Canadian Rockies – Winter Before Lockdown

Hello again ! It’s been a while since I posted anything on “Off the Beaten Track” and so I just thought I’d first give a quick update for anyone who has followed my stories here previously (before going on to talk about our winter trip to the Rockies). It’s certainly not for the lack of interesting things to say, that I’ve been fairly quiet of late, merely a lack of time to write about these experiences and to give them the full justice that they deserve.

Writing now, in March 2020, travel to faraway (or even to some nearby) places, really isn’t on the cards right now. Indeed, most of the world seems to be grinding to a halt due to the challenges posed by the Corona virus. That said and very much hoping that the present storms will pass, it’s nice to have had the luxury to visit some beautiful places during the last year, some of which are definitely out of bounds for visitors for the next wee while.

In our age of refugee crises, political storms, populist movements, global biodiversity loss and climate change impact – being able to travel is quite a luxury that we certainly shouldn’t take for granted. It might be for a while, that we also have to learn to take greater delight in these little corners nearer to where we live: the stream that winds around our town or through our city greenspace, the forest glade – where we might glimpse a deer, a woodpecker or a squirrel, a wildflower meadow or the village duck pond…  These are everyday experiences and places that we don’t have to travel half way around the world to appreciate (and perhaps the world itself, would actually be a better-off place, if we did decide to stay closer to home for a while !).

However, enough of moralising and pointless reflection. Before the present lockdowns began, we had the good fortune to spend Christmas around Calgary and the Canadian Rockies amongst family members. We took a few trips to the mountains, the prairies, downtown Calgary and beyond.  The highlight though, must have been spending Christmas skiing at the Fernie Mountain Resort in BC which is famed for it’s powder snow and laid back “ski-bum” culture. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to do all this and didn’t postpone our trip, otherwise it would have been quite a wait until the next opportunity came along !

Anyway, without further ado, here are some impressions of our Canadian trip, devoid of my usual accompanying ramblings for once…

Skiing at Fernie Mountain Resort, BC Rockies:

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The Journey back from Fernie via Radium Hot Springs and Kooteney National Park:

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In Downtown Calgary:

Trip to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, in the Alberta “Badlands” – One of the World’s Best Paleontology Museums:

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An excursion to Banff National Park and Sulphur Mountain:

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Cross country skiing at Bragg Creek near Calgary:

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Bow River Valley and the Calgary Zoo:

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Anyway catch up again soon – and please stay healthy !

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