National Geographic : 1960 Jul
berta,riding a wave of phenom enal expansion and prosperity, has every economic reason to expect even more dramatic de velopment in the future. What lies behind this surging growth? To find out, I traveled first through the hinterland, where lie the wealth and won ders that create cities. I could hope for only a glimpse of Alberta's vast, un developed north country; few Albertans themselves ever see this wild muskeg land. Yet much of it is arable, much of it rich in untapped oil, a land for the future. In the southern part of Alberta there is enough for today. From Calgary, then, I drove first to the Canadian Rockies, which stretched jagged across the western horizon like a blue etching on the sunset. My des tination was Banff, the neat and modest tourist capital of Banff National Park (page 98), where deer and bears frequent the roads.* Park rangers export bears only when they prove to be incorrigible nuisances. One old story about Banff tells of a Canadian Mountie's pet bear that habitually slipped his collar to prowl the town. *See "On the Ridgepole of the Rockies," by Walter Meayers Edwards, NA TIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, June, 1947. Snowmobiles thread crevasses on a sightseer's climb up Athabasca Gla cier. Skis replace front wheels; endless treads provide traction. This frozen river is a tongue of the Columbia Icefield, a 100-square mile remnant of the last Ice Age straddling the Continental Divide. Snow streaks Mount An dromeda's sheer wall in the background.