dara+ben / a pdx, or engagement session

 

When my client texted me a couple hours before their session asking if I liked old fashions - - I knew I was in good company.

Dara + Ben are fun loving adventurous people who I felt more like friends with at the end of their engagement session then anything else.  We started on their back porch with their hammock, drinks in hand and their creamsicle kitty, Gus. Here I got to hear about how they met (two words...anatomy class) and connected over their love for hiking, camping, travel and the outdoors.

We then took a drive over to Powell Butte, a frequent place for them to escape the city to run and hike around.  Besides the precious wildlife and stellar clear views of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Adams - this session was filled with golden light, clearing up any confusion Ben had had about walking in fields nicely dressed and sun flairs. 

Honestly, my heart was so full by the end of this session, that I didn't get lost once ya'll on my drive back to my hotel!  And that's saying a whole heap - since this girl right here has like zero sense of direction.

I cannot wait to capture their wedding this September and wish them all the joy and happiness as their summer has been filled with adventures to be had before their big day.

With Grace+Guts,

-H

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Her Element: Water

Taken out at Spring Valley, August 18th 2016 of the beautiful and strong Mikayla Johnson.

I first had the joy of meeting Mikayla on a trip with our University back in 2015 to Guatemala. It was there that her fire and her joy ignited our trip. Her friendship and love for water hard to beat.Though recently she has been a boss lady kicking lupus' ass, she has been 8-months out of the water.  Sometimes, all one needs is to be in their element to feel the strength that burns inside of them.

Shout out to Tessa's Powder Room in Moscow, Idaho for doing Mikayla's amazing make-up!

You can see more shots from this shoot + others at my Facebook page.

Moved. Brett. Glacier. Artwalk...SLEEP.

I honestly don't remember the last time I was this busy.  I can't, because I'm usually a whirl of a headless chicken juggling the many things that I do.  But these past two-weeks have just been over the top insane...which is fine...because it's all been wonderful (just exhausting) and I'm scheduling a nap for myself in two-weeks.
No joke...I wrote in my planner for two weeks from now a nap at 1:30pm and to wake up at 3:00. (Man I envy my kids sometimes in this regard.)

ARTWALK 2016 | Heather Woolery | All Rights Reserved 2016

ARTWALK 2016 | Heather Woolery | All Rights Reserved 2016

To start us back on track (yay for some normalcy) We got all of our belongings moved in one day, 24-hours, and our new home...which is substantially nicer yet smaller then our previous places, was a Great Wall of Boxes and Bags and I'm not sure what all.  It's been two weeks of me sorting through stuff, and donating a lot.  If you follow me on Pintrest you'll see I oogle and google at homey homes that are somewhat (not over the top) minimal and C L E A N!  My miner OCD is drawn to this, yet with all our stuff, which we really didn't need, this was impossible.  
So sadly, my studio is still not even touched, it's just a Great Wall of Boxes and Bags, but the rest of the house is really starting to come together and my OCD M U S T C L E A N panic attacks are getting fewer.

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

As an early birthday present, the hubby took my down to S. Idaho to go see Brett Dennen.  Let me squeal here like a high school roady. I got to see Brett Dennen in concert.  Now, my love for this man is strictly his music...no joke.  Now, he IS a beautiful human and soul, but that transcribed into his lyrics, and when someone can open themselves up and share it with the world like Brett (melts) I'm all ears.  Brett Dennen was the artist my husband first suggested when we started dating, and when my hubby left for a month long military training he sent me the lyrics of "Don't Forget" by Brett since I was going through such a hard personal time being a single mom.
Now it's become me missing my hubby, having a GAH! day, me needing some good studio music, me just wanting to dance a little bit versus full on Robyn dance floor...Brett Dennen is my main squeeze for this. 
Not to mention I got to meet him, get the typical horrible "I met this celebrity" picture and to cherry top it off...I got a hug.  If you all need a new addition to your Summer 2016 Playlist go check out Por Favor by Brett Dennen...Bon Fire is a current favorite track <3

To finish off the birthday festivities, the following weekend, we took a three-day weekend trip to Glacier National Park.  For living not that far away from it, it's one my hubby and I haven't had a chance to make it to just yet.  Celebrating the Centennial of National Parks, my hubby and I have signed ourselves up for our own personal Nat Park Run 2016-2017 season.  Seeing how many National Parks we can visit in the season.  Now, we're slowed down by our two-week jaunt to Europe in July (bummer, lol) but we're still "Challenge Accepted" "Game On!" 

