Day 42 – 46 Cowley in the Big House on the Prairie!

Dan and I woke up refreshed and ready to start the day. Our friends Jane and Gordon Berturelli were hosting us for a few days, and their daughter and her family were also here. We started with a lovely big family breakfast and did a look around the property.

Our plan for the day was to visit Frank Slide and then Lundbreck Falls. Both of these are located near the Crow’s Nest pass.

We started at Frank Slide. This is the sight of a disastrous mountain slide that fell down upon a mining village and the valley below. The rock cut measured 1 km wide, 450 m long and 150m deep. The rock came down in 90 seconds and rock flew down and across the valley. Seventy people are known to have dies in this disaster.

Turtle Mountain and the site of the slide
Hiking along the slide trail
The size of rocks that exploded across the valley are mind blowing
Celebrating our 40th Anniversary

Our next stop was Lundbreck Falls. A pretty prairie falls cutting through limestone in the Lundbreck valley.

Lovely Falls
Dan and I in front of the falls as our hosts Gordon and Jane look on from above!

After the hikes we we’re ready to return to the Prairie Homestead and have dinner. A lovely evening was had by all! Until tomorrow, Stay Safe

A beautiful Evening, promising a lovely day for tomorrow

Day 43 – Waterton National Park

Today, Dan and I set out on our own to explore Waterton National Park. This park is located at the south west corner of Alberta and borders Glacier National Park on the US side of the border.

As we started our drive south, you can see the rolling prairie country beginning to merge with the Rockies.

You can just see the ghosts of the Rockies in the background
Prairie grasslands yielding to the wall of mountains beyond
You can see the Prince of Wales hotel just above Lower Waterton Lake
Looking out fro the shoreline of Waterton Lake towards the south end that is in the US

Dan and I did a quick visit to the Visitors’ Centre, located in a temporary facility. A few years ago a bad forest fire burned much of the forest space here including the visitor’s centre.

As we started our hike from the village, we had a friendly local welcome us!

Snacking on the local lawn. Little fear here in the park!
We started the hike along the west side of the lake. The forest undergrowth was lush
It didn’t take long to gain elevation for some great vistas. Here we are looking back on the village.
Up up we went. You can see the evidence of the recent fire.
More spruce skeletons!
A dry creek bed, close to the first hike in campsite we came to.
Beautiful secluded beach along the hike
Lovely ground colours in amongst the ghost trees

Once back at the town we walked the shoreline and then into the village for a quick snack before heading to our next hike

A picturesque view fro the National Parks “Red Chairs”

The next hike was a short one to Red Rock Canyon. A beautiful canyon cut through red sandstone over many years of river erosion.

Looking upstream
Looking downstream

After a long day of hiking and exploring it was time to get back to our hosts. Our drive home was filled with more interesting discoveries.

More evidence of the extensive fire damage
Grain elevator in Pincher Creek
In an area that only has 28 days per year without wind, these giants dot the fields earning the farmers $2,500 per year per windmill.

We were soon back at the homestead and enjoyed a lovely meal thanks to Gordon and Jane. And then a night cap on the back deck. Until tomorrow, stay safe!

A beautiful end to a lovely day!

Day 44 – Local Exploring

Today was a day for taking it easy and doing some local exploring. Dan and I were looking after dinner, so we went out to a local butcher store and picked up some beef ribs, and other supplies.

A beautiful old building on our way into town

When we got home, the ribs went into the smoker and the four of us went out to do some local touring.

We headed up to the porcupine hills to see the views. Beautiful country, and bonus, we found a place that sold farm fresh eggs. When we stopped in, “Deb said she had taken eggs into town to the store, but she would go and check to see if anymore were available. Sure enough, she found a couple of dozen! Yum!

Heading towards the Porcupine Hills
Wonderful views!

We then headed down the valley to view the dam that has created a reservoir for sport and irrigation

Looking down towards the reservoir, and across to the “Homestead”
Looking downstream from the dam

Once back at the house, Dan and I got to work and pulled together dinner. After a delicious dinner (yes, I think a smoker is in our future!) we were enthralled with the skies. Until tomorrow, stay safe!

Amazing skies dancing above the mountains

Day 45 – Crow’s Nest Pass

Dan and I decided to head west on highway 3 through the Crow’s Nest Pass. This route took us into Fernie and one of the ski regions of the Rockies.

Before we reached Fernie, we stopped in Sparwood and explored the world’s largest truck! My grandson Ben would have been in his glory!

Dan just make’s it up to the trucks axle!
You have to climb a couple of storeys just to get in the cab!

Once we got our truck fix done, we set out to Fernie and the first of our hikes along Fairie Creek up to Fairie Falls

Heading up the trail from the visitor’s centre
Lovely creek side trail
View of Fairie Falls

Once we finished, we headed back to the car and east through the he pass once again. I think one of the most surprising things was that the pass was quite low… a very shallow pass for one going through the Rockies

Crow’s Nest Pass and Crow’s Nest Pass Lake

We then headed to a lovely hiking spot at Allison Lake area. This small campground is the site of extensive hiking trails that are groomed for cross country ski trails in the winter. Dan and I did a lovely hike around the small lake here.

Cameron Lake, and the lakeside hike

From here we headed to Gordon and Jane’s Golf Club where we had a drink looking out on the 18th fairway at the Crow’s Nest Pass Golf Club.

Spectacular views overlooking the 18th green and fairway at Crow’s Nest Pass Golf Club

Another fun day of exploring has come to an end. Until tomorrow, stay safe!

Day 46 – Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump – World Heritage Site

For our last day of exploring this corner of Alberta, we decided to head out to Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Park. This incredible park and interpretive centre tells a story of thousands of years of indigenous hunting before a time of horseback hunting and guns.

The centre had an excellent movie to explain the process fo several bands of indigenous peoples coming together to coordinate the annual fall hunt for the buffalo. The preparation took many days and many many hands. If successful, the hunt would yield enough buffalo meat to sustain all through the long winter ahead.

A view of the interpretive centre located in the limestone cliff on the grounds
A view from on top of the cliff showing the area where they created the runway in which they would create the stampede that would drive the buffalo to their deaths
A view of the jump site from below
Old Man River valley and home to the indigenous of this hunt

After a fruitful day here we headed back to the homestead for our dinner and evening. And of course, and other stunning sunset was there to say goodnight! Until tomorrow, stay safe!

A delicious dinner with Gordon and Jane
Another blessing to end our day!

Categories: 2021 C2C2C Exploring Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast - a 40th Anniversary Tour

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