I can’t believe it's already been a year since Kyle and I went on our epic road trip #hardcoreparktour2018! Even more than that, it’s crazy that I haven’t shared about our trip on the blog! I’ll be honest, when Kyle threw out the idea last July that we should go on a road trip to visit a few state parks via our subaru while camping and planning and implementing it all in less than two months, I was just a BIT anxious. Looking at my wedding photography schedule and how the weather would influence travel, we knew that September would be the only chance last year to make it happen. After some googling, pinteresting, facebook friend polling, and nail biting, we laid out our itinerary:
-First we would drive west and north to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada,
-Then drive down to Glacier National Park (the Montana side. Glacier is unique in that it spans between the USA and Canada)
-Afterwards we would stop for a few days at Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming) before heading to the Grand Tetons
-And finally on our way back we briefly stopped at the Devil’s tour, Black Hills National Park, Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, and one additional detour to Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
And let me tell you, I am SO GLAD WE WENT! We even created an etsy shop with some of my favorites from the trip which you should definitely check out here. As you can imagine, there is way too much to share than one blog post should hold, so I’ll go into this with just one step at a time and plan on sharing a little bit in each post. So let’s start at the very beginning (“a very good place to start”):
GETTING TO BANFF NATIONAL PARK
After wrangling all of our clothing, toiletries, camping and hiking gear into our subaru forester, we hit the road on the afternoon of September 6th to start our drive from Glen Burnie, MD to Lake Louise in Banff National Park.
We decided to drive as much as we could in the US and here was our route (roughly):
Starting a journey, ideals can be a little lofty, so we decided to metaphorically hit the ground running and get to Banff as quickly as possible by taking turns at the wheel and driving straight through. What resulted was 48 hours of travel while only stopping for food, gas, and one 3 hour nap at a hotel. YES, in hindsight we would both do things differently.
The drive through was fairly uneventful and the landscape we saw was rather blase but that could have been tainted by our fatigue. Things started to change dramatically after we drove through Calgary though. After mostly flat terrain the majority of our trip, everything started to change and it.was.INCREDIBLE. Like, jaw-droppingly GORGEOUS.
We hurriedly checked into our campsite at Lake Louise Campground before heading up to Peyto Lake to meet Lucie and Oscar, a Calgary based photography couple I met on Facebook who agreed to meet us for a portrait session in this amazing landscape.
Banff highly exceeded my expectations and may be the most beautiful place I have been to so far! This first post is already getting a little lengthy so I’ll end it here for now! I hope you’ve enjoyed the first bit of our trip and let me know if you are excited to hear more about our #hardcoreparktour travels later on this fall!