this past week.  The landscape had greened nicely with the warming weather, but the mountains still had lots of snow on them.  I made a few stops along the way and photographed some of the beautiful scenery.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, then right arrow to advance the slideshow)

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“Pic of the Week”, June 24, 2016: Moose at Piney Lake, Colorado

Summer 2009 123 Piney Lake, Vail

I love summer days in the Rocky Mountains!  Having finished a rewarding six mile hike at beautiful Piney Lake, situated in the Gore Range of Colorado, we were resting by the lake’s shore and enjoying the scenery before returning to our timeshare unit in Vail.  Suddenly and surprisingly quietly, two large moose walked by us on their way to the lake.  They wadded into the clear water and started munching on water-plants growing close to shore.  They were not disturbed by our presence and were close enough that I was able to take some nice photos.

Moose are huge, the largest of all the deer species.  Males carry massive antlers which can have a span of up to 6 feet (1.8 meters).  …

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.All Trips / Central Canada / North America

A visit to the Historic Banff Springs Hotel

09 Banff Springs Hotel

Situated in the heart of beautiful Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the world famous Fairmont Banff Springs stands like a castle dominating the pretty alpine town of Banff, Alberta.  Nestled between Mt. Rundle, Tunnel Mountain and Sulphur Mountain, it offers some of the best alpine scenery in the world.  It’s just a short 10 minute stroll from the hotel along the beautiful Bow River to the Banff townsite, where a large number of shops, restaurants and other services are located.

Fairmont Banff Springs is a year-round luxury resort that offers access to activities as diverse as horse-back riding and golf, to superb skiing in the winter.  The hotel has been serving guests for more …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 15, 2016: Aspens

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Those of us who live near the Rocky Mountains are very familiar with quaking aspens, a species of tree I’ve grown increasingly fond of over the years.  These trees have characteristic white bark and green leaves in the summer (that shimmer in the wind, hence “quaking”).  The leaves turn a beautiful golden-yellow color in the fall.

Aspen trees are striking when you come across a stand of them, especially in an evergreen forest.  Their white bark makes them seem like guardians or sentinels.  But one of the aspens’ more interesting features is their “eyes”.  Of course the trees aren’t actually watching you, but if you look at the main trunk of a larger aspen you’re likely to see dark markings against …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

The Banff Park Museum National Historic Site.

06b Banff Museum 08-2015

Today we’re going to visit Western Canada’s oldest Natural History Museum, the quirky yet fascinating Banff Park Museum National Historic Site.   I first visited this museum as a boy decades ago and it’s one of the few things around that hasn’t changed over the years.

Situated at a prime location in Banff, beside the Bow River at the corner of Buffalo St  and Banff Ave, there’s a large building constructed of logs, the Banff Park Museum.   It’s been declared a national historic site because the museum’s original exhibits are still on display, a collection reflecting an early (some might even say “primitive”) approach to the interpretation of Western Canada’s natural history.  Also, the architectural style and detailing of …

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“Pic of the Week”, October 16, 2015: Fall Colors, Colorado Rockies

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Fall is my favorite season, largely because of the beautiful transition of colors in the vegetation.  Whether it’s grasses, small bushes or large trees like these aspen, the forests are even more beautiful as the seasons change from summer to winter.

These photos were taken not far from Vail.  The colors here, while vivid, aren’t as diverse as those in the forests of the eastern USA or eastern Canada, consisting mostly of shades of yellow.  But they’re beautiful none-the-less.  And they’re set in the majesty of one of the world’s greatest mountain ranges!

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