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Peyto Lake, one of the most iconic lakes in Canada.

Summer is winding down, so we decided to take a trip to Banff for the weekend.  In the past I have always made an agenda of what hikes to do and what to see, but this time we went with no plans or expectations other than to relax and make a smore or two around a campfire.  It turned out to be a phenomenal weekend.  I was able to cross a couple of things off of my bucket list including seeing the ever elusive Grizzly  (a female with three cubs!) and walking on a glacier.

We stayed at Castle Mountain, which just so happened to be the turnaround point for the Grand Fondo, a  bike race that goes through the national park, that was happening on Saturday, so Saturday morning we stood out by the road to cheer on the bikers as they passed.  It was so much fun, there was polka band playing for the riders, and Minda loved ringing bells as they passed.

After watching the ride for a while, we headed up the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper.  The drive along this stretch of Hwy  93 is ranked among the top 10 scenic drives in the world by National Geographic.  We only went half way to Jasper, turning around at the Colombia Icefield, but I cannot wait to go back and finish the drive.

Here is a quick photo diary with some of the highlights from the trip:

Minda cheering on the riders in the Banff Grand Fondo

The cool Polka Band that was playing for the Grand Fondo racers

We stumbled upon this momma grizzly with three cubs!

The momma grizzly bear snacking on berries with a cub. Look at that paw!

A huge Vulture (?) nest on the Castle Junction Bridge

Elk along the Bow Valley Parkway

Bridal Veil Falls was visible from a viewpoint along the highway

The Athabasca Glacier in Banff National Park

My Girls and I on the Athabasca Glacier

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