Posted by: James Shannon | July 15, 2012

Photo: Front Range Of Canadian Rockies, Off The Beaten Track In David Thompson County, Alberta, Canada

Approaching the front range of Canadian Rockies on the David Thompson Highway (Hwy 11), west of Nordegg, Alberta, Canada.

As much as I have taken the presence of the Rockies here in Alberta for granted to an extent, there are still times where this force of nature can sock you in the stomach and leave you breathless over its gob smacking beauty.

One such occasion occurred on a pre-Christmas ski trip. It was -38c at the time of this photo and I was about to shred the slopes of Sunshine Village in Banff … in blue jeans. Masochistic or just plain dumb? You be the judge!

But I digress.

Shortly after sunrise, after driving through the darkness of a Winter Solstice morning for three hours from Edmonton, this sigh was rammed into my mental memory banks, where it shall remain to the end of my days. The front range of the Rockies, which normally rises up gradually from the foothills in other parts of the province, instead shot up like an impenetrable fortress wall, granting passage only through the narrow North Saskatchewan River Valley.

The fact that this sight was only accessible via the lightly traveled David Thompson Highway, which runs west towards the Rockies from Red Deer, Alberta made it even more special. Off the beaten track explorations may not always yield big discoveries, but when they do, they create experiences that will never be forgotten!

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