Crazy {Canadian} Summer Vacation: the Overview

This summer was no exception to our crazy summer vacation streak!! Here is just a little overview post… I’ll post more about specific places in later posts because otherwise this one would be insanely long! Because, you know, I took just over 3500 pictures :) I do promise not to share them all :)

The start of the crazy summer vacation plan was my getting accepted to attend the Google Teacher Academy (there will be a separate post about that!!)! I knew that I would need to be in Mountain View, CA for July 30+31.  So, once I was accepted, Mike started on the “What are we going to do on our summer vacation?” plan.  Here’s what we did…

The short version:

Fly into Edmonton, Canada, spend 12 days hiking/exploring in the Canadian Rockies, (we also made a little detour to Glacier National Park too, ’cause that’s our favorite place and it’s not too far). then Mike and the kids fly home from Calgary, and I fly to California, attend the GTA, and then continue on to Yosemite (’cause, you know, I’m out there… should do something like that, right?) and finally fly home.

Which meant us all leaving the house July 16, Mike and the kids flying home July 28, and me finally arriving home on August 6.  Yup… We’re a little nutty! It was a LONG time to be away, but it was a great trip in many ways!!

Here’s just a couple of scenery pictures to get us started… There was a very large fire in the area, so it was hard to catch a lot of the really great photos that I expected to see, but that’s OK! It was still beautiful! Oh, did we mention the BEARS?? Umm… we literally lost count of how many bears we saw, both black bears (which can be brown too) and even a couple of Grizzly bears… Most from the safety of the car :) We don’t ever get out of the car when we see one (unlike some other people we saw)… Best to be safe, even though they are eating and paying no attention to us, they’re still WILD animals that need space and respect. Getting eaten by a bear would kinda wreck our vacation :)

There are many glaciers still, and they’re what cause the magical water.  The glaciers grind the rocks into glacial flour. The glacial flour is lighter than the water, so when it runs off into the lakes and rivers, it doesn’t sink to the bottom and catches the light to create that beautiful blue. Whatever the reason, it looks magical :)

from the boat tour on Maligne Lake


A view of the Athabasca Glacier and the top of the Columbia Ice Field



Moraine Lake from the top of the Rock pile


Hmmm… I have to look this one up, we hiked up to the top and this was the view… I don’t remember the name of the hike, but will check!



Another from Moraine Lake (can you say magic??)




And, one of the bears… (this one is a black bear, not just ’cause he’s black :) but because of the shape of his head and the shoulders). I didn’t bring the actual zoom lens, just too much to carry around… This pic is with my Nikon 3100 and the 18-55 kit lens. We were in the car (with doors closed, but windows open) and the bear was searching for berries and grubs.


More about specific hikes (like the one to the Tea House) soon, there’s a LOT of pictures to sort through :)

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