Canada: Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper National Park, plus the train to Vancouver.

This has been the hardest of all travelblogs for me to write. I did not know why until a number of reasons started floating around in my head for examination.  One is that almost all of you all have been there.  What can I say to you that you have not seen, heard and enjoyed?  I will work on it.

What can I say about such beauty and such a pristine environment?  First of all, it was not so pristine. We picked up a group of folks traveling and I shall not mention what country. I shan’t. After they all sat down, one of the individuals started coughing. You have never heard or experienced such coughing, unless you were listening to someone die.  I thought with each episode, he would be dead within minutes. He had a napkin up to his mouth each time to collect the specimens.

The bus driver was visibly unnerved. The healthy passengers were visibly unnerved. I was sick to my stomach knowing that I was being exposed to something from an exotic country, something that my immune system has never been exposed to or hopefully will be again.  Did we get sick?  No. Not yet! The next day, as it was a two-day tour from Lake Louise to Jasper, the dying man stayed back in his room at the hotel. What a relief.

You are not reading this blog to find out about a coughing man, but it was part of the trip. You checked in to hear about the majestic landscape and other worldly scenes. You are reading to find out about the power of nature so dramatically displayed. You probably would enjoy the waking up to a dusting of the mountaintops with snow and you most likely would enjoy the thoughts about the antiquity of our world as it displays itself. I know these grandiose scenes were here since the beginning of the planet and I know many, many of you have been here, so I will have to write this blog in pictures. If a picture is worth a thousand words as is said, then, here you go with 10,000 words. Oh, if it were only the click of a shutter for a thousand words, how delightful, how perfectly divine, how non- taxing.

Maybe you will see something you did not see when you were here. If you were not here, maybe you will see something you want to see. Maybe you will make the trip. We loved being in these beautiful places, and we just loved being in Canada with Canadians. I loved seeing the Canadian flag waving in so many places. I thought of my mother, my grandmother, my grandfather and my aunts and uncles seeing this flag and calling her home.


This is what you encounter at the top of the Gondola Ride in Banff Springs.

Awesome Lake Louise!

We met some goat friends along the way to Jasper National Park.

This is the Maligne Canyon Waterfall. We walked along for awhile in the canyon and how refreshing it was to be there.

On the road again…

Thank you to Curtis and Diane. We enjoyed our time with you in your lovely Heritage Home. Happy Birthday Diane and many, many more.  We had a wonderful visit in Vancouver and especially in Richmond, BC. Your hospitality and gracious ways are endearing as well as captivating.

Guess who is coming to dinner? Yes, that is a real bear. Do not worry, I pack a long lens.

The view from the back of our train heading from Jasper National Park overnight to Vancouver, BC.

We had an astral occurrence while viewing Medicine Lake in Jasper National Park. There is a message of return and create in this photo for me. What is here for you?

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Keith
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 14:32:22

    The photos ALL look like postcards. WOW! You took one of my dream trips and now I want to go all the more. So glad that you didn’t get sick.


  2. Sheila Clapkin
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 15:02:17

    My photo professor says my shots are point and shoot stuff. He is right, but I can do the other more intimate stuff too don’t you think? Thanks so much for your comments. I love to hear your enthusiasm. I loved the photos we got on this trip even though you cannot capture the total effect of divine nature.


  3. terri dokovna
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 19:17:01

    as always, love your blogs.

    The photos were particularly splendid. When we visted there several years back, there was a raging fire going in that part of Canada. The haze and smoke…well, your pix sure show the magnificence of nature.


  4. esther
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 22:05:38

    Your blog is wonderful, I can imagine the dying man from a third world country! the photos are so clear and beautiful, especially the bear. Thomas Mangelsen would envy that shot. Glad you had a good time, glad you are home. Esther


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Oct 26, 2010 @ 22:15:16

      Thank you so much for this wonderful comment. I appreciate it.
      I think I took a writers license and said the man was dying for interest.
      Shame on me, he was just very, very sick and he should have sat in the back
      of the bus. Actually, never mind the writer’s license, he was so sick he seemed and sounded like a dying person.
      We were only 9 people on a huge 44 seat bus, but he maintained that he should sit in the very front seat
      giving us all his germs.


  5. Bette Sallus
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 10:09:43

    Thank you for reminding us of the wonderful trip we took to Canada about 19 years ago. We traveled by car and stayed 1-3 days in each place and then drove home via Seattle(I-5) and the the Coast highway (your trip to Pt. Reyes, etc.). You captured the essence of our trip and we had no sickies with us! Looking forward to seeing you both next month.
    Love, Bette & Gerry


  6. N
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 14:37:16

    Tonight I got upset at a company who screwed up a order I really needed. But I got over my stress by viewing your Lake Louise pictures.
    I am keeping your pictures & throwing out my stress meds.
    Your pictures put me in a great place.


  7. Diantha
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 14:38:47

    I’d love to see the telephoto packing mama on the road. Your photos are beautiful. I see you are in full swing. Thank you for sharing them with us.


  8. Banff
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 13:15:06

    Great pictures. I also ran across a bear driving through Banff. You are really brave to photograph one. Good job.


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Nov 14, 2010 @ 13:20:26

      Ed, I have been thinking about your comment for a couple of weeks now. I am not so brave. I have to tell you the truth. Yes, I pack a long, really long lens, but this bear was in captivity. I am not that brave, but my bravery has not been tested. I would love that it were, and then I would be able to tell you if I am brave or not. I am brave just to withstand life, right?? Thanks for reading and especially for the comment.


    • Janet Bowes
      Dec 07, 2010 @ 19:21:37

      I think that you should have taken a photo of that bear driving through Banff!


      • Sheila Clapkin
        Dec 07, 2010 @ 20:16:17

        Thank you for commenting. I should have is right. I’d like to go back with more time to photograph animals.
        Do you have any bear photos? Any animal photos? I have a few I am very proud of and know that I really had to go some to get them

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