This past weekend in the Rockies was one of the most magical weekends I have endured in a long time. Even though I have spent most of my life in B.C., I was completely astonished at all the things we saw. First of all, we saw about ten bears along the side of the road… including grizzly bears and black bears! We saw elk, moose and one coyote. I have given myself the new title of “The Coyote Whisperer”. We stopped the bus on the side of the road to take a look at this little guy. He got startled by the bus and began to run off into the forest. Being the tour guide, I quickly grabbed the microphone to notify everyone of our new friend and to also give a little howl in attempt to communicate with the straggler. As I sang out to him, he stopped in his tracks and turned around. He caught eye of the bus and sat himself down on the grass before us, and stared. I howled again and he instinctively turned his head, attempting to localize where this mysterious sound was coming from. It was as if I was controlling this coyote and speaking his language. Everyone on the bus was impressed and was able to get many good shots of our friendly coyote. I feel that I may possess some rare talent that I am now discovering.
Besides the wildlife, we were blessed to see lots of liquid sunshine. We came across all weather conditions that are typical to Canada… Rain, snow, sunshine, overcast, blue skies with big white fluffy clouds… all making for spectacular photos. It was a bit rainy in banff, but as we went up the Banff gondola, the clouds temporarily dissipated and moved aside to allow us the view.
When the rain and sun fight to take over the sky, something amazing happens. One of my favourite sites is a beautiful rainbow in the sky. I can tell you, seeing a double rainbow above phenomenal snow dusted mountains makes you think about the world in a different light. The image of rainbows in the rockies will be forever imprinted in my memory.
One of the most exciting activities of the weekend was the bear safari. We boarded zodiac boats and cruised along a serene river, leading into a large lake. As we approached the bears in their natural habitat, the guides turned off the engines and allowed the boats to float by the animals in the riverbanks beside. The bears did not notice us as we weren’t allowed to even speak. It felt like we were entering the bears’ home. It was a surreal and peaceful experience.
A big shout out and thank you to all the assistant guides. You are the soul of our company. Thanks Verena for being there every step of the way and maintaining endless patience.
The weekend was so much fun and I really enjoyed getting to know everyone on my bus. Although I was extremely tired when I returned home, I went to bed dreaming of the next time I will be guiding a bus through the majestic Rocky Mountains… Let’s go!
Written by Alecia Greenwood