Highway 93: The Icefields Parkway, Alberta

Sometimes, browsing around blogland, things present themselves unexpectedly. Like, for me, happening upon the amazing images of the Canadian winter of christophermartinphotography.com. 

I live in an area that is truly blessed and beautiful, and it is always amazing to find other, parallel areas where Nature shows us its outrageous best, amped up to full volume. Once, I was fortunate enough to spend a cold, clear winter’s day driving the Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada, a place so spectacular it hurts. 

There was nothing I could do but write about it…( and start saving for the next visit!)

“At first, straightlining between dark firs, the journey was pretty much like any other. The road unfurled steadily ahead, a broad white ribbon, rising now and then to loop around crags of storm-petrel grey, dipping to the broad plains of valley floor. River-empty snow plains stretched laterally to the toeholds of soaring mountains.canada 025.JPG

Occasionally, a solitary wooden finger post at the roadside distinguishing one or other peak, jabbing at the sky..canada 081

Since leaving Banff at 10.20, we had passed two trucks and a van. Now, as the car clock showed 1.00, the white world began a slow advance. Creeping inwards, the land rose up, bearing its vastness down onto the highway , pools of shadow flowing in increasingly across the sun…

The seemingly infinite snow fields now gathered and hunched closer to the roadside, occasional steam rising spirit-like from hidden rivers,.

canada 083

Cathedral-high waterfalls hung precariously where they had frozen, spilling from cliff-edge to roadside,. Captured light raged turquoise from inside the icicles.

Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls

canada 111

We turned the heating up, and the radio off, and watched as the mountains hauled themselves close enough to squeeze the sun out of the sky at the end of the road.

canada 209.JPG

We had some way to go. We stopped in the shadow of a tree, unravelled by winter and stepped out, the sharp air catching our breath.

gigantic Canadian crow on icepark highway

Time waited. The silence roared…..”

Ice at edge of the Athabasca Glacier

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