Picture of the Week #8

Picture of the Week #8

Hello friends,

If you didn’t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want!Β πŸ™‚Β https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/Β 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


Here is my picture of the week!

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We have recently gotten our first little snow fall in Ottawa, ON, but I did not get any pictures of it so I thought I would bring back an old picture with a bit of snow! I love the first snow fall, it gets me all excited for winter! And with winter comes Christmas! haha I know its early, but its the best time of the year!

Have you gotten your first snowfall yet where you live?

Recent Posts:

Spooky Halloween Tag 2018

Picture of the Week #7

Exploring Haunted Houses at Saunders Farm!

Until next time,

xoxo

Vermilion Lakes Road | Banff, AB

Vermilion Lakes Road | Banff, AB

Hello friends,

I have been to Banff, Alberta Canada many times and have always seen this road called “Vermilion Lakes Rd” right before you pass the large BANFF sign entering into the town. I always thought, hmm whats down there but never went! So on a very cold day in December we decided to head down it.

It was my parents and myself in the truck slowly making our way down the road. At the beginning of this day my mom made me get in between them in the middle seat of the front of the truck… it was fun for about a whole 5 minutes until I started to cramp up! haha I am not a tall person, but I do have longer legs and bad joints so you could only imagine how sitting with your knees around your ears wold feel like!

By the time we got to this road I had transferred to the back of the truck, much more comfortable! Now this way I could shuffle around in the back seat popping out of any window I pleased. In this fancy truck of my dads the back windows rolled down too, which was very convenient for getting shots!

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So most of the lake was frozen , but as we would drive along we found a few “natural hot springs” where the water was open. I thought these were so cool, even though I have learned all about them in school haha everything about nature still amazes me! In these springs too there were little duckies! So cute!

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He looked so out of place though with all the snow around him! It was like his flock left him behind 😦

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Now, the road wasn’t too narrow, but also wasn’t very wide with the amount of snow on the “shoulders”. It was quite comfortable when you were the only vehicle on it, and got a wee bit tight once there was one coming the other direction, which really I think there was only one or two.

As we kept driving we came across this massive natural hot spring! I don’t know if the picture does it justice. We could literally see the steam coming off of it.

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It froze all the shrubs that bordered the waters edge.

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I love the look of crisp frozen vegetation. I guess this is one of the perks of living in a place where it can get so cold!

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Now, these next pictures come with a story! haha so I don’t know if you know this, but as people age they become a bit … well entertaining to say the least. (love you parents hahah πŸ™‚ ) So my mom has always loved cattails. Every time when we drove across Canada in the summer when I was younger, heading back home to Ontario, I always remember her making my dad stop so she could grab a few cattails.

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So what do you think she did when she saw all of those! “Howard go get me a cattail!”

And out he got! haha into the -25 degree weather to go get his “lovely bride” as he calls her, a cattail!

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But it doesn’t stop at just getting her one. It needs to be absolutely perfect. So as you can see, he is inspecting them before he made a decision on which one to bring back! Because he knew that if it wasn’t good enough, he would be back out there.

 

He couldn’t decide on one, so he came back with multiple … smart man.

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I nag my parents a lot, but they are he best people to go on a day drive with and find these cool places to take pictures of ❀

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And with that another post comes to an end. Have any of you ever seen natural hot springs in the winter? Or better yet been to any?! I love the natural hot springs πŸ™‚

Recent Posts:

Random Road with a View | Banff, AB

Liebster Award 2018

Until next time,

xoxo

Random Road with a View | Banff, AB

Random Road with a View | Banff, AB

Hello friends,

Today’s post is brought to you by a random adventure! As most are on my blog πŸ™‚

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Now this morning, my dad and I had planned to go snowboarding at Sunshine Village, which is a ski and snowboard resort in Banff, Alberta Canada. I highly recommend stopping by there and going for a day if you have never been and are in the area!

Even if you have never done skiing or snowboarding in your life you should still try it out! The mountains are one of the best places for beginners to learn. Lots of space, very wide runs (which mean they are not as crowded), and usually some nice powder … the snow you want! πŸ˜‰ You can get one on one lessons, which is what my boyfriend did his first day boarding this trip, and in a few hours you will be comfortable enough to try it out by yourself. I will warn you that you will fall A LOT while learning, but it is all part of the process! Just DON’T put your hands behind you when you fall … or you will end up hurting yourself like my boyfriend did a few years ago his first time out!

