GOOD TIMES JOURNAL // PHOTO SERIES 026 // JESS DALES
Jess Dales is an outdoor enthusiast from Seattle, WA, with a passion for collecting moments to share through visual storytelling. Quin Schrock is an adventure and lifestyle photographer based out of Southern California and Oahu.
I'd been to Alberta once before, but just for one day. It all started with a random email from Quin (@everchanginhorizon), about a road trip he was taking just over a year ago. He was planning a drive from Colorado to Alaska with a bunch of photographers and wanted to know if I was interested in riding along for part of the journey. Quin was a complete stranger at the time, I’m still not sure why I agreed to ride along! This time around as I sat on the plane flying back to Alberta, I couldn’t help but smile at the irony.
Reflecting on that day in the rocky province more than a year earlier, it still didn't feel real. I’d often wondered if the dream-like quality of that day was due to the circumstances surrounding the trip, or if the mountains in Alberta really were a little bigger, the lakes a little bluer, and the sky a little brighter than the ones I was used to. All I knew is that I'd been trying to get back there ever since I left the first time.
This trip was bound to be a lot different than our last one. Quin was no longer a stranger, we would have an entire week to explore instead of just a single day, and we were tasked with photographing some of the less known areas during the off-season. In short, I had no idea what to expect and I was surprisingly a bit nervous.
The first of couple days didn’t exactly go according to plan. Let’s just say the weather was grey, roads were closed, boats weren't running, and good light was in short supply. But it didn't matter. There are some places where the earth speaks so loudly that you can't hear yourself think. In other places it speaks so softly that its whispers still float through the air long after you're gone – and sometimes, somehow, it manages to do both. Alberta is truly one of those places.
We packed every minute of we had that week, chasing light and iconic views. But it only took about a day for me to realize that the magic of my first trip wasn't due to sleep deprivation, the euphoria of meeting new people, or the adrenaline rush of polar plunges. Alberta really was special. From the most popular views in Banff to one of the smallest mountain towns in Crowsnest Pass, the experience will definitely leave its mark on you.