In the past few years I have been fortunate enough to go on several camping trips in some pretty amazing places. The first big trip was to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. I went on this trip with my parents and my youngest sister Emmy. Canada happens to be where my dad was born so he was very excited to being going “back to the motherland.” My mom and sister were happy to be going, but were not happy about the camping part. At that point I didn’t worry, I knew that once we were at camp, sitting around a fire, they would change their minds.
Night one was just Emmy and I at Two Jack Campground. Mom and Dad joined us the next day from Calgary. Everything was going great. Our campsite was beautiful, we were surrounded by mountains, our tent was set up, and the town of Banff was simply stunning. My plan at this point was to first show Emmy how great camping was, then she could help me with convincing my Mom the following day. I successfully destroyed this plan when I forgot matches and we had no fire on a 30 degree night. You can see the excitement in Emmy’s face in the picture below.
Of course that night was the coldest of our trip, but we survived! We awoke the next morning and went into town to thaw out and buy some matches. We discovered that the stereotype of Canadians being insanely friendly is absolutely true. Even the people we met who weren’t Canadian were so kind. We met people from all over the world while we were there which was awesome. Such a diverse collection of people with the same love of exploring and appreciating creation.
There are dozens of things to do and see in Banff. I would recommend taking 10 or more days for a trip there. We did it in 5 days and it was just not enough time. In those 5 days, we drove to Lake Louise, and hiked 1,300 feet straight up to Lake Agnes to eat lunch at the teahouse. We crossed over top of floating logs then up 50+ feet of boulders to get the full view of Moraine Lake. We hiked at Johnston Canyon, and explored many of the lakes and mountains surrounding the small town of Banff. Needless to say we were exhausted at the end of each day. Our nights consisted of campfires, music, euchre, and good conversation. Mom and Emmy were troopers when it came to camping and the intense hikes we did. Since this vacation, they have been with me on other camping trips and we have more planned in the future! This trip sparked the desire to take more adventurous trips and to do it as a family. There is something special about unplugging together and enjoying the beauty we are surrounded by.