Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Trip to Southern Alberta 2008 – Kananaskis 2

When last we left, we had been sitting out side having a cup of coffee, enjoying the view, and my husband had said “all it needs is a dusting of snow on the tops of the mountains”   so this is what we woke to the next day…..


and here is his ‘dusting of snow’


This was the 26th day of August….but Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is situated up high in the Rocky Mountains, in fact the road through the park is only open for part of the year as it is not kept open in winter due to snow.

So with a rather cold, miserable day, at least to start, we headed to the Visitor Center


a very impressive building, inside and out.  By the time we had explored the exhibits on display, the clouds had lifted so we headed to a nearby hiking trail…


the Marl Lake Trail.  I don’t know if you can make it out, but the pink coloured loops on this sign are the roads in the Marl Lake Campground.  There were actually 4 Campgrounds in this immediate area, Interlakes where we were staying which was on the south east shore of the lake, Marl Lake which is situated right in the forest, and another one, the name of which I can’t remember, that was on the western side of the lake, plus the one that our friends were looking after which was for tenting only, on the southern most end of the lake.  The hike, or more correctly ‘walk’ we were going to take was the gray loop on the above map.

The first part of the walk skirted the campground,


through thick forest before coming to this open, marshy area, in fact looped around this habitat…


eventually coming to Marl Lake.  This is a view of the lake looking in an eastwards direction…..


and this looking towards the west.  While we stood here we heard an Elk calling, off in the distance…one of those ‘perfect moments’ scenarios! 

This would be a good time to point out that I seem to have done it again….I know I took flower and bird pictures on this trip, but I’ve obviously taken them from this folder and spread them all over the place… you aren’t going to get too many of them, it’s going to be pretty much all scenery….


I’ve put this one in to show that there were still some flowers…Yellow Potentilla and Fireweed were both in flower at this high elevation.


Here is another look at the general habitat as we headed back to the trail head.  I seem to recall seeing both Gray Jay’s and Varied Thrush in this particular area.


Back at the campsite for lunch….the day was beginning to look hopeful with a bit of blue sky showing up….don’t think the temperature had risen much though!


This pretty little lake was just back down the road from the campground, in fact sort of opposite the ‘tents only’ campground…..there seemed to be a number of hiking trails leading from this area, for serious hikers…

We decided it was time to warm up a bit so decided to get in the truck and do a bit of exploring…our friends had told us about the gravel ‘back road’ route that cut through to Canmore, so we decided to drive along this road for a ways….


part way along the road (we didn’t go very far along it), there was a large picnic area where we stopped – you can see it is still trying very hard to snow…in fact there was snow falling on us, which is why we elected to not go any further…


another section of the road over looked this incredible wetlands area where you expected to see Moose and all kinds of other creatures….


here is another look, back up along the valley…that would be looking in the general direction of Canmore.  By this time it was pretty much time for dinner so we headed back to the campground…


Were the weather had cleared enough to make for a pleasant, albeit a bit chilly, evening.

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