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Postcards Translations  (under construction - 18 Sep 2013)
 
Animals
Rocky Mountain Parks:  Banff,  Jasper, Kootenay,  Waterton,  Yoho
 
Alberta:  Calgary, Drumheller,  West Central (Sylvan Lake, Rocky Mountain House, Nordegg, Siffleur-WhiteGoat) 
 
British Columbia:  East Kootenay (Radium Hotsprings,  Fairmont Hotsprings, Canal Flats), Valemount - Mt Robson

 
 
Animals
 
Black Bear
This species of Black Bear is unique to North America, usually nocturnal (night active) and solitary. Black Bears prefer heavily forested areas. Male adults will roam in a home area of 800 to 1000 sq. km. Every second year, January to February, a mother will have 1-5 cubs - each cub weighs about 1/2 kg. A bear's diet consists mainly of vegetation - twigs, buds, leaves, nuts, roots, fruits & berries. These usually peaceful animals become very aggressive if you go near a cub, or have a dog nearby (especially when unleashed). Bears react to dogs as if threatened by coyotes or wolves. Sadly many bears are killed for growing fond of human food they find in trash bins; or for their body parts due to some peoples false beliefs of health cures. Many bear species are nearly extinct in Western Canada due to poachers and governments that allow over zealous hunting, especially near park borders. Bears are also becoming rare in Parks due to speeding motorists who fail to slow down for wildlife. Please, give all animals your kind understanding & respect - from far away!!
 
Bison/Buffalo -
1. Plains Bison -  Plains Bison are relatives of the Wood Buffalo (Bison bison athabascae) that are native to Alberta. Plains Bison are smaller by 10-15 percent, rounder and have lighter hair. In the late 1880’s the last remaining Plains bison in the USA were exterminated except for a small group of calves that were rescued by some Montana ranchers. Years later the ranchers refused to sell the remaining buffalo to the US government due to previous efforts for their extermination. About 700 Plains Bison were bought by the Canadian Govt and sent to Elk Island National Park ( E.of Edmonton, S.of Lamont). Elk Island N.P. was formed by the efforts of local citizens concerned about the demise of beavers and larger wildlife, especially Elk due to horrendous overhunting. In 1893, Canadian Govt had passed laws to control buffalo hunting, elk, moose, deer were not protected. The Bison herd was relocated to Buffalo Park, Wainwright, Alberta, except for 48 bison that could not be caught, and have lived ever since on the North side of Elk Island Park.. These remaining Plains Bison formed the nucleus of genetic purity as the last of their species, because the buffalo sent to Wainwright interbred with the nearly extinct Wood Buffalo. About 100,000 Plains Bison are now in parks and zoos worldwide. Natives around Willingdon, Alberta named one place Hairy Hill. When the Buffalo had thundered in vast herds across the prairies, they often stopped there, leaving large piles of hairs that were gathered for bedding and warm coverings.
2. Wood Buffalo -
 
Bighorn Sheep
This species in the Rocky Mountains range as far south as Arizona. Male Rams weigh up to 145 kg (300 lbs) and female Ewes about 90 kg (200 lbs). Rams' horns can weigh more than 40 pounds (18 kg), and during mating season, they bash heads with incredible force ( 6 to10 m/s x 145 kg ).

The base of their horns and skulls are formed so that they compress to absorb much of the impact. Bighorns are nimble, agile climbers to avoid coyotes, eagles, and cougars. Yes, they do sometimes fall off cliffs. A large number of animal fatalities & cripplings occur at speeds under 30 km/hr when animals only appear to be calm. Please drive very slowly when animals are near. They feed on grasses and shrubs, and seek minerals at natural salt licks in the summer or roadsides during winter. Please also do not disturb them when grazing, as vegetation nutrients are at maximum for only a short time, they need to put on a lot of weight to survive winter.

 
Coyote
These fine animals play a crucial role in the balance of nature by controlling populations & preventing the spread of disease. They feed on small animals, amphibians and even insects. They hunt solo, in pairs or as a group "pack" . Weight is from 10-20 kg and they can run up to 60 km/hr. Like all animals, they are caring of their young and playful when they have a chance to relax. Please give them a chance & protective respect for a long, healthy life.
 
Deer
 
 
Elk
During the summer, elk are often grazing by the roadside. Please keep your distance and move along before they stop grazing because nutrients in the vegetation peak for a short time, and animals need to adda lot of weight to survive winter. In Europe, Elk refer to a completely different animal species, which in North America refer s to Moose. North American Male Elk are about 1.7m tall at their shoulder with additional 1.2m for neck & head. They weigh 270-500 kg. (600-1100 lbs). Females are about 3/4 ofmale size. These huge, graceful animals can easily leap over fences 2-3m (7-10ft) and can run long distances at 45 km/hr with bursts up to70 km/hr. Despite their large size and antlers, elk move almost silently through a forest. During the autumn mating season, the males stop eating as they are too busy challenging males seeking territory and breeding females - the males eerie calls for females can be heard very far. In the wild, these majestic animals live about 7 years, as competition, predators and arthritis limit their lifespan. They are becoming rare in the wild, when governments allow excessive hunting without any scientific studies. Natural predators are cougars, lynx, wolves. Many are killed by people's vehicles, large trucks & trains going much too fast - studies show many types of animals are killed or crippled at speeds under 40 km/hr. Please drive carefully when near wildlife, and be especially vigilant from dusk to dawn.
 
Moose
 
Mountain Goat
Mountain goats are the largest mammals found in high-altitude habitats, elevations of 3,000 meters or more. All mountain goats have beards and black horns which have yearly growth rings. The dense wool of their undercoats is covered by an outer layer of longer, hollow hairs. In summer, mountain goats molt by rubbing against rocks and trees.A male (billy) stands about 1 meter (3' 3") at the shoulder & weighs approx. 90 kg (200 lbs.), females (nannies) are 10-30% lighter. For traction, mountain goats have hard cloven hooves that spread apart, revealing softer inner skin pads. Dewclaws on the back of their hoovest also help prevent slipping. In the wild, mountain goats usually live twelve to fifteen years, their lifespan limited by the wearing down of their teeth. After six months gestation, nannies give birth, usually to a single kid, in the spring (May - June). Nannies are fiercely protective of their young, who stay near for about a year. Mountain goats usually spend most of their time peacefully grazing on plants or getting minerals from ground rock at an "animal lick". Please respect their space & need to feed by keeping your distance, and staying quiet.
 
Porcupine
Porcupine's name is from Middle French "porc d'épine" meaning "thorny pork" or "quill pig" however they are rodents, not related to pigs. Porcupines are socially solitary, normally active at dusk and at night. Porcupines eat twigs, leaves, leaf buds, tree bark and the tender layers under tree bark. They also eat roots, berries, carrots, potatoes, and are very fond of salt, sometimes chewing peoples sweaty shoes or clothes, or car tires covered in road salt. A porcupine can grow to 1m/40in.long and weigh 20kg/44lbs. Porcupines breed in the autumn, the young porcupette is born in the spring, with soft quills that harden in a few hours. Porcupines can have about 30,000 quills, which are hard, barbed hairs. They do not shoot out their quills, but the barbed quill tips quickly embed into anything that touches them when the porcupine releases them. Porcupines also swing their tails to poke their quills into perceived threats. They can move surprisingly quick, so keep your distance ! Once the quills are in, they continue to penetrate deeper, eventually killing by causing infection. Porcupines have antibiotic in their skin to prevent infection when they quill themselves after falling out of a tree in search of food. There are 23 species of porcupines worldwide - New World porcupines mostly live in trees and have single quills. Old World porcupines live on the ground and have clusters of quills.The North American Porcupine or Canadian porcupine is a New World porcupine whose ancestors came from Africa to Brazil over 30 million years ago, then migrated North. In Africa, porcupines were revered as an ancient good luck charm. These shy little creatures just want to be left alone. Unfortunately they are slow moving and often found dead on the road due to careless motorists. Please educate others to leave them alone and allow them a peaceful life !
 
Squirrel 
1.Columbia - These cheerful animals can be found in BC-Alberta Rockies & adjacent regions, as well as Oregon, Washington, Idaho & Montana. They live in colonies - females usually stay with the colony they were born into, males leave to cross-breed elsewhere. Females live at lower altitudes where there is more food & warmth. Females give birth to 3-5 babies in May-June. They hibernate 7-8 months, depending on location, some start as early as July. Within their burrow home, they have a separate hibernation chamber they fill with food. Food favorites are grass, plant parts like stems, leaves, bulbs, fruits and seeds. Occasionally they eat small birds, insects, mice, voles.
2.Richardson- Many years ago, when settlers first arrived, these animlas were plentiful, with families of thousands in meadows. Since then, agriculture has eliminated most of their habitat. Squirrels, birds and other small animals are often killed by motorists. These and other small animals play a huge part in the survival of many predatory birds and animals whose lives often depend on a healthy abundance of these cheery, playful creatures.

Wolf
Grey Wolves are common to North America and are descendants of Siberian Wolves. Wolves are naturally shy of people. Worldwide, over the past 400 years, there are only a few cases of wolves attacking or killing people - much fewer than domestic dogs or wolf-dog hybrids. Wolves have a complex social structure. Alpha female wolves choose a nanny to teach young pups manners & greeting rituals of the pack social hierarchy. Like foxes & coyotes, wolves are playful with their young when they have a chance to relax. They cover up to 160 km a day searching for food, and can run 50-60km/hr for about 30 minutes. These fine animals play a vital role in controlling wildlife populations as they feed on nuts, berries, frogs, fish, rodents, small animals and usually older, weaker big game animals that could spread disease by staying in their herd. Big game animals are taken down by packs of wolves. Unfortunately, human ignorance and government hunting policies of wolves, coyotes & foxes continues to push natural predators to extinction in the wilderness - primarily to enable people to kill the healthiest big-game animals in the prime of their breeding lives. Instead of killing predator-scavenger wolves, coyotes & foxes, it would boost wildlife populations with more no-hunting zones to protect wildlife all year from people.
 
 
Banff National Park
 
Banff Town ( view from Sulphur Mountain )
Banff has the highest elevation of any town in Canada (1463m=4800ft). From this view atop Sulphur Mountain, we see to the left is Cascade Mountain, Tunnel Mountain (town-center), the Bow River and Spray River. Cascade Mountain (2998m = 9836 ft) native name is "Minihapa", which means "Mountain Where the Water Falls”. Whiskey Creek and Cascade Mountain were renamed by explorer James Hector in 1858. Cascade Mtn. first known ascent was in 1897 by L. Stewart, Tom Wilson.

In the top center is the Fairholme Range and Lake Minnewanka. The Fairholme Range is a large "montane" region which has a milder climate that enables vital plants to grow and provides living space habitat for many species of wildlife. Montane regions cover only about 3 percent of all of Banff park. Lake Minnewanka got it's name from the Nakota (Stoney) native name “Minn-waki” for the “Lake of the Spirits”. They respected and feared this lake for its resident spirits - even the European explorers called it Devil's Lake. In 1886 a log hotel “Beach House”, was built on the original lakeshore and by 1912, a summer village called Minnewanka Landing was established but is now flooded over (30m=100 ft) from a dam built in 1941. The lake is 28 km (17 mi) long, 142 m (466 ft) deep and is fed by the Cascade River.

The Stoney people had first called the hill in the middle "Sleeping Buffalo" - renamed "Tunnel Mountain" for the suggestion to build a railway tunnel through it. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth hiked to the top of "Sleeping Buffalo" hill during their 1939 Royal Tour. The area was named Banff in 1884 by Lord Steven, a Canadian Pacific Railway (C.P.R.) director, for his birthplace, Banffshire, Scotland. The C.P.R. built grand hotels along the rail line to promotw the Banff Hotsprings Hotel as a popular international tourist resort and business stop. At one time this route was the fastest way to travel from the East to the Pacific West Coast. Banff was settled in the late 1880's, after the railway was built through the Bow Valley. In 1883, three C.P.R. workers were told by natives of natural hot springs on Sulphur Mountain. To protect the area, in 1885, the Federal Government of Canada led by Prime Minister John A. MacDonald, established a federal land reserveof 26 km² around the hot springs. In 1887, the reserve area was increased to 673 km² and named "Rocky Mountain Park." This was the beginning of Canada's National Park system. Banff's recent growth concerns many people as to the damage to the surrounding wilderness, so growth is carefully controlled. Unfortunately, fences and a lack of animal overpasses cutoff many animals from safe, out of town migration to high nutrient, natural aquatic plants and watering areas of Vermillion Lakes, and nearby rivers. Natural migration patterns have been altered. Cougars, Bears, Elk and Deer can occasionally be glimpsed nearby - keep your distance ! They are wild and can be dangerous as they hunt or defend their young, territory and themselves. Banff and Canada's Rocky Mountain Parks are United Nations World Heritage Sites.

Mount Rundle
Mt. Rundle first had the Cree name "Waskahigan Watchi" meaning "House Mountain." Renamed Terrace Mtn. by James Hector during his explorations, it was again renamed circa 1857 by James Palliser for Reverend Robert Rundle, who learned the Cree language and culture. Rev. Rundle acted as a calming influence among both cultures in Edmonton, Rocky Mtn. House and Banff. 
First ascent by J. McArthur during the 1888 Bow Valley survey.
 
Banff Springs Hotel
William C. Van Horne, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, commsioned B. Price of New York to design the original wooden hotel. Construction began in the spring of 1867, and opened June 1, 1888. A fire destroyed the original hotel in 1926, then was rebuilt in 1928 using the stone and brick we see today. Each decade added more rooms so that by 1967, the hotel had 1000 rooms and a spectacular golf course, with a conference centre added in 1990. For over a century, the Banff Springs Hotel still remains a premier mountain resort destination in the Canadian Rockies.
 
 
Sulphur Mountain
 
Castle Mountain
Castle Mountain is located about halfway between Banff & Lake-Louise, at the Hwy 93 turn-off to Johnston Canyon or Kootenay National Park. In 1858, explorer James Hector marvelled at this mountain range, which reminded him of a castle. The limestone cliffs are about 500 million years old, however the rocky base under the cliffs was formed only 200 million years ago. Glaciers, the sun, ice and wind driven sands have eroded the cliff tops to create the jagged peaks that we see today.   Castle Mountain ( 2766m / 9029 ft ) was first ascended in 1884 by Arthur Coleman.
 
Johnston Canyon
Johnston Canyon began forming about 10,000 years ago when glaciers retreated after the last ice age. The canyon is made of soft limestone rock, which is easily carved by the waters of Johnston Creek. There are various layers of much harder Dolomite rock which slowed the erosion, thus creating many waterfalls such as the 20m (60ft) Lower Falls (distance 1.1km) and the 40m(120ft) Upper Falls (distance 2.7km). Near the Upper Falls, Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goats may be seen. Near the entrance are Columbia Ground Squirrels, and along the trail one ofter encounters cheerful Chipmunks scampering about. Trees of spruce, pine, fir, aspen provide food and homes for wildlife. The steep cliffs provide natural defense for the rarely seen Black Swift, which lays a single egg. The cooler temperatures of the canyon prevent dehydration, and slow the chicks metabolism to enable it to go all day without food. Many other species of birds such as Townsend Warbler, Black-eye Juncos, the Dipper, Winter Wren, Cordilleran Flycatcher, and Yellow-rump Warbler can also be found nesting or looking for food in the cool canyon. Among the gentle fragrances of pine trees, and the twittering of birds, there is always something interesting to see at Johnston Canyon ! 
Johnston Canyon Ink Pots - At the end of the 6km trail are the Ink Pots, natural pools of colorful algae and delicately tinted water that bubble up from an underground water spring. Minerals in the water delicately paint the colorful algae. You may also wish to visit the Paint Pots nearby at Marble Canyon, Kootenay National Park.
 
 
Lake Louise
This photo shows the true perspective of Lake Louise compared to Mount Victoria. Natives of the Stoney tribe once called this HO-RUN-NUM-NAY - "Lake of Little Fishes". In August 1882, explorer Tom Wilson, was shown this lake by natives and he called it "Emerald Lake". "Lake Louise" was named in 1884, to honour Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. In 1892 the Lake Louise Forest Park was formed to protect the forest & wildlife. In 1902, Lake Louise & Moraine Lake were added to the new Banff National Park. Mt. Victoria ( 3464 m / 11,365 ft ) is located on the continental divide, on the border of Banff & Yoho National Parks. Mt. Victoria is named for Queen Victoria of England. Queen Victoria was the only child of Edward, Duke of Kent & Strathearn and former widow Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Queen Victoria was born at London on 24 May 1819 and became Queen a month after her 18th birthday. Queen Victoria was married to Prince Albert in Feb.1840 and she saw the need for European harmony, so arranged many marriages of her children and grandchildren with the nobility of Europe. Queen Victoria ruled for over 63 years, the longest of any British Monarch, during a time when Britain rose to new heights as a worldpower. She died 22 January, 1901. Mt. Victoria was previously known as Mt. Green, for priest Rev. William Green, of the British Alpine Club. Rev. Green's book "Among the Selkirk Glaciers" written in 1888, popularized Canadian Rockies for international tourists and mountain climbers. The first recorded ascent was 1897 by J.N.Collie, C.Fay, A.Michael, guided by P.Sarbach.
 
Vintage photo of Chateau Lake Louise
In 1889, William Whyte of the C.P.R. hired W.J. Astley of Banff to make a log cabin using the CPR's carpenters. The cabin was destroyed by fire in 1891. Astley was then directed to build a Swiss-style chalet, which was completed in 1893. A new wing was added in 1913. The Swiss style chalet was destroyed by fire in 1925. The new wing was undamaged, and is still part of the present-day Chateau. The original photograph was by Byron Harmon who arrived in Banff in 1903 (died in 1942). Mr. Harmon is still is reknowned as one of the best photographers of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. This card is a tribute to him. The orignal B&W picture was enlarged & enhanced to clarify detail, corrected for aging flaws then colored for artistry.
 
Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake gets its color from rock dust created by glaciers eroding these mountains. A picture of this beautiful lake was on the Canadian $20 currency from 1969-1979. The lake is adjacent to Lake Louise, in the Valley of Ten Peaks, at an elevation of approximately 6183 ft (1884 m). The peaks are part of the continental divide, which is also the boundary between Banff & Kootenay parks. The peaks were originally named in 1894 by explorers Wilcox & Allen using Stoney native words for counting. Some peaks were renamed whiles others still retain their original native counting word names( left - right ) - Fay (1-Heejee), Little (2-Nom), Bowlen (3-Yamnee),4-Tonsa, Perren (5-Sapta), Allen (6-Shappee), Tuzo (7-Sagowa), Deltaform (8-Sahnowa), 9-Neptuak, Hungabee "chieftan" (10-Wenchemna). Altitudes: Fay 3235m=10,614 ft Little 3088m=10,132 ft Bowlen 3072m=10,079 ft Tonsa 3057m=10,030 ft Perren 3051m=10,010 Allen 3310m=10,860 ft Tuzo 3246m=10,650 ft Deltaform 3424m=11,234 ft Neptuak 3233m=10,607 ft Hungabee 3492m=11,457 ft
 
Mount Temple
Mount Temple is located in the Bow River Valley, north of Moraine Lake. Named by George Dawson in 1884 for Sir Richard Temple, leader of the British Association Excursion Party. First ascent in 1894 by Samuel Allen, L.F. Frissel, Walter Wilcox. Mount Temple is composed of quartzite and limestone from the early Cambrian era 550 million years ago. Autumn cold changes the needles of larch trees to spectacular golden colors.
 
 
Herbert Lake
Scenic Herbert Lake is along the highway just a few miles north of Lake Louise village. A pleasant rest stop and picnic site where you can often see migratory waterfowl and the occasional moose.  Named for H.Herbert, Earl of Carnarvon, author of British North America Act for the Confederation of Provinces to form Canada (1867). In Yoho N.P. at Emerald Lake ( 27 km / 17 miles ) , you can see Carnarvon peak, also named for H. Herbert.

In the background is Waputik peak (elev. 2755m = 9039 ft), in Yoho National Park. Waputik is the Stoney Indian word for white goat - the mountain goat. George Dawson gave the peak this name in 1884 during the survey of the region. Autumn cold causes the larch trees to a golden color. The Waputik range extends west into Yoho N.P. to include the President Range on the West side of Emerald Lake The Waputik Range also goes 20 km/ 12 miles North to Howse Peak at Waterfowl Lake near Saskatchewan Crossing.

 
Peyto Lake
 
 
Mount Chephren
Located in the Mistaya Valley near Saskatchewan River Crossing. The lower part of Mt. Chephren is comprised of pink & red quartzite rocks. First named Pyramid Mountain, however, that was easily confused with Pyramid Mtn. by Jasper townsite, so it was renamed in 1918 by J.Torrington for Chephren (a.k.a.Khafre) the Egyptian Pharoah whose slaves built the second Great Pyramid circa 2330 B.C. Viewed from the North, the mountain shape is similar to the Sphinx in Egypt (without face details). First ascent in 1913 by J.Hickson, Ed Fuez Jr.(guide). At the left is Howse Peak 3290m = 10,794 ft. named for Joseph Howse, a trader who traversed this mountain pass in 1809, two years after it was discovered by explorer David Thompson. From 1799-1809 Howse was in charge of Carlton House, of the Hudson Bay Co. near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. First ascent of Howse Peak in 1902 by J.N. Collie, H.Stutfield, G.Weed, H.Woolley, H.Kuafmann (guide).
Waterfowl Lake is named for the many migratory birds who travel thousands of miles to nest here and raise their young.
 
Parker Ridge
 
 
Weeping Wall
Water falls tumble down about 300m = 1000ft from Cirrus Mountain to the Sunwapta Valley and then into the North Saskatchewan River, which begins at Saskatchewan Glacier of the Columbia Icefields. The river turns East at Saskachewan Crossing, eventually flows through the city of Edmonton, through the province of Saskatchewan, then finally into Lake Winnepeg, Manitoba. In the winter, this is a popular place for ice climbing.
 
