Towards the end of last year I got to go on an amazing holiday to USA and Canada. I have always wanted to go to Canada so I was bursting out of my skin with excitement when we finally decided to bite the bullet and do it. There was one particular day that stands out to me from the holiday and I think it always will.
We were staying in Jasper, Alberta which is a sleepy little town surrounded by the most scenic lakes, mountains and wildlife. It was late Autumn so the trees were almost done changing colour and the fresh bite of winter was nipping at our heels.
We decided to take a drive down to see Athabasca Falls as a lot of people had recommended that we visit this place. I was blown away by how beautiful it was. A huge snow-capped mountain off in the distance with aqua blue water falling over the edge of the cliff between a limestone gorge.
The colour of the water was so blue and the power of the water coming through the falls was impressive and scary. I would not like to have fallen in there.
While we were there we ran into a few Aussie photographers and a local Jasper photographer who were in the area for the Jasper Dark Skies Festival. Lauren and Garry were from the Gold Coast and I had been following them plus Jeff (canadian) on Instagram for a while so it was a complete shock to run into and meet them for the first time on the other side of the world.
Jeff invited us to join them and a bunch of about 20 other photographers on a special expedition that was planned just for this group of awesome photographers. We were to meet them at the Jasper Sky Tram that night and head up to the top of Whistler Mountain to photograph the milky way.
Of course we said Yes! I couldn’t believe our luck and I was internally squealing like a little girl with excitement. It was also my husbands birthday that day so he was pretty excited for the experience also.
So that night we joined the group at the SkyTram and all crammed (and I mean crammed) into the gondola because they were only doing one trip up and back.There was not an inch to move. It was pitch black and kind of a bit scary when you can just feel yourself being pulled higher and higher into the sky but you can’t see a thing. The gondola stopped for a couple of minutes about half way up with no explanation of what was happening. I think everyone started to freak out slightly at that point but relief came flooding back once we started climbing again.
Once we got to the top everyone scrambled off in all different directions because we only had 30 minutes to take some photos plus it was freezing cold standing in snow at the top of a mountain at night.
I found a vantage point that I thought would make a good shot. It was pretty hard because it was so dark and I was trying not to trip over rocks and snow. It was perfect conditions for photographing the Milky Way though!
Luckily the cloud that had been hanging around all day mostly broke up for that period of time so that you could see where the Milky Way was.
I have ALWAYS wanted to see the Northern Lights and that was a big thing I was hoping to see and photograph while I was in Canada because October is the second best time of the year to see it in the Northern Hemisphere. There was talk that the Aurora was out but it wasn’t strong enough to see with the naked eye. However, my camera picked it up while I was doing a long exposure of the Milky Way to my complete surprise. I didn’t even realise I was pointing in the right direction until I was talking to Garry while waiting to catch the Gondola back down. You can see the green part of the picture above is actually the northern lights. I also caught a shooting star in this pic too!
As you can imagine I was on cloud nine after such an amazing day and night. My husband was pretty chuffed too! Its definitely one of those days that I won’t forget about in a hurry! Best day ever and I can’t wait to head back to Jasper again soon. Such a magical place!
Have you ever had a day like this where everything just falls into place perfectly? If so, I would love to hear about it, so leave a comment below.