Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Car Camping - Waterton Lakes National Park

Last Friday Aleisha and I skived off work a little early for a weekend of car camping in Waterton Lakes National Park. The combination of redneck truck drivers and torrential rain made for an interesting trip down, but the trusty Saabaru got us there safe.
After last years experience with the Crypt Lake hike in Waterton (apparently one of the best trails in Canada) were we not expecting exceptional hiking when we set off on the Carthew-Alderson trail. However, it turned out to be a breathtaking hike with an incredibly diverse mix of scenery, certainly a lot better than the overrated Crypt Lake hike.

Windy Waterton

Looking into the USA and Glacier National Park (looks like some exciting bush bashing)

Carthew Ridge

Alderson Lake

Monday, August 09, 2010

Glacier National Park Montana

Last weekend Aleisha, the Saabaru and I took a three day trip down South of the border into Glacier National Park. We were incredibly surprised to find that it was only a 4 hr drive from Calgary and that included a friendly border crossing. In Montana we joined up with Stefan and Claire who were on the last leg of their departing Nth America tour. The trip started well after Stefan managed to lock the keys in the boot of his rental car. As it turned out breaking into the car was the easy part (thanks to a friendly ranger), dismantling the entire rear seat assembly to gain access to the boot was more challenging. The following day we headed off to the Grinnell Glacier hike, one of the few trails in the area that were not closed due to bear activity. After enduring a morning thunder storm we made it to the glacier, or whats left of it. Just as we were leaving the clouds parted and the day seemed to improve. However, while we were walking back one of the other people on the trail mentioned that there was a bear sighted close to the trail earlier in the day. Just to make it better the bear was a Grizzly with cubs, that turned it into a cluster f*#k moment. Unfortunately the valley was a dead end so we had to continue down the trail and hope that the bear had moved on. We passed a few more people who all seemed to indicate that the bear was staying in one place about 30 min down the trail. Then 5 min later we ran into a guy who said the bear was a 100 m away and coming this way. We quickly ran up rocky slope, about 30 m off the trail and waited. Sure enough less than a minute later the Grizzly and cubs came into view and slowly passed by us, barely paying us any attention. Lets hope that all our future bear encounters go as well!
The next day we did the tourist thing and drove the Going to the Sun Road through the national park. It is said to be the most scenic road in the US and we wouldnt disagree.

The crew at Grinnell Glacier

Looking back to the Glacier. Why is it that the weather always clears on the way out?

Stefan and the bearsAleisha and Claire having a dip after an eventful day

Saabaru Cam - Driving the Going to the Sun Road