Yup! These three destinations represents all the places, and there are HUNDREDS of them, in our places that make for great ‘day’trippin’! Some under an hour, others just few hours away – either way – get up early and head to one of these great places and spend the day! I decided to go to Exshaw because there was something there that I had never heard of before…a WolfDog Sanctuary! Say what?! Yup. For real.
You are led into onto an acreage where you slip in a gated area and suddenly find yourself staring into the eyes of what would appear to be a wolf. In fact, they are rescue wolves, some first generation wolf, others 2nd or 3rd. There, you sit with Georgetta, who has dedicated her life to the care and nurturing of the rescue dogs, and you watch. And learn. And it’s pretty amazing.
NANTON. Well. What can I say about Nanton. Totally cool and completely authentic, this small town that is big on character has tons to offer for an afternoon outing! Great artisan shops, wonderful cafes and a candy store that will bring you to your knees. Not kidding – it brought me to my knees. I love candy and I love the candy store in Nanton. And all of Nanton for that matter. Not just a place to stop and pee, it’s a place to take a trip back in time! A place that has restored it’s buildings to what they once were….most excellent!
AND THE Ukrainian Village! Well, what can I say that you don’t know! It’s a wonderful day trip just minutes east of our city on HWY 16 and as soon as you pass through the gates, you’ve entered into a different era! An era of hard work when you consider that washing your clothes (with a washboard) could take all day and making biscuits and borscht and bread from scratch! I love this place and encourage you to take the time this summer!
Everybody’s heard of the Columbia Icefield! Whether you’ve actually been there or just heard about it or are thinking ‘oh yeah, I was there when I was, like, FIVE’…. it is a great place to visit! Truly! First off – it’s about an hour and a half from Jasper or about one hour and forty-five from Banff…so take you pick on which side of HWY 93 you decide to drive in from. We drove from Banff and what a trip! First off – HWY 93 in itself is an experience!
Pack a lunch and pull off at one of the many picnic/parking/trail heads along the way! There is a reason that HWY 93, otherwise known as the Columbia Icefields Parkway, is one of the most scenic drives in the world and it’s because…well…it is! It’s GLORIOUS!! Vista’s everywhere you look!! Take turns driving so one person can gawk at the incredible views and the other can focus on the road as you head to the icefield. And make sure you gas up before you head out!! And while you’re at it – make sure you visit the loo, too!! On this particular spring day, we had been driving for about 2 hours and well….let’s just say, we needed to take a ‘break’ and how relieved we were when we saw the sign for washrooms…but how DISAPPOINTED to discover THIS sign!NONETHELESS!! We made it and WHAT A TIME we had!! First off, because the Icefield had not yet opened up to the public – there was still quite a bit of snow on the glacier, but there was something very cool about being one of the first footsteps of the season out on the glacier! Our fantastic guide paved a small path in one of the huge buggy-style buses you drive out onto the glacier and can I tell you – how ABSOLUTELY thrilled I was when he said I could take it for a spin!!
Well, maybe not ’spin’ exactly – but I got to drive it!!! FUN! It was a great day – we learned so much about how the columbia icefield! Like how it was formed; how long it’s been around; how fast (or not-as-fast-as-you-might-think) it’s shrinking; what happens when you drink the glacier water; how thick it is; how wide it is…the list goes on! Remotes like this, I just openly declare that I am going to ask questions like my ‘7-year-self’ would ask questions! It was fascinating!! The 4 hours that we spent there went by way to fast – but it was glorious! I have to leave you with this photo of Jenna and I and then of course, RICH who, I think, had a pretty good time at the Icefield…!