Banff on her 125th Birthday

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Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
It’s almost hard for this old Mountain Man to believe, but my most beloved National Park in the world (sorry Jasper), turns 125 this year. It seems like only yesterday she got her national park status, not long after two railroaders stumbled across some hot springs.
Banff’s birthday is important not just as a way of marking the official protection and public ownership of this amazing piece of the world, but the beginning of the Canadian Parks system itself.
Me, I feel like I’ve been here almost since the beginning, hiking, backpacking, fishing, skiing, and ambling around this old park. And yet still, even in 125 years, I don’t think it’d be possible to take in all the beauty that you’ll find here.
Anyway, I’ve got big plans for celebrating the park’s birthday with some of my fellow Mountain Men. We’re going to bake an enormous cake in the shape of Sulphur Mountain (where the springs that started the park spring from) and eat the whole thing while riding up the Banff Gondola.
Why would we do this? Well, for one, Mountain Men love cake. Particularly red velvet cake with chocolate frosting. Two, giant cakes are hard to lug around, and you certainly don’t want to go hauling one down a trail in bear country. And three, the Banff Gondola is one of the best ways to get a wide view of the town and the park.
From up here, we can take in the whole thing, and meditate on the beauty Banff has brought to us and so many people around the world, whether they come for a quick vacation or a life time. We’ll light the candles, let the wind at the top of the mountain blow them out, and then chow down on some cake on behalf of the world’s best national park.

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