 
Jasper National Park
 
Jasper Town
Jasper Hawes managed the Northwest Co. fur trading outpost for almost half a century from 1820's-1870's. "Jasper's House" was the main stop for all fur traders, travellers, adventurers and explorers. By 1909 “Jasper’s House” was gone, and the era of fur traders was replaced by the age of steam engines - the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway of England. The town of Jasper originated in 1911 from a railway settlement named Fitzhugh, president of the Grand Trunk Pacific railway which ran from 1852-1919 before merging with CN Rail in 1920.

Sept. 14, 1907 the newly created Jasper Forest Reserve "... a forest reserve of 13,000 sq. km ...for the preservation of forest trees,...the rivers and streams that have their source in the mountains and traverse the province of Alberta." Jasper was made a National Park in 1930, then a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Jasper's present day reduced size of 10,878 sq. km. are home to elk, caribou, moose, deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, bear, beaver, pika, marmot, grey wolf, cougar, wolverine, many species of mountain butterflies, birds, bats, fish, and insects.

In the background of the photo is the Colin range of mountains named for Colin Robertson, a caretaker for Jasper House. The name of the Athabasca River appears to have been derived from Cree (woods dialect) language, from the word aðapaskāw means "[where] there are plants one after another" a reference to the sporadic vegetation along the river. The river origin is the Columbia Glacier of the Columbia Icefields at the souther end of Jasper National Park.
 
Spirit Island
In 1907 the area was popularized by the writings of a tourist, Mary Schaeffer, who explored the area using a map obtained from a local native, for whom Samson Peak is named. Maligne Lake was first called “Chaba Imbne”, native for “Beaver Lake”. Spirit Island was named by Harry Rowed, a railway contractor-photographer in the 1940's-50's, who became famous for his photos of the area. This place was well known to natives, and was likely named by them much earlier probably with the same spiritual intent. We all enjoy the purity of this tranquil, pristine wilderness that enables us to contemplate harmony with nature. Maligne Lake hosts about 60 species of birds, and a very small herd (less than twenty) of endangered Mountain Caribou. To keep this area unspoiled, the only access is by a 40 minute tour boat ride or by canoe.  Left - Maligne Mtn ( 3200m ) Mt Paul "the Thumb" ( 2850m ) then Mt Unwin behind the trees. A massive glacier can also be seen in the distance. Maligne Lake & all the mountain peaks were named in 1911 by Mary Schaeffer, who politely declined to name anything for herself. In her honour, a mountain and lake are named for her at Lake O'Hara, Yoho National Park, ( 25 km West of Lake Louise, Banff ).
 
 
Pyramid Mtn & Patricia Lake
 
Athabasca Falls
 
Mt Edith Cavell
 
Edith Cavell Glacier & Lake (pre-avalanche)
 
Sunwapta Falls
 
Columbia Icefields 
 
Mount Athabasca
 
Mount Andromeda

 

Mount Robson - Valemount
 
Mount Robson
Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies portion (excludes Canada's highest peak of 5959m for Mount Logan, Yukon) of the North American Rocky Mountain Range which extends from the Liard River, BC to the Rio Grande River in New Mexico. Texqakallt native tribe were the earliest known inhabitants of the area. They called Mount Robson "Yuh-hai-has-kun" or "Mountain of the Spiral Road" for its layered appearance. Natives played a major role in the Yellowhead "Tete Jaune" Pass, providing guides and food to explorers and traders whom otherwise would not have survived. Robson is believed to be a mispronunciation of Robertson, a local guide for the NorthWest Co. & Hudson Bay Co. in the very early 1800's.    A first climb of Mt Robson was attempted in 1908 by A.Coleman, G.Kinney, reaching 3200m. First ascent (3650m) claimed 13 August 1909 by Reverend George Kinney & guide Don Phillips. To settle any doubts, a second ascent 31 July 1913 by Rev. Kinney accompanied by Foster, McCarthy & guide C.Kain.
 
Kootenay National Park
 
Paint Pots
 
 
 
Yoho National Park
 
Town of Field
Field began in the 1880s as a settlement of tents and shacks to house construction workers for the Canadian Pacific Railway.Named for Cyrus Field, an American being wooed by the CPR for investment capital - he never did invest. The CPR built many of the hiking trails and a variety of mountain hotels to attract the wealthy tourists. William C. Van Horne, general manager of the CPR, acted to stop development with a small area surrounding the town.In 1886 the Mt. Stephen Dominion Reserve was established, the CPR buffer was expanded. The resulting park was renamed Yoho in 1901, applying the native Cree expression of awe and wonder.
 
Mount Stephen
Named in 1886 for George Stephen, first president of Canadian Pacific Railway. Mr. Stephen raised money for one of the largest investments in the world at the time, for a risky investment for a railway through Kicking Horse Pass. This endeavour was a very difficult feat of engineering - a testament to the ingenuity of men, as well as the very hard labour of men, mules and horses. First ascended in 1887 by J.J. McArthur, T. Riley in a dangerous expedition.
 
Mount Burgess
Located near the village of Field, B.C.- 27 km West of Lake Louise, Banff Natl. Park. The cabins seen here are part of the Emerald Lake Lodge. In 1954, Mt Burgess was also known as "Ten Dollar Mountain" as it was featured on the back of Canada's ten dollar paper currency. World-renowned for the Burgess shale beds, where many unique, previously unknown invertebrate fossils were found on this mountain, and nearby Mt Stephen, which were once submerged by an ancient sea. Mt Burgess altitude 2600m = 8530 ft above present sea level. Mt Burgess was named in 1886 by Otto Klotz, astronomer for the new Confederation (1867) of the Dominion of Canada. The survey was responsible for mapping Canada's geographical boundaries. Named for Alex Burgess, who was then Deputy Minister of the Interior. In 1897 Burgess became Commissioner of Public Lands for Canada. First climbed in 1892 by intrepid explorer J.J. McArthur, and H. Tuzo. 
 
