Friday, July 16, 2010

Canada - day 7 - July 2, 2010

Friday morning we slept in until kids started showing up at our motel room. Justin was a sweetheart and took Landon for a walk so that Kira and Evan could sleep in. Since we didn't have kids in our room we had all the food so at some point everyone showed up in our room for food. When I was a kid we had two motels in Waterton and we would move from Cardston to Waterton early in the year somewhere around the May long weekend (Victoria day in Canada) and didn't move back to Cardston until well into September. I've hiked pretty much every trail you can hike in that park and I've been many places where no trail exists. In honor of those good ol' days I convinced everyone to hike what is probably the easiest hike in the park to Crandel Lake. I remember it being a very easy trail and while it turned out to be a very easy hike it really wasn't well suited for the stroller even if it was a "running" stroller. There were many places where we had to carry the stroller over the rocks. Before heading out on the hike we convened at the Palmer cabin to touch base with Justins Aunts family. They had booked the cabin before we did so that is how we ended up in the motel rooms. As you can see from the first picture of Sarah, the deer in Waterton have little fear of humans. That is also true of all the other animals including bear, moose, elk and sheep. I've seen all of those animals in the townsite. I've also seen mountain goats but only from a long way away and never in the townsite. We saw a mountain sheep on today as well but he didn't hang around long enough for a picture.

Unfortunately the day turned out to be wet and cold and in places there was a bit of a nasty wind. The foul weather however, didn't dampen our spirits and we had a blast. The hike was a beautiful hike and the lake was equally stunning. It may look like we're having a cozy picnic in that picture but we're barely keeping from freezing to
death. I did warn everyone that the weather in Alberta (and especially in Waterton) is very unpredictable but even with the warning, too many years in California (especially Malibu) gives you a very short memory. I was well prepared with a nice warm coat but you may notice a certain teenage girl in these pictures happens to be wearing a coat that seems much too large for her.

After the short hike to Crandel lake we headed on up the highway to Cameron lake. The glaciers you see at the head of the lake never completely melt and last through the summer. That is mostly
because the cliffs you see face north and the slopes with the snow on them never see the sun. I'm not sure if Alycia and Sarah are hugging each other for warmth or just because they like each other. On the drive back down the mountain we saw this bear on the side of the road. I was driving and didn't get a great picture but Alycia got a real good one. She was supposed to email me a copy but hasn't so you'll have to do with my picture. You can see that the bear wasn't terribly worried about humans either.

Back in the townsite we made a stop by Cameron falls. I saw a picture of these falls in the National
Geographic a while back and blogged about it. Well here they are with Lisa and I standing in front. They are very unique falls and I love them. During some really rainy seasons when the snow is melting I've seen the water so high that the rock in the middle of the falls is covered. While we were at the falls I decided to see if my name is still carved in some rocks near by. When I lived there I chiseled my name in this rock wall. I carved in nice and deep so I half expected my name to still be there but when I looked the rocks are heavily coated with moss and lichens and my name is long gone. We then headed up to the Prince of Wales Hotel. When they put the
railroad through the railway built a series of these very fancy hotels to try and draw tourist out west. My mom loved to tell the story about how her dad (my Grandfather) hauled the windows for this hotel from the train (I think in Cardston) to Waterton on his horse drawn wagon. Lisa Grandmother also liked to tell how she used to work at the Prince of Wales when she was a young woman. The picture of Waterton Lake taken through a window is taken from inside the hotel. They truly have a beautiful view.

After our little driving tour we decided to rent some Surrey's and get a closer view of the town-site. As luck would have it, as soon as we got on
the Surrey's the rain started to come down a little bit faster. I just bundled up the babies and enjoyed it anyway. Poor Sydney though. The rain would collect on the top of the surrey and then when Brandon and Serene drove down a steep incline the water would run off the roof and land right on her. She didn't like that too much.

We rented the surrey's for an hour but most of us didn't last the full hour. We returned all of the Surrey's but one so then Brandon, Sarah and I took the last Surrey to get our moneys worth. The Surrey's are a lot of fun to ride around but
they really aren't made for climbing hills. We drove that Surrey to the highest spot in town right above the falls and then made a mad dash down the hill to the lake shore.

After we had fully tired ourselves out and were fully drenched we returned the last Surrey and headed back to the motel. We quickly changed into our swimming suits and dove into the pool. We then spent most of our time soaking in the hot tub. Rarely has a hot tub felt so good. After we'd all warmed up we headed to the cabin where Justin's Aunt and invited us for a wonderful
spaghetti dinner. That was very kind of her and very much appreciated. Everyone finally trailed off back to the motel rooms but Justin and I hung back playing Rook and then finally "Ticket to Ride". It was a very fun day but as you can tell, so far this vacation was anything but relaxing. I was gradually getting more and more tired but oh what fun I was having. Thanks Justin and Kira for such a wonderful time.

My all time favorite mountain, Vimy Mountain.

Upper Waterton Lake from the Prince of Wales.

Bears hump and the Prince of Wales to the right.

Playing a game of chicken on the Surrey's.

A very wet Sydney. I think Hayley is in that bundle of blankets somewhere.

The whole group. These Surrey's are actually parked on the site of the Alpine Motel. Dad bought the Alpine where we lived as we were building the Windflower Motel. It was a very old and very rundown building but very unique and a fun place to live. I remember it fondly. Apparently the Alpine is no longer with us.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321


Peter and Mandy said...

Brrrrr! Aren't you glad you live in San Diego and can visit the cold instead of vice versa? -Peter

Mom/Nola/G'ma said...

Your waterton account brought back many memories. Thanks. Aunt Nola

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

Such a FUN FUN DAY :)

Lisa said...

Agreed, such a fun day even in the rain on the surreys :)

Justin, Kira and Evan said...

so fun to read your take!! :-) We pooped you out???