Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Q Leavitt Reunion - Part 2

My favorite hike in Waterton is the summit trail. Nothing else even comes close. Because a few of us have gotten into running it was suggested that we do a family relay race from Waterton to Cardston or something like that. I didn't want to take all that time away from the family so I suggested that anyone who wanted to run could get up early and run the twelve mile trail from Cameron Lake to the townsite. The summit trail. 
I had originally pictured this as being a few runners making the trip in three hours but enough people got excited about it that it turned into a family event. That was just fine with me because, like a said. I wanted to spend this time with family. 
Including babes in back packs and small childred and old people, nineteen people took a bus up to Cameron Lake and started on the trail. Pretty early on Fara decided that perhaps she had bit off more than she could chew and was ready to head back and wait for the bus. We knew that this was one thing that she was excited about doing. Her health hasn't been all that great for the last several years and so she has been training for this hike and was committed to make it. Mark convinced her that she could do it and a few of us hung back and encouraged her along. 

 As I said, the hike was beautiful After leaving beautiful Cameron Lake (top picture) we arrived at summit lake four or five miles into the hike. 
Everyone took a breather at summit lake and waited for Fara and her entourage to catch up. 
Some people waited in greater comfort than others. 

Once we were all together we grabbed a group shot, made sure we still had nineteen people and then moved on out making our way to the summit where we could enjoy some down hill trail. 
As we approached the summit the trail got more and more spectacular
In this view the trail is heading straight to the saddle that we need to cross over to start descending into the valley where the Waterton Lakes are located. 

Just before we reached the saddle the trail crosses a large talus slope
The view from the summit is spectacular. 
When I was a teenage I used to sit here and imagine building a cabin in one of these beautiful green meadows next to the clear fresh stream. I thought how cool it would be if my wife and I could live in that cabin and enjoy the peace and quite. Little did I know that there are very few women who would actually enjoy living that far from civilization and other people. 


At the summit Kira realized that she was going to be late for an engagement she had arranged. The hike was taking a little longer than planned. I suggested that Alex take Cameron (who needed to be at the engagement) and her and Alex run down the mountain. 
So off they went. Apparently Alex and Cameron had a good visit on the way down

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Cameron even sang to him.



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Right over summit is Carthew Lake

Some of those who never grew up in the Mountains found it pretty cool to see water melting from a glacier and starting down a stream. This is where our water comes from. 
Little Ellas has no idea how wonderful it is to be in such a beautiful place. 
Five minutes ago this water was snow
Immediately below Carthew Lake is another lake. It is actually bigger than Carthew Lake but I don't know what its name is. 
When we came around the mountain (isn't there a song about coming around a mountain?) When we came around the mountain we saw this flock of sheep. They were all Ewes. 
By this time it was only Mark, me and Fara. We had told everyone else to head on down the mountain. 
A mile or two after we saw the Ewes we came across these two Rams. They were quite close to the trail. Someone in the group managed somehow to get a video of three Rams running right past Lisa and Landon. I saw the video, they came within fifteen feet of her. Lisa and Landon were hiking together with Landon a few feet out in front of her. Landon saw the Rams and suddenly stopped. In a small quite voice he says. Grandma, maybe you should go first. 

You have to admit, they do look quite intimidating. 


A little further along we saw these goats up on the side of the mountain. They were not close, I needed the telephoto lens to see them very well.
And then a little further along we came to Alderson Lake.
After Alderson Lake was several miles of nice gentle downhill trail. We didn't move fast but Mark knew all the berries we could and couldn't eat so we enjoyed ourselves on the way down. 
Since we were significantly later than anyone expected some of the people back at the cabin began to worry about us. It was suggested that someone call the Rangers to send out a search party. Rather than do that Justin volunteered to head up the trail and look for us. I'm glad they didn't send the rangers, that would have been embarrassing. It was quite a relief when Justin showed up a few kilometers from the town site with food and drinks. As the rest of the party left us behind they took our backpacks to lighten our loads. Unfortunately they also took all of our water. I think Mark was a little concerned to see me drinking from the streams. I grew up doing that, it didn't hurt me then so I didn't figure it would hurt me now. 

Finally we came around a corner and saw Waterton Lakes. What beautiful site. We were also quite happy to learn that Justin had parked his car right at the end of the trail. Fara was determined to hike the entire trail but she saw no need to hike from the trail to the cabin. 
Justin took us to the church where they had dinner waiting for us. Few meals have ever tasted better. 

I'm not quite sure how he managed it but some how Alex conned Barb into a foot massage. Barb is a licensed masseuse. 
That evening we had a family meeting after which we were presented with gifts for hosting the reunion. I loved this plaque that was given to Justin and Kira for the use of their cabin. 
It seems  like every time we go to Waterton we encounter a bear. Sometimes our bear encounters are a bit unnerving but this time the only bear we saw was a mile away. This picture was actually taken after we left but I decided to throw it in this post with all the other wildlife pictures. 

I love Waterton and I love my family so a family reunion in Waterton is about as good as it gets for me. What a wonderful time. I will think back on this weekend with fond memories for a long time to come.