hiking in northern Alberta

Our second Hike: Nov. 14, 2009, to Cutbank Falls:

This email arrived:

hiking in northern Alberta

"I am organizing a family hike into Cut Bank Falls this Saturday Nov 14th. Meeting at The old Visions parking lot, next to StarBucks. Meeting at 11:00 to leave at 11:15. Will be grabbing a Latte before departure down highway 40 for about 0.5 hours then hiking into Cut Bank Falls for about 1 hour one way. Dress for the weather. High recommend hiking poles of some sort. Some spots may be slippery in the snow. -30 I believe. Lol. Bring a lunch and proper hiking gear for a wonderful time close to GP. Call or email Richard Martyn if required. We will be marking the trail for snow shoeing. I am also looking for other close by trails to mark or use for snow shoeing during this wonderful winter season."

OK, that trip is now "history" and it was another good one. A convoy of 8 vehicles drove down highway 40, 58 miles south from the Wapiti bridge. We parked at a wide spot on the highway, on the east side and hiked west from there. The "Falls" though not big, were very pretty, imho. The hills we went down and back up were........... well....... a bit of a challenge, even for a young pup such as I. The ages of our 19 participants ranged from 9 to 72. There was about 4 inches of crunchy snow; noisy enough to scare off any bears which might be late getting into bed for the winter. The pictures (I took 50) tell the Rest of the Story. Oh, I started taking my pictures in "16:9" format as opposed to the older "4:3" format. This matches the wide-screen TVs most of us are starting to use. As near as I can tell on Google Earth, the exact location of these "falls" is 54 36'24.91"N, 118 43'59.20"W. And there were NO Road Apples!

Cutbank Falls hike Cutbank Falls hike

Cutbank Falls hike Cutbank Falls hike

Cutbank Falls hike Cutbank Falls hike

Cutbank Falls hike Cutbank Falls hike

Cutbank Falls hike Cutbank Falls hike

Our First Hike: Sept. 19, 2009, to Eaton Falls near Grande Cache:

"Saturday September 19, 2009 - Eaton Falls Grande Cache 4.5km round trip, allow 2-3 hours. 500ft of elevation gain - beginner hike. Families and Seniors and beginners welcome (and anyone else!). This is a short but beautiful hike to a great destination of Eaton Falls in Grande Cache. Plan on packing a picnic lunch - we will break at the falls and take time to enjoy our surroundings before heading back to the vehicles. This hike is suitable for young children in child carrier backpacks and children as young as 5 can hike it."

So my friend Marie Rose and I got all geared up and met the group at the appointed place on a wet, chilly Saturday morning. We left around 9 AM; Laverna was the group leader. We got to the "staging area" about 2 hours later, traveling down Highway 40 almost to Grande Cache. There we parked our vehicles among all the horse corrals and started our hike. Near as I can tell, these falls are located pretty close to 53 55'47.48"N, 119 12'24.14"W.

There were 19 of us including 3 from Grande Cache, and ages ran from 5 to 68. Guess who was the oldest one?............ me. The hike was a good one; the only problem was you had to watch every step to avoid stepping into Road Apples, a.k.a. Horse Shit. It was EVERYWHERE. I've been told that ATVs can be very bad for the environment but the same expert told me that horses are the worst. They spread weed seeds from one place to another. That might be but they sure do spread manure all over creation.

Road Apples aside, we took plenty of pictures and those prove that the scenery alone made the day a great success. Here are 10 of mine, greatly reduced in both size and quality; if I had not done that, you'd have to wait until the cows came home before they would load in your browser.

Note the 4:3 aspect ratio of these pictures; it was just after this trip that I switched to the new 16:9 ratio; MUCH better for showing pictures on your widescreen TV.

Eaton Falls hike Eaton Falls hike

Eaton Falls hike Eaton Falls hike

Eaton Falls hike Eaton Falls hike

Eaton Falls hike Eaton Falls hike

Eaton Falls hike Eaton Falls hike

My list of things to take on a hike:

hiking in northern Alberta


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