Steller and New Year Adventures

Have you heard of Steller? It’s a fun new social media which allows you to post short stories in the form of photo essays. While Instagram publishes one photo at a time which allows you to share a single moment, Steller is a collection of photos or videos which allow you to share an experience. There are some absolutely beautiful Steller stories being published out there and I definitely encourage you to check them out! I just published my first story on Steller, more on that below.

As many of you know, I recently returned from a winter adventure trip to the Great White North where I explored a little bit of Alberta and its beautiful Banff and Jasper National Parks. This ended up being a last minute adventure and we first booked a flight to Calgary, then started planning the rest only a couple weeks prior to departure. As you are likely aware, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is the busiest travel week of the year, so not all that surprising, both towns of Banff and Jasper (and everywhere else) were completely booked. Then we found out that no SUV’s or all-wheel drive vehicles were available for rent that week, and we started to get nervous.

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Growing frustrated and concerned that we may not be able to make the trip happen, some luck passed our way. Turns out some friends who have recently moved to Calgary were flying back to the U.S. for the holidays and their SUV would be sitting in airport parking.

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This is me tying bags on top of the car in -5°

They were gracious enough to let us use it for the week, which helped us and saved them outrageous parking fees. Then, we happened upon the Town of Canmore where we found a “charming” little condo, literally part of a shopping center that held both a Thai and Asian BBQ restaurants, and the Quikieh Asian Market. This shopping center was also about 15ft from the regularly used train tracks. What’s not to like about readily available Asian food and freight trains to help you sleep? Actually, the character of our condo really grew on us, the town itself was beautiful, and the people were exceptionally welcoming and lived up to the hospitable Canadian stereotypes. Canmore sits just outside of Banff National Park, and while it may have been a little further away, it was full of character and we had a blast. I highly recommend that you at least make it a stop on your next Alberta vacation!

Our adventures included hiking, snowshoeing, exploring slot canyons, trail-running, walking on frozen lakes and rivers, cross-country skiing and dog-sledding, and I was there with my camera the entire time. I figured this was the perfect time to post my first Steller Story, and I’ve aptly named it Valhalla, as the story showcases images from one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Please take a look and if you enjoy, please share!

What adventures do you have planned for 2015? I’m definitely hoping for more to come! Stay tuned, and as always keep checking back with the website or Facebook page for the latest happenings of Matthewbe Photography.

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