Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Back To Waterton

I'm in a hurry. I have to finished packing and loading the truck for a short road trip. Katherine and I are headed to Waterton Lakes Park for a couple of nights. This is a make-up trip, where the Waterton Lakes Lodge has given me a coupon for two free nights as an apology for what happened on February 24, 2014. I want to say a special thanks to Waymarker Hospitality for making this happen.

The drive, about 3 hours or perhaps a bit longer, will be a wonderful exploration today. The skies are a mix of blue and cloud. The rain has stopped. The air has that fresh autumn smell to it, that breath of crisp coming winter mixed with the promise of a few more days of summer sun. It's that time of year when nature is busy packing away the summer and getting out its winter clothes.

We'll head south from Calgary along the southern portion of The Cowboy Trail, that highway in Alberta that skirts the edge of the Rockies, keeping just close enough to be in the foothills, and just far enough that the snow-capped peaks and sharp edged ridges visible only as an idea. This time of year might bring out the moose, the grizzly and black bears, the elk. Who knows what we might see along the way.

The drive itself, with nothing more than the cursive of the Porcupine Hills shaping the road, is both a pleasure and a treasure. Whenever I head south, this is the road I want to take, far enough from the busy freeway for traffic to be light, open enough for the cattle to roam freely. We'll head down to Pincher Creek, and then head even further south, and west into the mountains themselves, until we come to Waterton Lakes National Park. Then, for a couple of nights, we will watch the lake, enjoy the mountain scenery, marvel at how tame the deer are in town, and perhaps even see a Mountain Sheep blocking the road as they do. It will be a lovely break from "normal" life.

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