Andrew and I enjoyed a spring trip to Banff, Alberta which was originally intended as a skiing/snowboarding trip but with the weather warmer than usual, we skipped the hills and headed for the hiking trails instead. The entire trip was anchored by a family trip (the first time my entire family was out of province altogether!) to accept our second Master Breeder shield for our family dairy farm, Crovalley Holsteins. The Master Breeder awards are announced annually by Holstein Canada in the dairy world and are the equivalent to the Masters in golf or the Academy Awards of the acting world. The first part of our family trip saw us in Edmonton, Calgary and then Banff for the final awards portion of the Convention which is where Andrew and I decided to extend our stay to take in the mountains.
There were a few moments of rain throughout our trip but for the most part, it was great weather to take in hiking (not too hot, not too cold) and get out to enjoy the great outdoors. After hiking a few hundred thousand steps, I can't say it was the most relaxing trip like our time in Mont Tremblant earlier this year but the breathtaking views and fresh air made for an awesome experience in the Rocky Mountains. We really are so fortunate as Canadians to have the views and vast landscapes we do in our country from coast to coast to enjoy!
(1) Downtown Banff with the picturesque Cascade mountain in the background.
(2) A stunning photo taken from the top of Tunnel Mountain which we hiked. The mountain overlooks the town of Banff but also offers amazing views from all angles.
(3) A little 20 minute drive took us out to Lake Minnewanka north of Banff and this beautiful body of the bluest water.
(4) Another hike that was recommended to us by friends was Grassi Lakes Trail in Canmore, which included two beautiful ponds of emerald-green water (thanks for the recommendation, Lyns and Michelle!)
(5) Seeing wildlife in their natural element was a highlight for me and we found these two 'locals' close to downtown Banff. They didn't mind that we were being tourists and taking their photo.. I think they're use to this by now. We also saw a black bear but didn't have our cameras on us in time to get a photo. Boo!
(6) The iconic Fairmont Banff Springs hotel with Sulphur Mountains in the distance.
(7) Another shot of the vibrant blue water from Lake Minnewanka.
(8) Enjoying the views together from atop Tunnel Mountain. Nice touch with the chairs... both for pictures AND resting after quite the hike.
(9) With all the landscape shots we took, I had to include a photo of Andrew and I because we DID take photos of us on the trip :) This is on the bridge over the Bow River which runs through Banff with Cascade Mountain in the background.
There were so many other photos I could have included from our horseback riding adventure, visit to the Banff Hot Springs, Johnston Canyon hike and trip out to Lake Louise but I thought I would end with my favourite photo of all from our trip, our family 'selfie' with our new Master Breeder shield award. I am SO proud to have worked alongside them to achieve this family accomplishment :)