…when will men listen … never is the answer haha

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Anyways, back to the post at hand! My dad and I ended up going back to our cabin and picking my mom up to go out exploring. We went up this road at the beginning of our journey to find the road was closed. However, we parked and I hopped out for some pictures in the minus a million degree weather. This cute cabin was behind us so I snapped a few of it. While I was doing that, all I could think of was wow, I bet they are warm!

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Next I trudged through the fairly deep snow to get some pictures of this massive valley we found! It was a decently nice day out besides how cold it was, so I was able to finally get clearer pictures. Unlike that first day if you remember from my other posts haha oh was the snow ever coming down that day!

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No matter how many times I come to Banff, I am always able to find new little look off points or little back roads to explore. The possibilities of adventures in the Rockies are endless πŸ™‚

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By this point in the picture taking my dad and mom have made it out into the deep snowy field where I was. My mom was so cute all bundled up in her winter gear and her hat ties done up around her chin to keep it on haha I was a frozen little nugget and so as soon as she made it to me I turned around and headed for the truck!

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Back in the truck now as I thawed out, I went through the pictures on my camera to see if any are decent. I always find it hard to actually see the quality of the pictures on that tiny camera screen, I like to blow mine up on the computer!

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I thought the little pit stop down this random road was a success. Now we went off to eat a late lunch back in the town of Banff!

Do you guys ever venture down random roads looking for one thing, yet finding another? Let me know down below!

Until next time,

xoxo

Palliser Expedition | Banff, AB 2017

Palliser Expedition | Banff, AB 2017

Hello friends,

Today’s post will be a continuation of our look off journey that first snowy day in Banff Alberta, Canada. We were driving up the windey road and the first stop we made was Two Jack Lake, then we continued driving and came across another view point called Palliser Expedition.

I have never even heard of this before we came across it and I read this sign haha I took a close up one if you enjoy reading these explanations! I know my boyfriend and father both always read every single word on every sign at every stop we make!

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The stone that every time you go to a lookoff you feel obligated to read

Although, this time my boyfriend stayed in the car because it was a wee bit chilly outside. Meanwhile I was running back and forth along this rock wall looking for the best picture opportunities in the blizzard we were in! haha

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I spun around and snapped away. I have cleared up the pictures quite a bit since before editing them you couldn’t really see much due to the snowfall!

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This sign had a very rustic and weathered look, which made sense since its out in all types of weather haha there were many names and initials carved into it.

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I wish it would have been a clearer day because the views would have been so much better. There are days where I love massive amount of snowfalls where the huge snowflakes fall down. These days though, are wen I am inside all cozy and warm with some hot chocolate … not when I am at view points! haha

View points on clear days are incredible. Especially when you are in the Rockies, because the mountains go on for days and never seem to end! I know when we get clear days in Calgary, and you look towards the Rockies, they seem to go on forever.

Do you prefer snowy or clear days? Let me know in the comments below!

If you want to learn more about the Palliser Expedition click here!

Until next time,

xoxo

A Herd of Elk in Banff | AB, Canada 2017

A Herd of Elk in Banff | AB, Canada 2017

Hello friends,

I am sitting here today in a coffee shop staring at my screensaver on my laptop. It is of the herd of elk my boyfriend and I spotted in Banff! This was on our very first morning there and it was incredible.

All throughout growing up I have seen so much wildlife. I was very fortunate to grow up on the greenbelt in Fort McMurray, AB (back when the city was still quite small) where we got to see a variety of wildlife through our kitchen window. It came to a point where my dad would say “Girls! Come down here there are deer in the backyard!” and we were like ya ya we know haha Its the same thing for the Northern Lights; I never realized that most people don’t ever see them in their life. We would get out of the old purple safari van coming home from gymnastics late at night and see the Northern Lights before we went inside the house! So casual and common for us!

Anyways, back to the elk! Like you would have read in one of my latest posts (linked here if you haven’t read it), we got up early to drive to Canmore so I could take pictures of the sunrise, but sadly it was snowing out and the sky was pure white all day. So we went driving around. On our way driving to Two Jack Lake we saw a car pulled over and we were trying to see if they were looking at wildlife, however we couldn’t see any so we just kept going. Now on the way back though, that same vehicle was parked there! They were probably parked there for 20 mins or so. And now I understood why! haha There was a herd of elk back in the trees all lying down and sleeping! It was so adorable and surreal to see!

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So of course I was like “pull over pull over pull over!!” and the boyfriend obliged and did so πŸ™‚

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And voila! I got these pictures that you see! I am oh so happy I had my new lens with me or else these would not have turned out as good. Because if you know anything about wildlife, you need to give them their space. Now as a photographer, sometimes that is very difficult to do because you are so fascinated with everything and want all the pictures at every different angle possible. However,Β  I was respectful to them and left lots of room.

