As usual, trip planning started months before we left with Julie getting a few books and spending endless hours searching the web. We lucked out by having some expert advise from a friend at work who has been up in that area several times. Big shout out to John Maher for the help.

Julie spent a full week packing things up and getting the house, car, kids, etc. ready for Saturday morning when we planned on leaving. As we have purchased things for the trip over the past 3-4 months, Julie has been putting those things in a pile located in the corner of our bedroom. The pile reached a pinnacle this past week and that’s how you know it’s almost time to leave.

I got out of work a little early on Friday, got my hair cut before the trip, and then came home to pack up the car. We put all the gear on the driveway and then spent surprisingly few minutes getting it all to fit. That must mean we can fit more!!!

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The girls have their little world in the backseat and Julie has all her gear for the long car drive setup like a mom workstation. Maps, food, reading material, electronics, games for the kids, coloring material, DVDs, it all has it’s place.

Every now and then I get the urge to share movies from my childhood with my girls. A few years ago it was Star Wars, then Goonies and this trip…. it’s The Neverending Story. I must have watched this movie dozens of times growing up and it was such a cool and unique movie when it came out. Very compelling story and the girls, being 6 and 9, are the perfect age in my view. As I sit here typing this, they are in the back watching Up!. They don’t know what ‘dad’s surprise movie’ is yet so let’s hope they are up for it!

We also need to be mentally prepared for a trip like this. It takes a lot of effort and planning for us to arrange this size/length of a trip. I hope that as our girls are able to reflect on this trip in the future they are filled with memories of our adventures. I have been thinking a lot about what activities and things we can do as a family that will leave a lasting impression and provide an opportunity for them to learn. I couldn’t be happier that Julie and the girls have become so interested in the outdoors. I think that of all the trips I took as a kid, it was the ones where we were in nature and outside that stand out for me. Mother nature has so much to offer and there always seems to be something different and exciting. Banff and Jasper will offer them such a different experience then what they have had in life so far, that hopefully it will inspire similar trips in the future.


We’ve done a lot of research into the Banff/Jasper area including the weather. It’s one of those things that you don’t think about a lot if you are going on vacation in the US anytime in June, July or August since it’s pretty nice everywhere. Turns out that the highs are around 60 F during the day and 38 F for highs at night. As we are leaving, here is the weather prediction for the next 10 days:

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Oh, and did I mention that June is the rainiest month of the year in Banff? Let’s hope it lightens up for us. Sun rises at 5:30ish and sets after 10 each night. I’ve never been north enough to experience the ‘long summer days’. Hopefully our bodies will adjust.