Emerald Lake
Emerald Lake is truly Emerald as shown by this non-colorized, original photo. In the early spring or autumn, it is so clear that you can see logs on the bottom. This lake is featured on the back of older Canadian $10 currency. Left is Emerald Peak ( 2545m / 8350 ft ) Mt. Carnavaron ( 3040m / 9974 ft ), the other mountain on the far right is the back of President Mtn - we see Michael's Peak ( 2696m / 8844 ft ) [a.k.a. Agnes Peak ]. Named in 1901 for Arthur Michael of Boston whoparticipated in first ascents of Mount Lefroy & Mount Victoria in 1897. Mt. Carnavron [a.k.a. Emerald Mtn ] was first acended in 1904 by the Topography Survey team. Named in 1900 by Alex Burgess for H. Herbert, Earl of Carnarvon, author of British North America Act (1867). Pacific winds bring moisture which are trapped by the high mountain peaks. This creates a micro-climate such that the west side of Emerald Lake is partly coastal rainforest, with Western Red Cedar trees, Devil’s Club ( large plant with thorns & maple-like leaves ). In late May, bright yellow Glacier Lilies bloom along the lake shores, followed by pink Calypso Orchids in June.
"Yoho" is a Cree expression of awe and wonder - a good name for this park.
 
Natural Bridge
 
Takakaw Falls
 
Lake O'Hare
 
Wapta Falls
 
Vintage CPR Rail & Mt Vaux
When British Columbia joined the Confederacy of Canada in 1871, a cross country railway was proposed to join the nation and surveying began immediately for the CP Railway. After several years of delays, construction of the CP Railway began May 14th, 1880 at Emory's Bar, about four miles west of Yale, BC. The contract was given to Andrew Onderdonk, an American railroad contractor, who followed the Canadian Government plan to follow the Fraser & Thompson Rivers. Upon completion of this small section, Onderdonk won the contract to extend the line 86 miles to Burrard Inlet near Vancouver. Thousands of Chinese workers were much of the human muscle that built the railway, as were teams of mules and horses. By 1880 a syndicate of investors ( James Hill, Lord Mt. Stephen, Lord Strathcona ) received $25,000,000 plus 25,000,000 acres of land east of BC, plus BC land ( 20 miles on both sides of the railway ), no taxation, no competition gurarntee and other benefits. Hill hired A.B. Rogers to find a more direct route and in July 1882, Rogers confirmed the 1865 survey by Walter Moberly and 1858 recommendation by explorer John Palliser. By late 1883, Onderdonk's workers had built bridges and railway to Spences bridge, about 100 miles East of Port Moody, BC. At the same time, railroad construction ( led by C. Van Horne and supervised by James Ross ) was completed from Eastern Canada to Calgary, Banff, then Laggan ( Lake Louise ).
The most difficult terrain was now ahead - Kicking Horse Pass nearField and further west Roger's Pass. Kicking Horse Pass was known as "The Big Hill" and here the railway had to increase the steepness from 2.2 percent grade to 4.5 percent in order to complete the railway quicker and more economically. This section was completed in 1884, andto prevent derailments due to the steep incline, people manned three switches that were activated only if the train speed was acceptable toallow it to continue, otherwise the default was to sidetrack therailcars to a slower section to let them stop. To further reduce the chance of derailment, heavier engines were specially built and used only from Laggan to Field. To span the many rivers and gorges, vast areas of forest were destroyed for use as bridge timbers (and later human caused forest fires at Field and Rogers Pass area ). Ironically , the wooden bridges only lasted 7-10 years before being replaced by fire-safe steel. The last spike to complete the railroad was driven November 7, 1885 at Eagle Pass, near Craigellache, B.C. n the background of the old locomotive is (L-R) Mount Chancellor (3280m), Mt. Vaux (3319m), Mt Deville (2924m), Mt King (2892m). Deville & King were senior astronomy staff of the Dominion Land Survey of the 1880's, which defined provincial and Canadian borders, Deville pioneered use of photography in surveys. William Vaux was resident antiquarian at the British Museum who helped secure funds to support the 1850's Palliser Expedition's principals while they completed their report. Mt. Chancellor was named in 1898 for Sir John Boyd, Chancellor of Ontario for resolving a dispute over mineral rights between CPR and the Canadian Govt.
 
Alberta
 
Calgary 

For 12,000 years Blackfoot, Sarcee, and Stoney tribal natives hunted and traveled through the area. In 1873 the uncontrolled European & US buffalo hunters and whiskey traders motivated the NorthWest Mounted Police to built a fort here near the forests and rivers. Colonel James Macleod renamed Fort Brisebois to Fort Calgary, for his family's castle on the Isle of Mull at the Northwest tip of Scotland.

The word ‘Calgary' could be a combination of Gailic words ‘caladh' and ‘garaidh', which translate roughly to ‘the haven by the dyke'. Another possible Gaelic origin is ‘Cala ghearraidh' (‘beach of the meadow/pasture').Old Norse or Scandinavian origin. Calgary could also be from an Old Scandinavian origin – ‘Kali’ and ‘geiri’, translating to ‘Kali’s triangular plot of land’. The Old Norse ‘kald’ and ‘gart’ (meaning ‘cold garden’) could have referred to the chilly winters here that were also found in the Inner Hebrides, way back when Norse and Scandinavian warriors occupied Scotland.