As for Glacier, I had asked my husband that for my birthday I wanted Hot Coco and Mountains, and well Glacier did just that.  We stuck around the Lack McDonald area since the Going-To-The-Sun Rd. was closed past The Walk Of The Cedars. We did the Cedar trail, and had an afternoon intermission when I was hit with a minor spat of food poisoning.  I was curled up in my sleeping bag watching the silhouette's of caterpillars crawl across the top of the tent while my (oh so sweet) hubby wrangled our children and kept them occupied with our Eno Hammock.    

After lots of sleep and a light dinner I was feeling good enough to go down to Lake McDonald and get pictures of my birthday sunset...and it didn't disappoint.

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

Now to finish off this headless chicken run I've been doing is Artwalk.  My work is showcased in two separate establishments and I'm organizing another businesses Artwalk...so all I've done this week is go to work, come home and make, pick up kids, do kids sports, feed kids, shower kids, wrangle kids into bed, drink more coffee, stay up late making and organizing, and loath my alarm every morning.
But I'm so excited for these shows and I'm proud of the work I'm showcasing.  After Friday, I'll be more regular about these posts and will show you the art carnival of my town which is Artwalk.

So Happy Humpday Friends.  Take a long drag of your coffee and know its gonna be okay.

With Grace + Guts.

-H

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

National Park Run 2016-2017: Glacier | June 2016 | All Rights Reserved 2016 Heather Woolery

impromptu happiness.

Explorer | Photo taken by Hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by Hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Child of the Mountain | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Child of the Mountain | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All RIghts Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All RIghts Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

This past week was my kids spring break, and as you saw, we soaked up all we could from the beautiful + quirky city, Portland OR.  (We have been missing it since we left!)

But we drove down to Southern Idaho to soak up some familia time before returning back to the still cold North (so ready for warmer weather!)

After a weekend of cacti shopping, lots of coffee, a geek bar downtown Boise and some laughs it was time for us to drive home yesterday.  

While driving out of Riggins Idaho, my little photographer eye found this beautiful spot + I had to take pictures. So for 30-minutes my hubbs and I swapped my Nikon back and forth taking pictures.  It was an impromptu photo shoot that was filled with child spirits going wild as they climbed the rocks + lots of happiness.

That's The Hubb's | Riggins Idaho| All RIghts Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

That's The Hubb's | Riggins Idaho| All RIghts Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

"I have a rock ma'ma" | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

"I have a rock ma'ma" | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Explorer | Photo taken by hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Familia | Photo Taken By the hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Familia | Photo Taken By the hubbs | Riggins Idaho | All Rights Reserved: Heather Woolery 2016

Donuts + Coffee + Mountains + Thinking About Color

Go Get Lost | Moscow Mountain, Moscow, IDAHO | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Go Get Lost | Moscow Mountain, Moscow, IDAHO | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Maybe its a cliche thing to do here in the beautiful PNW?  But there is something mentally revitalizing from filling your body up with delicious glazed carbs, too much cream creamy coffee and some fresh PNW air that does a soul so much damn good.  Not to mention it helps my wander prone soul to take a chill pill and get a mini fix.

There comes a point in the week for me, and I'm not sure if it's exactly at the crack of dawn on Monday or midway through Wednesday...but its the undying urge to go and get outside.  To climb something, trek something, and capture it with every form of film possible + not to mention bring my babes along.

Something I have found recently, is that I am so intimately aware of color when I'm outside. I'm aware of how the lighting is changing the color, and how the image will look if I edit it a certain way.  Color + lighting are constantly on my mind while I'm outdoors (even if there's no camera attached to my hand.)

Focus | Moscow Mountain, Moscow, IDAHO | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Focus | Moscow Mountain, Moscow, IDAHO | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

The concept of color when it comes to my photography has been a constant struggle.  I love black and white photography.  End of story.  It's classic + crisp...it makes the viewer look at what is truly in the image.  However, color can be so powerful too!  I really faced this struggle while I've been working on the photos I took while in Guatemala...the culture, place, + people were so colorful...but the black + white photos made you REALLY look at the people which was really important to me.  So it was a 50/50 balance of what photos I kept color and which ones I chose to turn black + white.