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Now I will tell you about this carload of people though… they were not too smart. So first of all, they had iphones as their cameras, which is all fine and dandy but the zoom is quite .. well shitty to say the least πŸ™‚ So this lady got out with her little iphone and was walking towards this massive herd of elk, like so close I was actually scared for her! The herd was in the bush right, so we can only see however many they want us to see. There was probably so many more further back in the bush too.

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One of my favourite pictures

Now in Banff, if you ever go, you will be one of these touristy people and maybe not from Canada too. Banff has so many tourists from all over the world who have no clue how to act with these very large animals. Which is more so sad for the animals then the idiot people. But I will just give you some advice if you are ever in this situation, go ahead and take pictures if you want but give them their space. Never go sticking an iphone in their face because you don’t know how they are going to react!

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Anyways, I got back into the car and my hands were frozen so I had to sit on them and let them warm up before I checked if I got any decent pictures haha and I did so I was like okay babe we can go now. And he was like “no, I want to see how this plays out” haha talking about the iphone tourist!

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But we did not end up staying, I made him leave eventually. After this adventure we went into town and got small gloves I could wear while taking pictures in -25 degrees because holy cow do your hands ever freeze! And I can’t wear my big knitted mitts when I take pictures or else I will hit every button on the camera.

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This was the main little part of the herd that was showing themselves in the more open coverage.

I felt so lucky to have been able to see these beautiful animals in their natural state. If you ever do go to Banff and you go for a drive I guarantee you will see some animals so have your camera ready.

Have you guys ever been to Banff or seen elk where you live? I would love to know in the comments!

Until next time,

xoxo

The Grizzly House Review| Banff, AB 2017

The Grizzly House Review| Banff, AB 2017

Hello friends,

Today’s post will be a review of The Grizzly House in Banff, Alberta Canada! The Grizzly House is a famous fondue restaurant in Banff. Ever since I was young I knew what it was but never went there! There is a rustic/casual atmosphere welcoming to both families or couples.

My boyfriend and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary while we were in Banff for New Years and he made us reservations at The Grizzly House! Now our reservation was for 8 o’clock or something so very late after a long day of snowboarding out in the cold! However, it was definitely a cool experience and I recommend it to all who visit Banff!

I will say however it is a more expensive dinner. If you want the fondue meal (which we did obviously..duh) there are a few options that you can pick from. It is a four course meal where you have options for every course! For the fondue dinner option, at least 2 or more people have to be ordering it.

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This was what I chose for my first course. It was their french onion soup. Now, before this meal I have never tried this kind of soup, but I always heard of it. And I will be honest I thought it was something completely different! haha I was expecting this creamy delicious onion soup … it was nothing of the sort. Well, kind of kidding. It was pretty good! The flavour was awesome, but those chunks on top were bread and I am not the biggest fan of soggy bread in my soup (same goes for soggy crackers .. ew!). Underneath there was more of a broth with caramelized onions in it, which i did enjoy!

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Here is a flat lay of the table when we got our soup. We had our wine, which was delicious! I ended up ordering the same one on New Years haha it was a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand. They gave us each a million forks, which lets be honest, who knows what fork is for what! Not me! So I just guessed haha still had one left over at the end so I probably did it wrong.

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Anyways now we are onto round 2!Β  I mean course 2 .. oops! When I get a four course meal it almost feels like I am doing different battle rounds with the food.. which one will defeat me?! We will not know until my stomach says “No More!”… spoiler: this time I made it to the end πŸ˜‰

So back on topic, we ordered the cheese fondue. Very good choice I must say. It was made with some type of red wine and came with nice fresh bread to dip in it! It also came with fully caramelized garlic cloves. The waiter said that if we like garlic we could add a few and smoosh them around… we added them all! haha SO good!

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Next came out the main course … all the meat! Sorry vegans hahah (aka my sista)

So for the meat course, there were 6Β  different ones you could choose from depending on what meat you wanted/how many oz you wanted in total. I ended up getting the Hunter Fondue Dinner which had buffalo, wild boar and venison (my favourite) and my boyfriend got the biggest, and most expensive, plate of course, which was the Exotic Fondue Dinner. It included buffalo, venison, shark, kangaroo, alligator, frog legs, and rattlesnake. It was suppose to come with ostrich, but they were out so he got kangaroo instead!Β  So much food, but very cool to try!

