Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Waterton Trip

I woke up on Tuesday the 22nd of June, realizing it was the day of my last (and also only) exam. But it was also the day where Kim, Bryn and I were going to Waterton! So after Bryn and I had written our social exams Kim picked us up at school. We went back to Bragg Creek to get our stuff packed before we headed out towards southern Alberta. After a couple of hours of driving and some naps later we arrived to a beautiful ranch placed right besides the mountains. The house we were staying at belonged to some friends of Kim and they had let us stay there for a couple of days. It was around 5 pm and we had started getting ready for dinner when some guy came up to the house. It was a guy working for the family who owned the ranch and before I knew of it I was sitting in the guy’s truck, on my way to see some of the bison that belonged to the ranch. We drove for a little while before we got out of the car and started walking. After about an hour of walking we finally found the herd of bison. We kept our distance as we walked around them trying to make them go through the gate we had opened so that they could continue to the next field. The big 500-1000 kilo bison were not the animal to get in a fight with… Soon out of nothing they started running towards the opening and I managed to get my camera out fast enough to take some shots of the 100 bison running down the hill continuing into the field on the other side. Another amazing experience that came from nowhere…

Next morning we woke up, got some breakfast and headed out from the house ready for a good day of hiking. We drove into Waterton, a beautiful little town invaded by incredibly tame deer and with a nice big lake right beside it, parked the car and headed up the trail. After a bit of walking we reached a waterfall and took a break before we continued up the mountain. Finally we reached our destination, the lake, and we started eating our lunch. We had been told that there were bears around the lake and after a while we spotted a huge black bear walking along with her cub on the other side of the lake. We watched them for a while until we were done with our lunches. The bears had moved pretty fast along the side of the lake and we decided that there was no reason to wait for them to arrive at our spot, so we turned around and started the trip down the mountain. We made it to the bottom without getting eaten by bears and after an ice-cream and a bit of looking around in Waterton, we found the car and started driving back towards the ranch where we were staying.
On our way back we found a golf course and since we had been talking about going golfing we decided to stop and check it out. After finding out that there was a free tee-time right away we got ready, rented some equipment and headed out. Since it was Bryn’s first time golfing and Kim only had tried a few times before, it took a while to complete the holes but we went forward and after a while we reached hole number 6. Bryn was about to tee out when she suddenly stopped her practice swing and told Kim and I too look up. I looked up and at first I only noticed a deer crossing the course a couple of hundred meters ahead. Then my eyes suddenly fell on something else moving a few of hundred meters ahead of us. It was a Grizzly Bear that had decided to come look at some golf and without really caring about us he was walking across the fairway of hole 6. Now I always freak out if only I see a chipmunk or a squirrel, so you can imagine how excited I was to see this Grizzly interrupting our game. After a bit of dancing around on my behalf and after Kim had taken some pictures the Grizzly had disappeared into the bushes and we continued golfing around on this beautiful course that was surrounded by mountains growing out of nowhere. It had been a magical day and I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow at the end of the day…

Next day we woke up to another beautiful day with sunshine and high temperatures. We got some breakfast, packed some lunch and headed out on our way to the starting point of the days hike. Soon we arrived to a parking lot and off we went. After some hours of walking up the mountain, running into some ground squirrels, seeing some amazing waterfalls, we found a lake and ate our lunch sitting on a rock. We returned to the car and started heading back to the ranch. After getting a shower after the dusty hike we started the car and headed towards Pincher Creek, another little town out there, where we were planning on eating dinner. We arrived to Pincher Creek and found another golf course that looked interesting. We went into the clubhouse and got a tee-time for the next morning. It seemed like Kim and Bryn had started to like this relaxed hobby of mine… We found a nice little place and got some good dinner before we left Pincher Creek and drove back to the ranch.

Next morning it was time to get packed up and stuff the car because we were going back to Bragg Creek. We headed out around 9.30 am and managed to reach Pincher Creek in time for our tee-time. After four hours of golfing on a course that didn’t seem to like me, left Pincher Creek golf course and stopped my Subway to get lunch before we continued our journey back to Bragg Creek. After a couple of hours of driving we reached Calgary where we stopped to get some groceries. From Sunday the 27th till Wednesday the 30th the little house in Bragg Creek would be hosting a training camp for the ski team, so the car was full of food when we left Calgary to drive the last little bit back to Bragg Creek.

That is the story about my last trip away from Bragg Creek before my departure on the 1st of July. There is no doubt that time has flown away like the wind the last two months, but I can still not really believe that I am going back to Denmark in less than a week… What a great year I have had!

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