But MOST photos I take of outdoors usually stay color.  Its an inner struggle that I'm not sure I want to confront just yet.  When I'm doodling, or playing with water color to just play hands on I am drawn to warmer colors like reds, oranges, and yellows but I also love me some Kelly Green's so my love for color is vast and strong in a lot of what I do.

While I was out on Moscow Mountain this past weekend, I gave my two own kids the same Fuji 35mm disposable cameras I had given my students this past week.  I told them the same guild lines as I had given my students...which was nothing.  Take pictures of what you deem beautiful, important to take pictures of and it became this wonderful morning adventure. There was hard lessons of not to take selfies with these cameras because you'll see blue and yellow dots, but there was also wonderful warm lessons of what my children found beautiful in the outdoor setting I myself was taking photos of.  I learned a lot from their small POV and I'm still channeling this in my note book to help me when I get all the cameras back from my other students I handed out last week.

In the pursuit of learning film + stitching it together I started filming my fam. tribes mini adventures and splicing them together into something tangible while also working on the little rocket ship project I started last week.  I've put them below so check um' out!

If you haven’t already follow all my adventures and creations both big and small on Instagram @heather_woolery + on Facebook: Adventure With Purpose
— https://www.facebook.com/adventurewpurposephoto/

Raining Snow, Realizations + Coffee

Since I've gotten back from Guatemala it's been a whirl wind of school, senior studio, new work schedules, teaching, still trying to move into our new place and other family ordeals and I've failed to let you all know about my trip down to Guatemala...and I'm in all honesty so sorry.

For the past handful of day's here in North Idaho it's been raining snow - quite literally - and I have quite literally learned that my TOMS may not be the best sort of footwear for this sort of weather.  I've also tried breaking out the Chaco's and the Birkenstocks without socks...and I'm sure this is all a direct result of my revolting against the PNW weather I do truly love but still longing for that Guatemalan sunshine.

I've been reveling in the memories lately with the constant work of editing the photos I took on this trip.  Which, I will let you all know, will be on display at Bloom Cafe & Art House in Moscow, Idaho March 3rd for Moscow's First Thursday and then again for the month of April at Emerge Gallery in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.  Both will have some of the same photos, but each show will also showcase special photographs that will only be shown at that specific show.
(stay tuned for more info - or e-mail me about any questions regarding)

With the joys of educational bliss about to come to a close at the end of this year, the hubbs and I have had multiple "what do we want to be when we grow up" sounded conversations and we couldn't help but feel, where the town we reside in now has been incredible and so near to our hearts, that it may be time to start renesting elsewhere.  Now, where that's 9-months or so down the road, conversations like those always lead to realizations about oneself, ones predicament or even those that one may surround themselves with.  I feel pretty lucky to be married to the man I snagged almost three years ago and last night I went upstairs to send out a couple emails and I saw this...

Married to a Forester | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Married to a Forester | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Being married to a forester has its days of way too early of a morning wake-up call, sap and who knows what stains on his jeans I'll never get out, and summer's tend to leave me quite lonely at times...but this man has been standing by me, helping me with every dream and ambition I hold near to my heart + he works his ass off for me and our two Things that run around like possessed monkeys.  This hat, so worn, yet so comfortable and loving incapsulates my husband better then anything I've found to date.

Childhood Residence | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

Childhood Residence | All Rights Reserved Heather Woolery 2016

It doesn't matter where we live, or how much like nomads we resemble some days/weeks/months - our life is ours to live.  We're a family of four outrageously crazy not-normal normal humans all co existing together everyday through up's and down's.  We help one another, cheer each other on, fight with one another, snuggle and love one another.  We're as real of a family as it's gonna get, even if we have no ambitions for white picket fences at this point in time.  And that is the realization I needed to make.  There's no list of boxes to check off that I need to complete by the time by kids turn 18, or I'm married to my husband for 20-years.  Its just simply what makes our family run, that's all that matters.

So let my mini-but not so mini life lesson be a hug on this Friday afternoon before you step into your weekend.  No matter what your family looks like, whither your all related or not, find comfort, love and light in their presence knowing that this is exactly where you need to be at this moment in time.