I didn’t get a picture with the hot rock (what we cooked the meat on) fully loaded because I was starving and it got the best of me…next time I will do better! haha To cook the meat you can choose either the hot rock or hot oil. The hot rock is what they recommend though and it was more appealing to me since I am not a huge fan of very oily food!

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With the meat came four different sauces: onion bacon, spicy tomato, horseradish dijon, honey garlic, and teriyaki abbe! The listing goes from right to left with the teriyaki abbe in the middle. My boyfriend was most excited for the horseradish one and the teriyaki abbe got me! My least favourite was the spicy tomato, but all still good! Definitely tried everyone as should you if you ever go πŸ™‚

 

 

Next we move onto desert. And yes yes I know the restaurant is for the cool meat and everything, but honestly the chocolate fondue at the end was so utterly amazing!! It was a melted toblerone bar!

 

 

To dip in this delicious melted goodness was strawberries, banana, melon, orange, apple, and wafer chunks. Personally the strawberry and wafers were my favourite to dip! I set one wafer piece aside till I was done with everything else to dip so I could finish with my favourite haha does anyone else do that? We tried to finish all of the chocolate because it was so good but we simply couldn’t.

By the time we finished up with this we were so full! I tried to pace myself throughout the meal, but its quite hard when everything is so good!

The tables that they had were pretty cool too because they were all made of old corks put in this coating to hold it all together. Very neat!

Rating: 8/10

Yes I know some of you may be shocked..”why only an 8?!” First of all, the restaurant was freezing cold, I ate with my coat on for most of the meal. Not sure if the heat wasn’t working, but damn when its -28 outside you need heat! So that made the meal less pleasant. There are also these phones placed all around the restaurant that ring and you can answer them and I guess talk to another table? So that is kind of cool, but also annoying to have phones ringing all throughout the meal. Lastly, I am not a huge fan of cooking my own food when I go out to eat. It was a kind of cool experience, but I wasn’t quite sure how to cook some of it so I ended up with a few raw pieces that I couldn’t eat. Once they see that you have no more meat on the hot rock they take it away, so I could not even throw it back on!

Besides those few not amazing things, the rest was great! I would recommend to try it out if you are ever in the area and want a more expensive/unique dinning experience. Like both of the fondue’s were amazing, the cheese and chocolate, and they are a fondue restaurant so they nailed that!

Let me know if you have any questions about the restaurant and I will do my best to answer them! Also a question for all of you, have you ever been to The Grizzly House? If so, how was your experience? I would love to know! Also, if there are any other cool fondue restaurants you’ve been to!

P.S sorry for the iphone quality pictures, we were on a fancy date so I didn’t wanna bring out the big gun!

Until next time,

xoxo

Two Jack Lake | December 2017

Two Jack Lake | December 2017

Hello friends,

In todays post I will start to go through our trip that we just went on for New Years!

We hit the road on the early morning of the 28th of December, 2017. Heading out from Calgary Alberta, Canada to Banff, Alberta Canada for New Years! I told my boyfriend I wanted to be in Canmore, AB for breakfast and sunrise because I wanted nice sunrise mountain pictures. However, things did not go as planned. I saw on the weather network that it was suppose to snow all day, but I thought maybe it would start a bit later….well it didn’t. We got to Canmore for what would have been sunrise, but it was a cloudy snowy day! I was sad, obviously, but I still went out and took pictures haha

We ate that morning at The Summit Cafe in Canmore. It was a quaint little place that had pretty decent food! The only restaurant to ever ask me if I wanted 6 or 12 pieces of fruit when I ordered a fruit bowl on the side! Lots of options on the menu and you could add baileys to any drink! haha I would have but we didn’t see that sign until we already ordered! Once we were done with that meal, we headed out into the snow. The roads were in bad conditions because of all the ice and snow, so driving around on all these back roads we were super careful! We saw many cars in the ditches, not due to accidents, but because they were driving too fast for the road conditions.

The first place we decided to head to was Two Jack Lake. While the boy was finishing eating, I was googling best places for a great view in Canmore despite the fact that you couldn’t really see at all that day! I wish we would of had better weather because then we could have went to some really cool places for pictures!

So we headed up the road. Of course I was a nervous passenger because we were heading up this skinny, winding mountain road covered in snow…but the driver was alright you could say πŸ˜‰

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Finally we arrived at our destination. I hopped out so quick! Even though it was roughly -25 C without the wind chill….let’s just say the boyfriend stayed in the car while I froze my butt off!

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There was so many water spots (more like snow spots lol) on these pictures because of how much it was snowing! It took me so long to edit them! I would wipe my lens off before, during, and after every location, but it did nothing.