Wel known for the world famous Calgary Stampede, Calgary has modernized over the years as a home to Western Canada's Oil & Gas Industry. Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics, is home to Flames NHL hockey, Stampeder's CFL football, many Olymic athletes, world reknown artists and musicians. Calgary has excellent Arts & Cultural facilities such as the Glenbow Museum, and various festivals throughout the year. Calgary is a key airport for vistors to Drumheller's dinosaur museum and the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountain parks. From its past, Calgary has kept the friendy western hospitality that is found across Western Canada.

 
 
 
Drumheller
 
Hoodoos

A Hoodoo is also called a "tent rock", "fairy chimney", or "earth pyramid".

The Blackfoot and Cree natives lived and traveled here in Starland County used herbs, special medicines, and amulets (prepared by a tribal medicine man) to ward off evil spirits or to vanquish enemies. Natives here also worshipped their ancestors, and their legends say that these rocks are petrified giants that can come alive at night to protect the land around them by hurling stones at intruders.

We believe "Hoodoo" was derived from the word "Voodoo" which was brought to the French colony of Louisiana (USA) by the 1760's African slave trade. The African slaves religious beliefs were rooted in spirit and ancestor worship. Their knowledge of herbs, poisons, and the ritual creation of charms and amulets that were intended to protect oneself or harm enemies were key elements of Louisiana Voodoo, and were like the beliefs of local natives. This theory is supported by an old map, which shows east of the hoodoos was a place called Acadia Valley. Acadians were early French Settlers from Canada's Maritimes whom were expelled 1755-63 AD by the British militia to the French colony of Lousianna where they were known as Cajuns ( Canada -Injuns ).

Scientific research tells us that Hoodoos can take millions of years to form, and that these hoodoos are million of yeara old. The Hoodoos are sedimentary rock, the pillars are soft sandstone, that is capped by a harder stone that resists erosion. The ppillars erode faster than the cap stone. What starts out as a rock on soft sandstone hill gradually erodes away the hill by rain, wind and snow to create the Hoodos we see today. Mineral deposits cause varying colour shades and bands of colours. Hoodoo pillars are very fragile and can erode completely if their capstone is dislodged. PLEASE do not climb, cut or damage the Hoodoos and please always stay on walking paths.

Hoodoos are typically found in arid, desert climates at the bottom of drainage basins or badlands region. In the vast badlands of Starland County, it is rumoured there are other oddly shaped rock formations about 20 feet tall. In other places worldwide, Hoodoos are reported to be over 100 feet tall. Hoodoo formations are also found at the spectacular tall spires of Bryce Canyon (Utah, USA), Tent Rocks Monument (New Mexico, USA), Grand Staicase Escalante Monument (Utah, USA), Toadstool Geologic Park (Nebraska, USA), Göreme National Park (Cappadocia,Turkey) has ancient houses carved into some hoodoos, Đavolja Varoš "Devils Town" (Serbia) reports 202 weird rock formations 7-15 meters (15-48 feet) tall. "Queens Head" formation can be seen at Wanli (Taipei County, Taiwan), Putangirua Pinnacles (New Zealand).

East Coulee, Starland County
Scientific research tells us that about 85 million years ago, a huge inland sea covered the middle of North America, including this area. By about 70 million years ago, the inland sea had shrunk, leaving behind bentonite clays. The ancient sea shore gradually became a tropical river delta. River delta clay continued to deposit to the top of this valley, until the last ice began about one million years ago. Mineral deposits and trace elements cause varying bands of colours. About 14,000 years ago, the last ice age began warming worldwide. The massive, mile thick glaciers had tremendous volumes of meltwaters forming intense, raging rivers (now Red Deer river), which were at the top of this valley, then quickly carved through the soft river delta clays, all the way down to the present day valley bottom.
 
Atlas Coal Mine, East Coulee

The Blackfoot and Cree knew of the black rock that burned, but they didn't like to use it. Explorers reported coal in the area: Peter Fidler in 1792, James Hector of the Palliser Expedition in 1857, and Joseph Tyrrell in 1884. A few ranchers and homesteaders dug coal out of river banks and coulees to heat their homes. The first commercial coal mine did not open until Sam Drumheller started the local coal rush, when Sam bought land off a local rancher named Thomas Greentree. Sam then sold this land to Canadian National Railway, to develop a townsite. Sam also registered a coal mine, however, before his mine opened, Jesse Gouge and Garnet Coyle opened the Newcastle Mine. CN laid tracks into town, and the first load of coal was shipped out of Drumheller in 1911.

Once the railway was built, thousands of people came to dig coal, mostly from Eastern Europe, Britain, and Nova Scotia. By the end of 1912, there were 9 working coal mines, each with its own camp of workers: Newcastle, Drumheller, Midland, Rosedale, and Wayne. Later mines and camps sprang up: Nacmine, Cambria, Willow Creek, Lehigh, and East Coulee. Between 1911 and 1979, 139 mines were registered in the Drumheller valley. Some mines didn't last long, but 34 were productive for many years. Between 1912 and 1966, Drumheller produced 56,864,808 tons of coal, making it one of the major coal producing regions in Canada.

Coal mining was hard, dirty, dangerous work. Mining in the Drumheller Valley, however, was less hard, dirty, and dangerous than it was elsewhere. This was due to the geology of the Drumheller coal field which has flat laying seams that are much safer to mine than the steep angled seams of mountain mines. The coal at Drumheller is sub-bituminous, an "immature coal" which has not had time to build up a strong concentration of deadly Methane gas, the biggest killer in coal mines worldwide. By the time the Newcastle opened in 1911, the right to better working conditions had been won by many miners' unions in North America. Miners were provided with wash houses, better underground ventilation, and higher safety standards. When the Newcastle opened, there were laws in place to prohibit child labour, so boys under 14 were no longer allowed to work underground.