With Grace and Guts,
Adventure With Purpose

Video Time | Banff National Forest Style | 2015

Since I got home from Banff a couple months ago I've been wanting to put a compilation of photos from the trip (some no one besides my wonderful mama has seen) and share them with you - since I mean - I've already shared all my traveling tips with you all.

SO...

         here it is...

Banff National Park No.5

Our fifth day was planned to have a day of shopping downtown, though because we had also done shopping at the Lake Louise Village shopping strip and in Jasper the day prior so we also filled our morning with venturing to the Banff Park Museum and the Whyte Museum.

The Banff Park Museum was wonderful and full of history and information.  With two floors this museum of a museum is completely crafted out of Douglas fir woodwork, it is Canada's oldest surviving federal building.  Most of the museum's specimens were collected between 1890 and 1930, during the time when it was common practice to kill animals for identification.  This was also one of the cheapest activities my mom and I did.  We also visited later that day the Whyte Museum which is located just down the street from the Banff Park Museum, though we were not equally impressed.  It does have a lot of information and really decent art collection, it is very dry and extremely small, so the higher price of admissions didn't feel worth for value.

Photo Credit to Canadianstewardship.com As I failed to grab a shot of Banff Downtown

Photo Credit to Canadianstewardship.com As I failed to grab a shot of Banff Downtown

In between the museums, my mom and I went shopping downtown Banff.  Though idyllic and adorable, there are streets and rows of shops focused on tourists full of the tricky tacky whimsical kitsch gifts that all of us tourist buy into, even if it's just a little bit.  Though there were a few beautiful and wonderful shops that were not just tourist but very local and are defiantly worth a stop in.  There was Roots Canada - a Canadian lifestyle shop, About Canada Gallery and Gift store - with a wide selection of local based artists as well as other beautiful home decor, The Banff Tea Co. and The Spirit of Christmas were also beautiful little shops.
If your looking for groceries or a quick snack (as advised in earlier blogs), it's always helpful to have some food on hand to avoid going out to eat for every meal the two grocer's I suggest it Banff's Safeway and Banff's Provisions General Store.  The two best coffee/pastries/lunch locations we visited was the Wild Flower Artisan Bakery and Evelyn's Coffee Bar (there is also an Evelyn's Two and Evelyn's Again - their all connected and all make amazing hot coco).

Evelyn's Again | Banff, Alberta Canada | Hot Coco Indulgence

Evelyn's Again | Banff, Alberta Canada | Hot Coco Indulgence

Once we were shopped and museum-ed out, my mom and I went for a drive to a near by lake that we had heard via only blogs and travel books was well worth a stop by.  Lake Minniwonka did not disappoint for one moment.  Equipped with an adorable coffee/snack bar, this is the perfect little picnic, get away from the downtown hubbub spot.  It's water however is always at a static 32-degree's so this isn't a swimming hole at any point of the year (but with so many hot springs around, there doesn't seem to be much of any complaint.)  Lake Minniwonka is full of minor day's history and has graduated from a small tiny lake, to now having three damns and is 14-times the size of Lake Louise.  Being our first time in Canada my mom and I splurged and went on the scenic 1-hour boat ride that gave us a ton of information not only on the lake but on the area and its history as well.

Lake Minniwonka Viewer | Banff, Alberta Canada | 2015 Heather Woolery All Rights Reserved

Lake Minniwonka Viewer | Banff, Alberta Canada | 2015 Heather Woolery All Rights Reserved

We spent the majority of our afternoon hanging around the lake and on the boat ride.  The staff was extremely informational, fun and helpful which made this an absolute great stop for any visitor or drive thru.  You can also rent boats for an hour or for the day and don't have to opt for the touristy one-hour boat ride I ventured on.

When we got hungry enough for dinner, we opted to check-into our last stay for our holiday which was at a wonderful little stop right downtown Banff, The Blue Mountain Lodge.  The staff was extremely helpful and wonderful to be around and it felt so much like "being home" that both my mom and I wished we'd gotten a chance to stay here more then just one night.  Though the bathroom was quaint and the amenities seemed odd, it was defiantly how the lodge was taken care of and loved by its staff, it's homemade warm breakfast, a community kitchen and the motif that set this place apart.

