Saturday, 3 October 2015

Recent Trip Out West

One of the reasons I haven't blogged much lately is because we have had the fortune this year of doing quite a bit of traveling and sight-seeing. One of our recent trips has been to Alberta, Canada. There was so much to see and do! We must have exclaimed "wow!" more than a hundred times each, it was truly spectacular. How anyone can see such awesomeness in God's creation and doubt that there is a very wonderful Creator is truly beyond me.

Today I'll blog a little about the Columbia Ice Fields. This was one of the bigger highlights of that trip. My husband had been planning this trip for more than 6 months, it is something he has been wanting to do for a long time so he wanted to make every second count.

The Columbia Ice Field is located in Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. It is the largest ice field in the North American continent.

We took the "Ice Field Parkway" to get to this, our first destination in our trip out west.

These photos do not do the actual real-life experience of the drive justice...

..but they give you a glimpse of the incredible splendour of what we saw

This chalet style building housed the ticket counters for our icy adventure
as well as two cafeterias (one of them an all-you-can-eat buffet)
washrooms and a gift shop (of course)
and a room where you could watch a video that told all about this ice field

This was our view of the glacier from the parking lot of the "chalet".
From the tour we learned it has diminished by quite a lot from the time it was first discovered

From the above image you can see how much it has receded
in the recent past, and that goes for the depth as well as the length of it 

Our guide explained that the ice reached way up and connected some
of the surrounding mountains halfway up to their peaks 
when it was first discovered in the 1800's.
He showed us an old photograph which was taken at that time.

This is me on the glacier next to our ice field bus. It was gigantic!
The guide explained that the Canadian company which made these buses
made only 23 of them, 22 are used by Brewster
which is the company which provided us this tour. 
The 23rd bus was used by the U.S. for an expedition to Antarctica.
These vehicles reach a maximum speed of a whopping
12 mph!!!! :)
and each tire costs $5,000

I have many other photos that were taken with my camera (these were taken with my cellphone)
however I haven't uploaded them onto my computer this is all you get, for now...
The ice of the glacier is incredibly thick, several hundred meters thick, 
and contain deep cracks that are covered with snow.
Our guide cautioned us to remain within the marked areas to be safe
because if someone happened to fall into one of these crevasses
 they might not be able to recover him or her. 
Of course we played it safe, but there were a couple adventurous (or stupid?)
people that went beyond the marked areas, however we all made it back to the bus safely.
 It felt much colder on the glacier than it did by the "chalet" building. It must have been
at least 20 degrees colder and the wind blew incessantly.
The guide told us these katabatic winds blow continually over the glacier. 

We also did the skywalk while we were there.

I only took two photos of this with my cellphone:

We had to take another bus to this location. 
This is what the walk looks like upon entering it.
They gave us this hand held device that explained what they wanted to tell about this walk
however I mostly looked at the magnificent landscape
and read a few of the  signs that were mounted along the walk.

This is the picture of it that Brewster has on it's website (link provided above)
So, I hope you enjoyed this portion of the incredible journey that we were able to experience on our excursion out west. I hope it inspires you to save your pennies and see this for yourself. You won't be disappointed!
I'll post more highlights of our trip as time allows me. In the meantime, here are some links if you'd like to learn more about this beautiful natural wonder:


  1. Hi Susan,
    It looks like a wonderful time! I'm sure glad you were able to do all these things especially to get out on the glacier. :) Canada is a beautiful country, and although I am partial to BC, all of the provinces have such an unique beauty to them.


  2. I lived in California most of my life, Ken promised to make me "fall in love" with Canada when we began getting serious about each other....have to say for being part of a fallen creation, Canada is still VERY special :)

  3. Also should add that our trip had such tight time constraints, we packed in so much, and am truly sorry we didn't get to meet, but I sincerely hope we go to your area again and next time will be sure to have that coffee with you :)

  4. Hi Susan,
    Maybe another time when you are here or if I head out east we can meet up. I know how tight time is when one is travelling. :) Glad you were able to enjoy so much of my area of the world. :)


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