Monday, June 2, 2014

Highway 1A: West to East

A few days ago, instead of taking the usual Trans-Canada Highway 1, we decided to take "the back road" to Calgary.

It started when we turned off H1 at Castle Mountain onto he 1A, and followed that slow, winding road for about an hour. No wildlife to be seen, besides a few crows and a pair of suicidal squirrels, but the speed limit is very low so it was an enjoyable ride watching the scenery trundle by. It was pretty heavily treed, so not many scenic opportunities until we popped back onto H1 just before Banff:

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I also took a panoramic series from the lookout here - it's currently the banner image on my photography Facebook page, so pop across and have a look! (I'm running a contest over there, if you're interested in a chance to win a pet photo shoot!)

At Canmore, we (after a short unscheduled trip around one of the neighbourhoods) got back onto 1A, also known as the Bow Valley Parkway. The scenery was pretty but I knew the "must have" shots would be on the way back, with the Rockies in the background. We did find a small herd of horses, though, so had to spend a few minutes there ...

One of the Herd Stallions

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View more of these horse photos in the horse gallery on my website.

After a hectic time finding our way around the city, country bumpkins that we are, we headed home. The plan was to do the 1A in reverse, but we ended up in one of those darned "right turn only" lanes that pop up with no warning in Calgary. After navigating around the university district for about 20 minutes before landing back on H1, by which time we (or rather, I, the driver) were too stressed to try to find the Bow Valley Parkway, and decided to head straight home.

On our way back through Kootenay National Park, this black bear crossed the road right in front of us, so we had to stop to watch it for a while:

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I confess, I have saved the best for last, so I hope you kept following along! About 8.30am, literally minutes out of Radium Hot Springs, in Kootenay National Park, less than an hour after we left home, we come across this grizzly sow:

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This is only the second time I've seen a grizzly in the wild - and she had twins with her!!!

View more of these bear photos in the bear gallery on my website.

Next time, the BVP will definitely be driven east-to-west! And this wasn't the last time that it was driven west-to-east, either!  ;-)

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