Nothing says “mountains” like the adorable and hilariously loud squeak of the tiny pika. Any hike above tree line in the Canadian Rockies will have this noisy soundtrack. Pikas are super cute rodents with cartoonishly large, round ears. I’d show you a picture, I don’t have one. For one thing, they blend into the rocks they scurry over and under, so they’re hard to spot. And, dang, these nervous little guys know how to move. By the time you do lay eyes on one of these little guys, he’s probably already darting off into a crevice. Therefore, putting eyes on a pika never gets old, because you know you probably won’t have any photos by which to remember them.
Just watch the first couple seconds and you’ll see what I mean:
I didn’t bring back a photo of any pikas, though we saw probably hundreds of them. I also don’t have a photo of the caribou we spotted early one morning, because she was lying about ten feet in front of the car that hit her. The car was totaled, and the stranded Canadian driver looked befuddled but unsurprised.
Here are some animals we did capture on camera.
The already discussed bighorn sheep:
Mother bear with her two cubs, early morning along the Icefields Parkway.
One of a flock of grouse, which are like small chickens.
Chipmunk. Yeah, I know, that’s not terribly unique, but look at this guy. He’s too cute to ignore.