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Posts Tagged ‘Glacier National Park’

Picture Perfect Sunset Over Seeley Lake, Montana

 

Part of my love of road trips is being able to experience things that you may never have had the opportunity to see before.  The freedom to set your own schedule and do what you want to do.  To spend as long as you want or as little as you want and the opportunities to enjoy every single moment.

The first day of our road trip from Calgary to Saint Catherine’s had been a long one.  We had hiked the Bear’s Hump in Waterton National Park and driven the spectacular, amazing and absolutely awesome Going to the Sun Road through Glacier National Park.  As much as the drive is breathtakingly beautiful, it is also mentally taxing.   Tight corners, narrow roads and 1,000+ foot cliff drops. But I would still do it over and over and over again.

With no real plans on where we would stay, let alone, where we would eat, we basically drove until we got hungry.   We arrived in Seeley Lake around 8pm and the sun was just beginning to drop.

Rather than ‘searching’ for food we decided that the Hamburger Cafe beside the lake would be a nice enough option.  Something casual and a chance to sit outside and enjoy our surroundings.  Unfortunately the cafe was closed, but the steakhouse next door was still open and still serving meals.  It would have to do.

After taking our seat we were presented with the menu.  Literally a sign that stood 4ft tall and listed 3 items:

The ‘extensive’ menu @ Linsday’s Steakhouse

We both guessed that sirloin was on the menu for the night :-), which caused some snickering between the two of us (don’t worry.. this was just the beginning of our nightly laughs!!).

After dinner we wandered down to the lake with enough time to take in the beautiful sunset.

Chance just happened to land us in Seeley Lake at the time that it did. And Fate just happened to provide us with a beautiful sunset over the water that truly cannot be described.

The tourist brochures all describe Montana as ‘big sky country’…. I think this picture proves it correct.. What an absolutely stunning view..

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Nothing beats a visit from the family and I was blessed to be able to explore and share my Canada (and Montana) with not only my Mum, but also one of my brothers, my sister-in-law and two of the cheekiest nephews known to man kind!.

After arriving in Vancouver the night of the NHL Game 7 riots, the family chose to drive the beautiful scenic route from Vancouver to Calgary via Whistler and Jasper.  To say that I was slightly jealous that the time was an understatement (and still am on that note).

But on the plus side, I got to spend an unbelievable two and a half weeks with them re-visiting and exploring a number of amazing places in Southern Alberta, and being able to introduce them to my new Canadian family was a pleasure.

Being able to shares such amazing memories with those that you love is something that I will cherish and be forever grateful for and something that no one will ever be able to take away from me, nor diminish.

The photo above was taken in Waterton Lakes National Park.  Waterton is known for its howling winds and earlier in the day Tony, Tash, the boys and I had all climbed the ‘Bear’s Hump’ to take in the stunning views over Waterton (Mum, like the  trooper she is made it just past halfway before it became too steep and had to turn back). We had decided to take the last boat ride down the Upper Waterton Lake into Montana, USA in hope that we might see some wildlife along the water’s edge, but it was not to be, instead in the 15 minutes we had to enjoy our taste in the USA, the boys found time to ‘skim rocks over the water’ and get together to capture our time in this beautiful setting..

ps.  I can’t wait to get home and give these two nephews loads of hugs and kisses (and the other 8 nieces and nephews too )

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May 2010 – My first Black Bear viewed safely from the car

You would think that buying bear spray should be pretty straight forward;

1.  Walk into a shop

2.  Pick it up off the shelf

3.  Pay for it

4.  Take it home

No.  Not so simply neddy!

Because I am heading back into the Canadian wilderness, and yes Jak, camping this time in ‘Bear’ country, I thought that it might be an idea for us to have some Bear spray with us, ‘just in case’.  Plus it seems that a number of hiking trails are recommending or requiring you to have Bear spray on you (what happened to simply wearing bells?).

So i decided last night that I should go buy some.  Yes, a naive Aussie out buying Bear spray.

The warning in the USA Rough Guide book…. apparently there is no guarantee of our safety!!

I admit, I thought that it would be a pretty simple task.  Go to Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), buy the spray, come home.  No, it’s a little bit more in depth than that.

Generally I like to wander a store and find things for myself, but after about 3 rounds of MEC, I was beginning to think that they had all sold out.  Finally I found the bells and the Bear spray holsters.  Yey… that means that Bear spray has to be around here somewhere, right?  After searching the racks another 5 minutes I noticed a little sign saying “Looking for Bear spray? Please go to accessories counter”.  Ok, so I’d have to ask after all.

When I asked the sales guy for small canister of Bear spray, he replied ‘I’ll need your membership card and some ID’.

WHAT THE… I was just buying Bear spray wasn’t I?

So ok, I hand over Fi’s MEC membership card and my Australian Drivers License. Fill out the information sheet and in return he explains to me how to release the safety latch, how the safety latch glows in the dark and which direction to point the can if I need to use it.  He also reminds me that it should be easily accessible and not ‘tucked’ into my backpack and that it has a range of about 9 meters.  9 meters.. that is it!! if a bear comes that close I think I’ll be lucky to remember to pull the can out without pooping myself first!

He then proceeded to write the canister number on the information sheet and tells me ‘this canister is now registered in your name’.

Hmm. Ok. so in other words, if for some reason the can is misused (it’s similar to capsicum spray after all) I am liable.. OR did he mean.. if I’m attacked and killed by the bear, they will be able to use the canister number to identify me?  Not feeling really comfortable about owning Bear spray anymore!!

Lets just say that I’m hoping that I don’t come within 9 meters of a bear and definitely don’t have to worry about having to remember how to use the the spray in an emergency.. but most of all I’m hoping that Mum doesn’t read this post until I am safe and sound in Calgary again!!!

My can of Bear Spray…. just like fly spray right??

Here’s really hoping that this can stay’s FULL and I have to hand it into Parks Canada when I’m done!

Certainly hoping that I don’t get as close enough to see teeth like those!!

July 2011 – My second, third, fourth and fifth bears.  Mumma Black Bear and her 3 Cubs

August 2012 – My sixth bear, but my first Grizzly (only a fortnight ago)

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