The next portion of our road trip took us from the heart of the Canadian Badlands, through Calgary and on to Canmore, Alberta. We decided to book a hotel in Canmore because it really helped us keep costs down. Lodging within the village of Banff itself is quite pricey but just 10-15 minutes away you'll find more reasonable rates. The view from our room was beautiful and it wasn't long before we were starting our day in the park at the base of the Sulphur Mountain gondola. The ride itself was nothing less than spectacular. Sprawling vistas of jagged peaks and endless pine forests engulfed us. It brought tears to my eyes, something that would happen several times more. The trip up the mountain was a thrill for all of us. It's a strange feeling being lofted up to such heights in a tiny glass capsule. The ride was only a few minutes in total, but it was one of my top experiences of all time.
At the top of the gondola ( 2,281m / 7,486 ft up) we were surprised by the cool winds. I was glad we all brought light jackets on this trip because we needed them more than once despite it being mid August. The wooden walkways led us up to historic Sanson’s Peak Meteorological Station - a stone cabin topped with a wooden lookout. My only complaint would have to be the crowds. In some spots it became quite crowded, especially at the peak. I managed to stand my ground and get a decent picture of the cabin interior through scratched plexi glass. Not bad eh? Imagine towering above the forest, wind whipping at the window panes, curling up in a wooden bunk in the darkness. It would be both lonely and beautifully secluded from the rest of the world. This area is known as one of the best star gazing spots in Canada for it's low artificial light emissions. How that sky must light up!
The ride down the mountain, I tucked away my camera and just enjoyed the trip. Aquamarine lakes and sapphire skies, we floated through a postcard, engulfed in a feeling of wonder for this incredible world we share. It was perfect.