Despite the improvements, early mine camps around Drumheller were called "hell's hole" because miners lived in tents, or shacks, with little sanitation and little comfort. Alchohol, gambling, and watching fistfights common forms of recreation. As shacks gave way to little houses, and women joined the men and started families, life improved. Hockey, baseball, music, theatre, and visiting friends enriched peoples' lives. Going downtown Saturday night was a huge event, with crowded streets of people speaking almost every European language. Drumheller became "the wonder town of the west!" and "the fastest growing town in Canada, if not in North America!"

After the Leduc Oil Strike of 1948, natural gas became the fuel of choice in western Canada. People switched from messy coal stoves to clean gas furnaces as fast as they could. As the demand for coal dropped, mines closed, people moved away and communities shrank, others like Willow Creek, completely vanished. East Coulee, went from a boomtown of 3800 to a semi-ghost town of 180. The Atlas #4 Mine shipped its last load of coal in 1979, marking the end of coal mining in the Drumheller region.

 
Royal Tyrrell Museum

The museum has over 125,000 fossils of vertebrates, invertebrates, plants and other geologic specimens. The museum adds about 2,000 specimens annually. These collections are among the richest in the world. The Tyrrell Museum is also an active scientific research facility.

 
T-Rex
T-Rex dinosaur belongs to the family (biological Genus) of Theropod dinosaurs. The species T-Rex lived in Western North America, during the last three million years of the Cretaceous Period, about 65-68 million years ago. It was among the last non-avian (bird) dinosaurs to exist prior to the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction period that wiped out most dinosaurs, except for todays birds which are descendants of dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs, crocodiles and lizards share a common ancestor, the Diapsids, which had two holes in their skulls to accomodate larger jaws and jaw muscles (humans have one hole, our ancestors according to science were of the family Synapsids). Diapsids developed two distinct sub-families: the Archosaurs, which retained the basic Diapsid skull, and from which arose a very diverse array of animals - the Crocodilians, Pterosaurs, Dinosaurs, Ichthyosaurs and Plesiosaurs. Any species belonging to the family Crocodylidae (aka Crocodylinae) are believed to be about 200 million years old, outsurviving dinosaurs. Modern day lizards (including the Komodo Dragon) arose from the second sub-family of Diapsids: the Lepidosaurs.

Tyrannosaurus was a carnivore with a massive skull counter-balanced by a long, heavy tail. The forelimbs were small, though very powerful for their size. T-Rex measured up to 12.8 m (42 ft) in length, up to 4 metres (13 ft) tall at the hips, weighing up to 6.8 metric tons (7.5 British tons = 15,000 pounds). To compensate, many bones were hollow, reducing its weight without significant loss of strength. The largest known T-Rex skulls measure up to 5 feet (1.5 m) in length, wide at the rear with a narrow snout, enabling unusually good binocular vision. The skull bones were massive, with nasal bones and some other bones fused together, preventing movement between them- many with a "honeycomb" of tiny air spaces which made the bones lighter and more flexible. The tip of the upper jaw was U-shaped (most non-tyrannosauroid carnivores had V-shaped upper jaws), which increased the amount of tissue and bone a tyrannosaur could rip out with one bite, although it also increased the stresses on the front teeth. These and other skull-strengthening features gave an increasingly powerful bite, which easily surpassed that of all non-tyrannosaurids. The premaxillary teeth at the front of the upper jaw were closely packed, D-shaped in cross-section, had reinforcing ridges on the rear surface, were incisiform (their tips were chisel-like blades) and curved backwards. The D-shaped cross-section, reinforcing ridges and backwards curve reduced the risk that the teeth would snap when Tyrannosaurus bit and pulled. The remaining teeth were robust, like "lethal bananas" rather than daggers; more widely spaced and also had reinforcing ridges. ] Those in the upper jaw were larger than those in all but the rear of the lower jaw. The largest found so far is estimated to have been 30 centimetres (12 in) long including the root when the animal was alive, making it the largest tooth of any carnivorous dinosaur. By far the largest carnivore in its environment, it was slightly smaller than some other Cretaceous carnivores, such as Spinosaurus and Giganotosaurus. T-Rex may have been an apex predator, preying upon Hadrosaurs and Ceratopsians, although some say it was primarily a scavenger. We think it was both predator-scavenger, an opportunist feeder that took what it needed and also assessed the lowest risk, lowest effort for easy feeding. A survivalist.

More than 30 specimens of Tyrannosaurus Rex have been identified, some are nearly complete skeletons. Soft tissue and proteins have been reported in at least one of these specimens. Some scientists consider the Tarbosaurus Bataar from Mongolia,Asia to represent a second species of Tyrannosaurus, others say it is a separate family (genus). There are also several other families of North American Tyrannosaurids.
 
 
Central Alberta
 
Fort Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site
Fort Rocky Mountain House is a Canadian National Historic Site just 7.5 km (5 mi) West of the modern town of Rocky Mountain House. Natives lived in this area and other regions of Alberta for thousands of years prior to European settlers. The Cree, Peigan, Blackfoot, Blood, Stoney, Gros Ventre were native tribes with whom fur traders began dealing with. The Kootenai (Kootenay) tribe were said to have not traded furs or other items. Both the Hudson Bay Co. and the Northwest Co. each built a wooden fortress in 1799 at Rocky Mountain House. The Northwest Co. was also used as a base for exploration which explorer David Thompson used in 1807 during his map-making (cartography) expedition. The last fortress was abandoned by 1875. The present day reproduction fortress may appear small, however, on, average, people of long ago had poorer diets causing them to be much shorter and smaller bodied than we are today.