Good morning you awesome human.
So the world turns in it’s mysterious ways and the rights to wealth are bestowed upon those who were lucky. Their qualifications in tourism, at a moment in time, when the world was young and waiting to be discovered. The railway across the country had been completed, and the west was a destination for eager world travelers, who needed new experiences and challenges. The awesome beauty of the mountains and the legacy of adventure that they contain, enticed the inspired traveler to a destination of joy. Rugged adventure, pristine environments, wildlife and mountain climbing, splendid views of previously unseen, grand landscapes. Unknown waters and lakes, valleys and mountains. Unnamed plants and flowers, to be drawn and catalogued. The mountains enticed the privileged, the educated, the adventurer, the fortune hunter and the tourist. All so eagerly swarming to the newly formed national park.
Banff was an island of tourist fortune. A small, 26 square kilometer haven of environmental integrity. The Cave and Basin hot springs, a discovery of international acclaim, lay at the heart of what became a thriving tourist meca of natural wealth and resource.
The players in this wondrous venture, earned their rights to business enterprise and fortune. To this day, the legacy of these people, carve a niche in the thriving Alberta landscape. Here, in the far west is a land of stunning contrast. Superb vistas at high mountain altitudes. Rolling foothills to endless prairie. Wildlands and badlands, pond to desert, dinosaurs to buffalo jump, the great Alberta land has it all.
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The pioneers of the day, brought with them, horsemanship. Cowboys and outfitters, explorers and ranchers, the relentless invasion of the great wild, brought wealth and delight. More dreams, more daring, more farming and tourism. The pioneer of the time dared to demand the promise of hard work and success, of grand ventures and great achievement. To dare the dream of thriving in a new land, with new promise of great success. The venture into a national park system for Canada, was new to the young country. Only ten years old and Canada was carving her niche in environmental conservation policy. A legacy that would become a grand oasis of national parks, historical sites and marine conservation areas, setting aside vast tracts of land in this brave new world.
From small beginnings, come great achievements and the accomplishment of the national park system is still an ongoing and ever expanding development of national heritage. From the wonder of that tiny animal, born in the great wild, to the wonder of an awesome view from the top of a high mountain peak, the land and it’s fantasy draw us to it.
Dreams of adventure, of exploration, of athletic pursuits, of videos and photographs, of roadside wonder and scenic drives. Who saw that mountain top and claimed first prize? Only you. For each of us that ventures in to the national dream of national parks views that superb landscape from the eyes of the early pioneer. Untouched, still unspoiled, the precious dream lives on.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
May 25, 2014