Two years ago I wasn't aware of the existence of a Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. It wasn't until seeing the Banff Film Festival on tour in Pittsburgh, PA in the summer of 2009 that I learned of Canada's premier national park.
The film festival, which focuses on adventure sports in beautiful locations around the world, has become a world wide sensation; drawing visitors from around the world to the tiny town of Banff in the Rocky Mountains to submit their films to be aired in the festival and following world tour. From the brief introduction from the tour, I knew this was one place I had to visit.
So when I accumulated enough miles for a frequent flier plane ticket good in the USA and Canada, I posed a question to the blogosphere and twitter universe: Where should I go that is far away from Ohio and photogenic? A near-unanimous response came back from the Canadian crowd: Banff National Park!
Due to the overwhelmingly large number of votes for Banff, I booked a plane ticket to Calgary and corresponding bus from Brewster Tours off to Banff, with 3 nights in the “village” of Lake Louise and 2 nights in the town of Banff as a brief mental break from thesis writing.
My original intent was to hike around Lake Louise and Moraine Lake while in the Northern part of the park and continue hiking around the town of Banff to the South. When I got to Lake Louise, something unexpected happened and turned out to be one big surprise – the lake was frozen over.