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    Posted July 24, 2012 by
    Surrey, British Columbia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel photo of the day

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    Spectacular Canadian Rocky Mountains


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     speedy01 of Surrey, British Columbia, spent a ten-day vacation photographing the Canadian Rockies. speedy01 traveled by car, exploring obscure and enchanting towns and villages, rolling hills and snowcapped mountains. "As a first time traveler to the Rockies, it is very hard not to be struck with awe at the sight of these mountains and incredible scenery that is at your feet. The Rockies are simply magic," he says. His fourth photo was featured as CNN's Travel Photo of the Day for September 21, 2012!
    - stein0726, CNN iReport producer

    After two weeks of traveling through Alberta and seeing the Rocky Mountains as well as a good part of the Okanagan I came back home, tired after driving 3500kms but happy to have been able to see those marvelous Rocky Mountains. Because it was exceptionally hot this July, very few animals ventured out of the forests, so I had a small window of opportunity to photograph them. My trip took me from Vancouver B.C to Mount Robson, the highest point in the Canadian Rockies and off to Jasper, a small town where the Rocky Mountain train stops. Very touristy and crowded, souvenir shops everywhere and inflated prices in Hotels and Motels. Needless to say I didn’t stay long there. Mosquitoes are also a big problem this time of year in particular because of the high amount of rain they had just before I arrived there.
    The trip from Jasper to Banff is simply spectacular! The landscapes are out of this world, the mountains simply stunning, one marvel at how incredibly beautiful nature is around these areas.
    Banff is again, a town that thrives on tourism, not because of its beauty or anything but because of winter sports. Summer is a season for tourists, of course, and just like Jasper souvenirs shops abound and overcrowding is the norm this time of year. Hotels are very expensive and fully booked. So, I continued on to Waterton Lakes. I was very impressed with this area; the Prince of Wales Hotel sits on top of a small mountain with an incredible view of the lake and the majestic mountains all around.
    Lush vegetation, lots of wild animals abound here, brown bears, black bears, deer and elks are everywhere.
    Having traveled all over the Rockies, and I must say, the roads in Alberta are simply marvelous, smooth as silk, speed limit is also very generous at 130km/h I decided to push north and spend some time in the Okanagan; Fruit and Wine country.
    Being a semi desert, the heat was extreme, almost unbearable; a/c is a must, either in the car or Hotel rooms. I wandered from Osoyoos to Penticton, Kelowna, and Princeton, enjoying their wines and fresh fruits, slowly driving back home.
    If you have never seen the Canadian Rocky Mountains, a trip such as the one I took is a must do, even if only once in a lifetime!
    As someone once said: Travel West young man!
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