I walked into a fairytale.
The expanse of the blue lake water, stretching across in an unbroken mirror to the mountains and glacier behind. The misty clouds, creeping silently, magically along the forest ridgelines. The rocks in front of my toes, so clear in the glassy water. The snow, peaceful and perfect, drifting to catch on my hat and gloves and nose.
This place is pure magic. Every time I visit, I get chills down my arms and my breath catches in my chest. Even when hundreds of tourists with their selfie sticks and chatter swarm around me, it’s still magic.
This particular evening, I was alone on the stone steps. Bliss. Lake Louise is an old friend--it was over a decade ago that I stepped up to her and fell in love. Nathan proposed on a rocky outcropping above this lake (The Big Beehive), her turquoise waters glowing in the sun far below us. Nathan and I have walked here together many times, hiked, brought friends, canoed. Seeing her like this, in her winter finery, was absolutely enchanting.
I stayed out until it was past dark, trying to soak in every blue moment I could. I went back to the hotel, where my new friend, Katrina, was enjoying our upgraded “President’s Club Member Of The Day” room at the Fairmont. We’d met in Calgary, both headed for the same conference as roommates, and I had been overjoyed that we were such instant friends. Both of us wanted to spend the two days before our photography conference exploring the park.
The next morning, I went back out to the shore and rambled about in the fresh blanket of puffy white snow. Later, Katrina joined me for a walk along the lake shore before we headed up the Icefields Parkway. Everywhere I looked made my job drop, and Katrina giggled at me a lot with my enthusiastic GAHs and WHOAs and WOULDYOULOOKITTHAT!s. We got up as far as Bow Lake, and took a very cold blustery walk before huddling back into the car and heading back to Canmore for our conference.
The conference itself was fantastic, and I’m so glad I went. 70 women, great speakers, excellent company, and solid business insight. So many good ideas are floating around in my head as I tumble through the press of the last of my 2016 sessions, weddings, albums and editing. I’m glad I took the time to stare at mountains, feel the snow on my face, fill my heart with beauty, and learn new things.
Here are some of my favorite moments from Banff. Enjoy!
And, lastly, me: