I can’t believe this trip just ended! It was epic in every way, from the company that joined me, to the beautiful views that we experienced every day. It is one trip I will not forget anytime soon. I partnered with Ford Canada to test drive the new 2019 Ford Explorer Platinum edition. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing cars for the past 3 years, and this one is my number one choice for luxury, comfort, and added features like bucket seats with built-in massage. #giftedexperience
We began exploring around the Banff area, looking for different points-of-view: breathtaking snow-covered mountains, clear lakes, and fresh mountain air. A stop at Lake Minnewanka was our first breathtaking view that included a beautiful reflection with a floating village in the middle of the lake.
The 2019 Ford Explorer Platinum edition came in handy when driving stretches of rough countryside roads. On this beautiful but cold afternoon, with the Ford dual-zone electronic automatic climate control system, I was able to set my own personal preferred temperature on the driver’s side. My passenger, Fred, was able to set his preferred temperature on the passenger side of the vehicle.
With the 2019 Ford Explorer Platinum, the Apple Play Map guided us to every location – even without WiFi. When I filled the Explorer’s gas tank, it cost me $72 for 630 kilometres. Not bad at all for the size of the engine that the Explorer has under the hood.
- Premium Audio System from Sony® with Clear Phase® and Live Acoustics™
- SYNC® 3
- FordPass™ Connect with Wi-Fi® Hotspot
- A forward media hub with (1) smart-charging USB and (4) 12V powerpoints
- SiriusXM Radio
- Voice-Activated Touchscreen Navigation System with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link®
The next morning another friend, Jason, joined us in Canmore. The clouds opened up, highlighting the mountains, landscape, and the frost glistening on the branches of the trees. We really enjoyed the Three Sisters mountains that are featured in the background. To get to this location, we took the Ford Explorer, enjoying all of these vehicles luxuries: heated seats in the front, lots of cargo space, seating enough for 7 passengers, Apple Play for our maps, and hands-free service for my incoming calls.
- Multi-Contour Front Seats
- Nirvana leather with micro-perforation and quilted inserts, 1st row “Platinum” embroidery and Multi-contour driver and passenger seats
- Second-row 60/40 split-fold-flat bench seat
- Heated second-row 60/40 split fold-flat bench seat (outboard positions)
- Third-row PowerFold® 50/50 split-folding bench seat
- 10-way heated and cooled power front-passenger seat
- Second-row heated dual bucket seats with Power-Assist Fold
We made plenty of stops along the way to Emerald Lake, as we wanted to capture a unique composition for these breathtaking views. The views didn’t disappoint us, as you can see. It was my first time at Emerald Lake. I would love to return during the warmer months. Although I was expecting less ice, we still managed to capture the reflection of the lodge in the small lake on the right-hand side.
To get to this area of the lake, we had to make a little trail, as the snow was getting soft. All was well until my foot went “splash” in the water. It was cold for a brief second, but, my main goal was to capture this shot, and I did. Have you explored Emerald Lake? They say the hike around the lake is stunning for an inexperienced hiker like myself. We then headed to the Lake Louise area for the evening. It was time to relax.
I’ve stopped in Chateau Lake Louise several times in my life, and it still continues to amaze me. Seeing this beautiful area in 3 of the 4 seasons makes it easy to see the beauty it carries with snow, ice, rain and sunshine. This year we put money aside for the opportunity to enjoy breakfast at the large window restaurant, so we could enjoy the breathtaking view of Lake Louise and the surrounding mountains. Unfortunately, when we visited, the restaurant wasn’t open. We still took a few moments at 7:30 a.m. to enjoy the stunning view.
We headed back to Calgary for a weekend of rest and relaxation. This was a much-needed break after a hectic schedule of visiting tourist attractions, early morning photo shoots at sunrise, long days of travel, and staying up late to edit pictures while awaiting the opportunity of a red hot sunset. While in Calgary, friends suggested some great locations to explore. The unique points-of-view made up for all of the one-way streets, closed roads and traffic.
Comfort and Convenience
- 110V/150W AC power outlet
- 12V powerpoints, 4 total (2 first row, 1 2nd row, 1 cargo area)
- Cruise control
- Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with brake support
- Ambient Lighting
- Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
- Blind Spot Information System (BLIS® with cross-traffic alert)
The Peace Bridge, a unique and colourful landmark in Calgary, was part of the attractions I wanted to see. I pulled up to the bridge in the late afternoon, but my eye did not like what I saw. The sun was too harsh on the bridge and the buildings located behind the bridge. I stopped at the bridge again after sunset. This was the perfect time to be there. I crawled under the bridge to capture the unique point-of-view of this magnificent piece of architecture.
The Calgary Stampede arena, grounds, and the Calgary cityscape looked beautiful during my first sunset. Driving around the city with the Ford Explorer Platinum edition was easy, even if the large size of this SUV seemed overwhelming at first. When parking the Explorer on the side streets, I had a 4-sided overview of the surroundings that I was backing into. This was so simple to utilize and a bonus to have in an SUV. Unfortunately, our weekend ended quickly, thanks to an unexpected snowstorm. I was stuck at an Airbnb for 24 hours during this storm. Thankfully, by the next morning, we were off to explore Jasper!
We started our visit to Jasper at the tourist centre, awaiting our bus transfer to the Glaciers. Once on the glaciers, we encountered the weirdest weather you can imagine. Of course, being in the Rockies, anything is possible here. Snow, winds, snow, clear skies and more snow. That’s just part of experiencing the Glaciers at this time of year. Pursuit Banff Jasper supplied me with 2 pairs of tickets for these experiences: access to the Colombia Icefields above, and the Glacier Walkway below. Both activities were exciting. We had visited the Icefields in the fall, many years ago. In my opinion, summer and fall visits are the best. You see much more of the icefields, the creators, and the water flows around your feet.
The Skywalk was a rush. I didn’t think I would walk around the whole path, but I did. The beautiful landscapes distracted me during this “wow” moment. A must-do experience for the entire family!
Our ride on the Banff Gondola was sponsored by Pursuit Banff Jasper. Have you visited Banff’s Gondola? It’s incredible. The 360-degree view is impressive. Just above the Canada flag is Banff. The Fairmont Banff Hotel looks very small from the top. You can climb the trails to see the view even better. This is a family-oriented activity, for sure.
Here we are in Jasper, at the end of the Rockies experience. We enjoyed ourselves, ate well, and we created memories that will last a lifetime.
Thank you, Ford Canada, for this exclusive opportunity to explore the Rockies in a 2019 Ford Explorer Platinum Edition.
Here are a few specs for this smooth set of wheels.
- Engine. 3.5L V6 ECOBOOST.
- Horsepower. 365 @ 5500 RPM.
- Torque. 350 @ 3500 RPM.
- Max Towing Capacity. 5,000 lbs.
- Drivetrain. Four Wheel Drive.
- Transmission. 6-Speed Selectshift Automatic (44C)
- Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx. 18.6 gal.
- EPA Fuel Economy Est (MPG) MPG City: 16 / MPG Hwy: 22.
Twin Panel sunroof and rain-sensing whippers.
- Electronic Power-Assist Steering (EPAS)
- Hill Descent Control™
- Hill-start assist
- Independent front and rear suspension systems
- Intelligent 4WD
- Terrain Management System™
- Trailer sway control
Thank you @FordCanada for another amazing experience,