Tag archives for Alberta

Andrew in Alberta

After nearly two full weeks on the road, I bring you the fully-finished, half-hour long TV show highlighting my very recent travels in Alberta. My aim in making this video was to capture all the things I love best about Alberta: the sheer size of the place, the awesome nature and vast wilderness, the animals…

Back in college, the hardest class I ever took was not Econ 110 or Statistics 100 or Russian Literature 440. No—the hardest class I ever took was an elective gym class: Ukrainian Folk Dancing. I took the class on a whim—I have no dance experience or talent, nor do I have an ounce of Ukrainian…

Albertosaurus was shorter than most of the RVs I’ve been stuck behind on my journey around the great province of Alberta, but as a smaller ancestor of T. rex, he still packed a serious bite. Somehow I fell in love with this species that is no more, perhaps because this dinosaur of the Late Cretaceous was…

Brushing Chico is the most fun I’ve had in weeks. His coat is sleek and velvety, and with every stroke, a hundred little white hairs fall away, leaving his shiny and muscled surface quivering in the faint light of this century-old barn. The walls and roof beams are built with rough-hewn tree trunks, the bark…

I was hoping to find cowboys on the Cowboy Trail but instead I met Elvis. When I poked my head into the old doorway, I was greeted by Marvin Garriott, guitar in hand, swinging to his own jaunty cover of “That’s Alright”. “That was the first Rock ‘n Roll song,” he told me after playing…

My very first job out of high school was cleaning up roadkill, all along the highways and back roads in my county. It was very depressing. There’s nothing like picking up dead deer and smushed racoons all summer to convince a kid that going to college isn’t such a bad idea. It also had a…

Never schedule wildlife into your calendar, because they probably won’t show. Grizzly bears are the elusive megafauna of the Canadian Rockies and the mere knowledge of their presence had me on the hunt, hoping to catch a glimpse of the impressive animal. My search for bears was accompanied by an entire film crew, as well…

Every object tells a story—some strange, or comical, or sad. This is why I love museums—to see what counts as treasure in a place, to meet objects I never met before, and to hear their stories. On the top floor of the Glenbow Museum in downtown Calgary, behind locked doors, I saw shelves upon shelves…

Who knew it was so wildly hot in western Canada? I did not—because I only know this place in winter, when the snow falls deeper than the deep end at the swimming pool and the wind warrants a scarf and long underwear. But now, in August, Alberta is nothing but wide blue skies and semicolon…

Two full weeks of world-class skiing may have spoiled me rotten, but I’m still enough of a discerning traveler to have picked my favorites. Bear in mind, Canada is a huge place and my ski tracks only dilly-dallied across a tiny corner of it, but for what it’s worth, here’s what I liked best: Skiing…

Dogpowered

Of all the many ways I’ve traveled in the world, dogsled is by far the most exuberant mode of transportation I have experienced. To have eight eager, happy dogs all yipping, yapping, and barking with excitement is thrilling — and that’s before they take off running across the snow, pulling you behind them. At times…

Blowing Up Snow

People say that I have a cool job, but I think I just found an even cooler one. Imagine going to work everyday and blowing up gigantic snowdrifts — that’s pretty much a day in the life of the avalanche crew at Lake Louise, in Alberta, Canada. Even though it sounds (and is) great fun,…

Ice Climbing

Once you fall, the fear of falling goes away. That’s what I learned halfway up a wall of dripping blue-white ice in Banff National Park. Or rather, I learned it halfway down, as my harness halted my plunge and bounced me against the frozen upper falls of Johnston Canyon. I fell because a saucer-size chunk…

I flew into Calgary yesterday afternoon and then caught the first bus to Banff. The 90-minute drive starts out straight, flat, brown, and boring–but soon, the bare white wheat fields ripple into true hills that roll into the western distance and its promise of great mountains. And then, before you have time to guess when…