Blue Mountain lodge B&amp;B | Banff, Alberta Canada | 2015 Heather Woolery All Rights Reserved

Blue Mountain lodge B&B | Banff, Alberta Canada | 2015 Heather Woolery All Rights Reserved

The end cap to our busy day didn't fail us one bit.  We had some pizza, found my thing one and thing two house slippers (which had been a man-hunt for over 24-hrs) then took the front clerk of the B&B suggestion - we went to Bow Falls and the Fairmont (Castle) Hotel.  We figured we were in for a short drive, and were concerned as we were loosing light, however, it was less then five-minutes of a drive from the lodge and it was absolutely beautiful.  The Fairmont Hotel was built in the 1800's and though it is still a running hotel, is also a historical landmark and is open to the public for viewing.  Bow Falls and the hotel are within walking distance of one another, and so that is exactly what we did.  We enjoyed the falls with the last bit of light and then toured around the hotel and enjoyed some late night hot coco and german pretzels the Castle Pantry, located on the main floor.
It was bitter sweet to be sitting in the lobby of the Castle Pantry, robbing them of their free Wifi which was hard for us to locate on this trip, enjoying our hot coco and pretzel.  The company and the country would be most absolutely missed as it had gained so much of my heart.  Though to end the night well, there were two giant elk bucks hanging in the parking lot reminding us as the sunset slipped into darkness behind Mt. Randall, that we had been in a very special place in the world.

Banff National Park No.4

Lake Louise Gondola - Banff National Park - 2015

Lake Louise Gondola - Banff National Park - 2015

To start our day four off right we enjoyed one of the best hotel breakfasts I've ever had (which really is saying something) at the Lake Louise Inn!  It was $1.00 extra per person at check-in and it was worth it, a complete spread from hash browns to multiple types of breakfast meats, sweet-pieces, fruit, on and on along with the most adorable mini Nutella's you've ever seen.  We were also able to purchase our tickets for the Lake Louise Gondola at check-out which made it super convenient.  There is transportation from the hotel to the gondola however we opted to drive ourselves (something about being on your own time which is just nice.)

At the gondola you have to watch a short informational video letting you know how Parks Canada and other groups work together to make sure that not only you as the visitor but the wildlife are as little impacted as possible, and then your off on your way.  There are multiple large electric fences around Banff National Park to detour curious little bears and other wildlife from coming in contact with humans, you see one of these fences on your ride on the gondola, but once your past the fence it isn't uncommon to see one of those fuzzy creatures munching on huckleberries and other foliage down below.  However, though we never saw a black or grizzly bear on our trip, the views from the gondola were wonderful and the informational center was sensational.  If you have kids or want some hands on learning yourself, the informational center is the place to go.  There is a well knowledged staff and lots of specimens for hands on teaching, as well as a nice restaurant and multiple trail heads. 

One thing I saw when researching Banff National Park is that I MUST take the Icefield Parkway, a 3+ hour drive between Banff and Jasper National Park.  According to National Geographic, it's the drive of a lifetime, and if your out to see some wildlife this is the way to do it.  Like I mentioned earlier, we didn't see any bears on our trip, however, during our drive on the Parkway we saw Mountain Goats, Big Horn Sheep, Elk, and a few other small little creatures.  The Parkway is also the way to a lot of other popular attractions.

Once we got to Jasper, we instantly fell in love with the town.  It was quaint, the Canadian Pacific is in the heart and center of this town and its far less tourist driven but local.  Though the tourist shops are still on the main strip, my mom went into a wonderful little flower shop, had some wonderful coffee, checked out a farmers market and got to have Monte Cristos (both our favorite sandwich and if you've never had one SHAME!) at a local Canadian chain.

Jasper - Alberta Canada - 2015

Jasper - Alberta Canada - 2015

To say the least, we stayed in Jasper a little longer then planned so we drove back in the dark, but we had a booked night back at Johnston Canyon, and if we had known we would love Jasper so much we would have stayed there the night.  However we got to our little bungalow exhausted and happy and well adventured out for the day.  Though this seems like a short day, there wouldn't have been enough time if I made every stop I wished to make on the Icefields Parkway as if was filled with glorious views of the Rockies, multiple lakes, wildlife and other spectacular views.  Take a day and go drive this stretch, its well beyond worth the pricier gas prices.

hings learned: Plan a minimum of one day and one night at Jasper.  Absolutely plan a trip (even a couple hours) on the Canadian Pacific railway.  Look into and book hotels/bungalows or town houses before you go and plan your trip accordingly.