Waterton Lakes May Long Camping

June 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm

With the next 5 days off, we left Calgary Wednesday night for Waterton Lakes. The park is roughly 3.5 hours drive from Calgary, so we stopped in Claresholm for some food. They happened to be having a small classic car meetup at the A&W across from the Sunset Motel.

A man, who introduced himself as ‘Don of Don’s Barber Shop’, was there with his 1927 Model T. It appeared he had strange fascination with… Global TV; apparently, he had been featured recently.

Once in Waterton, we began our short drive down the narrow dirt road towards the ‘Belly River’ camp ground.

After setting up camp we took a short walk down to the nearby creek to take some photos of the amazing view of the stars that night.

We woke the next morning with low level clouds and light rain, so we decided to head into town. On the drive there we stopped along the deserted highway to take some photos.

After arriving in town, we parked at nearby trail head and began hiking a random trail. With the cloud cover so low, we ended up having to turn back once visibility became too low.

We stumbled upon a bible camp near the bottom that seemed deserted. We quietly borrowed there bathroom hoping nobody came bursting out of one the cabins screaming for us to leave.

After driving back to our camp site we decided to have a few drinks and walk around. We came across this sign in a nearby field. …NO driving with hats.

We both nearly fell over when we startled this pheasant which make seemed to fly out of nowhere. Pheasants do not equal bears.

On our way back, we come across a bend in the river and decided to sit down at the edge of the bank. As Jimmy relaxed and looked out onto the amazing view we had, he was unaware of the literally 1000’s of ants he had just sat in.

His expression quickly changed as he looked down the invading army crawling towards his face. I could barely stand I was laughing so hard; we both just kept wildly trying knock off as many as we could. Jimmy was never the same…. Jimmy doesn’t like ants now….  The next morning we delayed getting up, hoping that sound of rain on the tent would eventually stop. When it finally did, we opened the tent to find that the reason the sound had stopped was that it had actually just turned to snow.

We decided to again drive into town to hopefully pass the time somewhere warm. We ended up talking our way into one of the pool/gym areas of hotel. We spent the morning relaxing there until the sun came out. Despite the snow earlier, the day was turning out to be pretty nice weather wise. We drove up to the hotel on the edge of the lake and took some photos.

We then walked down the ridge to the water’s edge to get a different vantage point.

Once we finished up at the lake, we drove over to the nearby Bison Paddock, which has a long narrow road that snakes through out it in loop allowing you to drive through. About half way around the loop, we spotted some bision by the fence but they were too far to get a good shot without leaving the car and leaving us too exposed. We got back in the car and drove out of the paddock and stopped on the highway near the fence and walked towards where we saw the bison. One baby bison had somehow escaped and was on the wrong side of the fence with us. We couldn’t get close without spooking him, so there wasn’t much we could do to get him back inside.

After getting back to camp we played some frisbee as the sun set over the ridge in the distance.

Late that night other friends arrived and attempted to setup their tents in the dark.

The next morning we arrived in town in time for the 10:00am ferry that takes you to the trail head for the famous ‘Crypt Lake’ hike. A short 20 min later we had arrived at the dock .

We crossed a few waterfalls on the way towards the top but due to some snow gullies we had turn back. We were the first group of people to attempt crypt lake this season which is why the snow was still so deep. Without rope or an ice axe it was unsafe to cross the frozen stretch. We attempted to hike around it but without a definite idea of where we were going, we just ran out of time and had to head back down.
Once we arrived back at the dock we had an hour or so to kill, so Jimmy decided he would jump  in the ‘glacial fed’ lake.
Jimmy gave the impression that it was …. not warm.
While we were on the dock watching Jimmy risk a heart attack, a squirrel watched from the beach as it plotted…..

I came back to the beach to find him INSIDE my backpack.

He had literally…. **** in my backpack, then stole a M&M. Not cool Squirrel… not cool.

After we got back we, played catch with the football for a while before packing up and leaving to go home.