Canada Day in small-town Southern Alberta (Fort Macleod and Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump)
Lake Louise and the Banff Hot Springs

Waterton Lakes, the Cowboy Trail and Banff

The mountains

We set out for Waterton bright and early, and enjoyed watching the rolling prairie transform into hills and foothills as we approached Waterton. The mountains materializing out of the horizon faintly violet is one of my favorite things. Sadly as we arrived at the gates, Chris realized he was missing his credit card. No phone signal to call anyone, we had no choice but to put it out of our minds and hope for the best.

Blaxton Falls

When we visited Waterton in the past we had with us babies or toddlers so had never explored any of the trails always heading to the townsite instead. This time we headed toward Red Rock Canyon and the Blaxton Falls trail. The 1km trail, was gorgeous, full of wildflowers and magestic views. We took less than 45 minutes to get the falls and back. Although a bit early for lunch we headed down to the town, to figure out the ferry schedule. In the past we have gone on the ferry to Goat Head, Montana, the other half to this binational peace park, however we suddenly developed sticker shock at the price. Had we not lost Chris's card we might have done it, but worried about money, we decided to change our plans, and instead head to Cameron Lake in hopes of spotting bears.

Blaxton Falls

At Cameron Lake we spotted not bears, but paddleboats. Unfortunately they were all out of them, so we opted to climb into a canoe together. After laying down some ground rules (Daddy is captain and must be listened to at all times, don't tip or move without warning, and do your best to paddle never ever drag your paddle in the water) we set off for 1hr voyage. We made great time to the far side of the lake, and while we all got splashed at some point or another we had a fantastic time.

Wildflowers

We dried off and piled into the car. Our electronics ban was lifted as we exited the park and readied ourselves for the four hour drive north. Before we got on the Cowboy Trail we stopped at the Bison paddock and spotten some Buffalo cows and calfs lounging in the sun. On the Cowboy Highway the landscape lived up its name, taking us through acres and acres of ranchland, past the historic Bar U Ranch and through the towns of Pincher Creek and Bragg Creek.

We eventually rejoined the HWY 1 past Calgary where the working ranches give way to millionaire mansions on acreages. The drive into the Rockies never fails to impress. These mountains are just colossal. You can only feel small and awed by them. I always marvel at the explorers who scaled them, those who scouted for passes in what looks like a wall holding up the heavens. Blackfoot, Cree, trappers, farmers, miners & ranchers who came later were made of much sterner stuff than I am, sore from a 1hr moderate paddle in a quiet lake.

 

Bison Paddock
Lake Cameron
Waterton

 

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