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Maybe one day in the future I will put a before and after post up of some pictures, because some of these look quite different after editing them! I was not even sure if I would be able to use them in a post. I tried to clear them up the best that I could!

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All of these pictures (except the road ones) I was standing in the same spot just turning a bit to give a different perspective.

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I would love to drive back up here on a clear day and see the amazing view! I am sure its stunning. I imagine mountains all in the background, because in some pictures you can kind of see them hiding in the snow fall!

Do you enjoy stopping at look offs when you are on road trips? I stop at ones I have already been to before just because views like these never seize to amaze me! Make sure to subscribe by going to the top right corner if you want to see/hear more about our trip!

Until next time,

xoxo

Bourgeau Lake/Harvey Pass | Banff, AB Canada Pt. 2

Bourgeau Lake/Harvey Pass | Banff, AB Canada Pt. 2

Hello friends,

Todays post is a continuation of part one! If you haven’t read it yet, click here! πŸ™‚

So we are now done our beautiful lunch, which was fruit, muffins, and peanut butter & honey sandwiches (so good!), and we are starting up to Harvey Pass! At this point I was exhausted, but I wanted to do it because of the views and pictures I could get haha

From Bourgeau Lake, it is about a 2.2 km slightly harder hike to Harvey Pass. This path leads to magnificent views.

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Already the mountains are so beautiful. I have literally never been this high on a mountain before. We were so close to the top!

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So you see that greyish rocky “path” … yeah that is what we hiked up. Let me tell you there was no path, we literally scrambled up rocks! Very loose rocks to say the least. I am so happy we had hiking poles because they helped soo much! Especially on the way down. You think they would help more on the way up, however it was very easy to slide on the way down and if you put your poles in front of you it helps a lot!

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There is Bourgeau Lake where we ate lunch at! I actually could not believe how much farther up we hiked after the huge hike we did just to get to the lake!

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Oh my gosh, this was the coolest part of the entire day I would have to say! Can you spot what is on top of the mountain?! It’s big horn sheep! There was quite a few of them up there, we could not believe that we actually saw them!

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And this is the farthest we got on Harvey’s Pass. You can continue around the lake and up further, but we were exhausted and had a long hike back. We also wanted to get back to the car before dark and our hour drive home!

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It was also so unbelievably windy at this point in the hike! I could not imagine going up higher on this mountain. We would have gotten blown off! It was so windy that it was hard to hear each other talk.

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Literally soooo close to the top of the mountain! πŸ™‚

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My man trying to see the sheep. We could see them better in my camera then in his binoculars!

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Still could not put my camera down even on the way back! I was in awe this entire hike….besides the fact that my legs were actually dying.

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I looove glacial water. So beautiful.

This was a picture we took at the highest point we hiked, you can see how windy it was because of my hair and he is wearing his hat strap! haha Well I hope you enjoyed our hike! I would definitely recommend doing it even though it was a challenge, because I have been to the rockies a million times, but I have never seen sights like these before πŸ™‚

Hope you guys enjoy living vicariously through my pictures! Would you continue to Harvey Pass or just stop at Bourgeau Lake?

Until next time,

xoxo

Bourgeau Lake/Harvey Pass | Banff, AB Canada Pt. 1

Bourgeau Lake/Harvey Pass | Banff, AB Canada Pt. 1

Hello friends,

Todays post will be about the Bourgeau Lake/Harvey Pass hike in Banff, Alberta Canada! We did this back in the summer when it was beautiful out with no snow! Although, right now in Calgary there is not any snow because we have had quite a few warm days. This makes me sad because I love snow at this time of the year! Trying to get all festive and everything! But anyways, lets get back on topic!

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Beautiful waterfalls on the hike to the lake!

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This hike is 7.2 km one way and a 6 hour round trip. Its a steady uphill hike that leads to Bourgeau Lake, which is absolutely stunning by the way! You hike through very lush forests and beautiful flower filled fields with gorgeous views surrounding you the entire time. Bourgeau Lake is the closest subalpine lake to the town of Banff.

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The glacially carved amphitheater provides a breath taking view of the lake. There are boulders right by the lake too which is where we ate lunch! For quite a hard hike there was lots of people there when we went!

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Some people stop at Bourgeau Lake, but we decided to continue up to Harvey Pass. The hike to Harvey Pass will be in my next post so make sure to subscribe to hear about it next!

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We also made a little friend at lunch time! I actually could not believe that we saw these guys on literally every hike we did this summer!

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Have you ever been to Banff?

Until next time,

xoxo