BOW VALLEY – A grizzly bear steps onto a bus in Banff and says, “I never have a problem finding a seat ... I walk on and people suddenly realize that it’s their stop.”
The jesting grizzly is one of many Bow Valley creature cartoons in the newly released and family-friendly My Trip Through the Rockies, a notebook authored and drawn by cartoonist Graham Harrop.
The handy diary, Harrop says, allows visitors to jot down day-to-day adventures that they have been on in the Bow Valley and Jasper with some fuzzy, friend-legged friends joining the party.
“My wife and I come to the Rockies a lot and we thought, Let’s do a little book about that area,” Harrop said.
“It’s something fun and for daily trips through the Rockies, people can write down their experiences.”
The 70-page full colour book explores Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise and even makes its way up the 93 to Jasper.
Along the way, talking animals like grizzly, elk, mountain goats and squirrels with mobile phones accompany each page where notes can be written down.
“The bear speaking about his time in the park and that kind of thing is to give people something to laugh about,” Harrop said.
Harrop, 73, lives in North Vancouver and is a cartoonist for the Vancouver Sun, and he described why the area has a special place in his heart.
Originally from England, Harrop ventured out to the wild west of Banff and Lake Louise and worked as a housekeeper at the Banff Springs hotel and Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
The cartoonist also spent time in Jasper as a restaurant dishwasher.
“We love Alberta, we really do,” he said. “A long time ago, and I’m from Liverpool, my aunt came to Canada and she would tell us about Canada and she had a View-Master she brought back. You’d click on it, and there were scenes of Alberta.”
Harrop made memories in the area, which helped him create My Trip Through the Rockies. He hopes people who pick the notebook do as well.
“It’s a great keepsake and in 10 years they can look back at it and say, ‘We did that and we did this on our trip,’ ” he said.
The book can be found at www.amazon.com/Trip-Through-Rockies-Things-About/dp/1717480500/.