Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hiking and Golfing Waterton Lakes

WOW!! This place is just sooooo beautiful!! There are so many different ways to describe the area. In many ways it reminds me of an adult Scout camp. As I mentioned in the last entry, the campground is adjacent to the little town (or township as they call it up here in Canada). So - you just walk to everything from the ‘camp’ - the ice cream on the corner, the pie on the corner, the Italian restaurant (VERY GOOD), the local bar for the internet connection (did NOT work this year;-( ), the sports outfitter - everything. Many of the trailheads leave from the town or the campground. The town is on the lake - Lake Waterton. AND - the mountains surround the township. In short - it is location, location, location with beauty, beauty, beauty!!

And, today (Thursday, July 15) was just another day in this paradise. There are free guided walks/hikes almost every day and free ranger talks almost every night. We decided to join one of these hikes today and learn about those who inhabited the area 10,000 years ago and the history of the bison in the area - as well as the ‘uses’ of the bison by the inhabitants. It was interesting that the bison is a ‘curious’ animal and does NOT do well in snow or bogs (depending on the season) due to its relatively small feet for its body. This allowed the ‘plains people’ to create an activity of interest to the bison (such as dressing as wolves) - get it to follow and investigate - then lead it over an edge into a bog or snow bank, both of which would make it difficult for it to move or get away - and kill it! During our 5 mile hike we saw some of the most beautiful wild flowers - something we are not used to on our trips as we travel in the early spring and late fall when flowers are NOT out yet or are long gone.

Just as we get started on our hike this beautiful view appears

Our guide, Karen, talking about the Bison that used to roam the area

Now we are trying to learn the names of the wildflowers. I'm OK with "the purple ones" and "the redish ones"

You can see why we wanted to come back to the area.

Stunning vistas

The fields of flowers and the surrounding mountains provided another of those ‘Sound of Music’ moments -

Is that Julie Andrews in a cowboy hat?

After our morning hike, we were only capable of 2-3 additional miles around the lake and the town in the afternoon. Most of that was spent looking for an internet connection;-( Oh yes - and eating pie and ice cream;-)

After a nice steak dinner in Magic (we did NOT share with the deer who did their share of begging with those big brown eyes!!), we headed over to the evening ranger program - “Mistakes, Madness, Passion and Protection: 125 Years of Canada’s National Parks”. This was a very interesting, informative program on the 44 Canadian NP’s - and gave us a new target to visit all the Canadian NP’s!!

Friday was a golf day at the Waterton GC. We left the British Open during the 1 hour delay due to the wind and moved to the wind on the Waterton course. We felt a great deal of empathy for all the players at the Open - as we could not judge what the 30-50 mph wind gusts might due to our ball - and we did NOT have a million dollars on the line!!!! It was NOT a fun round - BUT, the scenery was wonderful. AND - we saw a bear on the way to the course;-)

The view from the course was great, the 30 mph winds were not!

Too bad my (Gary) ball was in the junk on the right

We were up on a viewing stand to see if the next green was clear.

After golf - we headed to the spa in town - Gary got a massage and Elizabeth her manicure. We also decided we needed to try the local Italian Restaurante, as Elizabeth did not get anything out of the freezer for dinner! Bel Lago (Beautiful Lake) was wonderful - VERY good parpardelli;-) After dinner we took in another ranger talk, which was actually an American in an exchange program to discuss Glacier NP. A fitting end to our stay in Waterton as Saturday was another travel day - to Golden, BC Canada.

More later - Love to All - E & G

1 comment:

  1. Looks great so far - really beautiful photos (thanks Gary) and descriptions (thanks Elizabeth). Another beautiful day in Park City - sunny and warm. We miss you! Girdwood was also beautiful last week - no rain, some sun and temps in the 60s.

    Enjoy your adventures and safe travels.