Neil (nt) wrote,

Saturday, July 2nd - Picked up vehicle around 10 a.m., drove to Strathmore where we stocked up on groceries. As we had gotten away early, we decided to go straight through to the Cypress Hills (original plan was to stay in Brooks overnight). Arrived about 3:30 p.m. and got the last available campsite! My one concern had been that we wouldn't find one on this long weekend. Spent some time packing groceries and clothes away and getting settled in. Then it began to rain, so we stayed inside for the evening.

our rented van conversion

Sunday, July 3rd - The sun was out, and in the morning we hiked along the shore of Elkwater Lake, where there is a boardwalk through a natural area with bull rushes etc. Then along Firerock Trail (big mistake -- it was overgrown and very wet) to a viewpoint atop Old Baldy. In the afternoon we hiked along Mitchell Creek trail, then further along the lake shore.

boardwalk along shore of Elkwater Lake

Mitchell Creek Trail

Monday, July 4th - Lorna's birthday. Made her tea and breakfast (strawberries and bananas with thick cream, cinammon oatmeal bar) and gave her card and present. Departed Elkwater Lake campground. Drove to Horseshoe Canyon lookout, then on to Reesor Lake (where we had lunch) , then back to the Soggy Bottom boardwalk in Elkwater. Hiked in each of these areas. Decided not to stay another night in Cypress Hills. Drove to Red Rock Canyon where we hiked for an hour, then on to Writing-on-Stone. Found a campsite, made supper, went for a short walk but found we were exhausted and returned to camper for the night.

Red Rocks Coulee

Red Rocks Coulee


Tuesday, July 5th - Went on guided tour of rock art in Writing-on-Stone. Later in the day, explored some trails through the hoodoos to the east of the campsite. It was very hot, and the hiking and climbing was strenuous, so we were exhausted by the time we returned.

rock art



Wednesday, July 6th - On the road again. Stopped in Warner to take the guided tour of Devil's Coulee. This is where a dinosaur nesting site, complete with embryos, was discovered by a 19 year old girl in 1987. Drove on to Lethbridge and settled in at the Henderson Lake campground. Walked around Henderson Lake, noticing plaques on several park benches memorializing the parents of people I went to school with or was friends with. When I booked this trip, I had planned to spend a day or two in Lethbridge visiting my Dad. Things can change so quickly in a matter of weeks.

exposed dinosaur bone in Devil's Coulee

Thursday, July 7th - Went hiking in the river bottom and Pavan Park. Drove to Park Lake and looked around but decided not to camp there. Ended up staying in a campground at Vulcan (I had wanted to go on to Kananaskis, but it was getting late and I was tired of driving).

looking rather rumpled in Lethbridge's river bottom

Friday, July 8th -On the spur of the moment, decided to visit the Bar U Ranch. I'm glad we did, as it was one of the most interesting parts of the trip. Then on to Black Diamond, where we checked into the campground and had a cold beer at a local bar popular with well-heeled bikers. In the evening, we cleaned up the van in preparation for its return the next morning.


having bannock and coffee around the campfire

Bar U Ranch
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