This has been my “week off” to rest and recharge before my new semester starts this Monday. I use week off in quotations because I still had some planning stuff to finish, doc appointments, etc. so it wasn’t a week vacation. But I made the most of it by packing it full of mountain adventures with friends.
Waterton with Kiddos
This marks the second Waterton Day I’ve shared with my bestie Cat and her two kids Olive and Kevin. We started off with Bear’s Hump which is a pretty awesome accomplishment for a 3 and 5 year old.
Doing this hike with kids was fun because we went so slow and stopped so often it was a leisurely stroll up.
Kevin insisted on taking his shoes off and running up the trail barefoot. Olive insisted on stopping and climbing every large rock within site of the trail.
We stopped to look at bugs and eat snacks, it was definitely very different than how I normally hike, which was a nice change of pace. There was also the lure of ice cream if the finished to help motivate them.
But I have to give mad props to hiking parents! Kevin had to be carried the last bit which are very steep steps up. I offered to take him and give Cat a break and in those probably 50 metres of hiking I did with this little guy on my shoulders I was sweating and huffing and puffing! Good practice for hiking with a huge backpack!
We didn’t stay too long at the top, just long enough to get some photos and drink some water.
On the way down, Olive’s sandals were bugging her so she too opted to go barefoot. Ha ha!
We headed to Driftwood Beach to let the kids play but it was pretty windy and chilly and soon Olive asked to go to the park instead.
We hit Wiener’s of Waterton for a sweet potato fries snack stop and then to Big Scoop for the much promised ice cream.
The kids didn’t last long at the playground as they were pretty tired from the day and after some swings and monkey bars, we packed up and headed home.
It was nice to spend so much quality time with Cat and fun to watch how outdoor adventures look when you have little ones.
Goat Haunt with Jo & Nick
The very next day, I headed back into Waterton to meet Jo from Living Mint Green and her bf Nick to hike to Goat Haunt. Jo purchased out boat tickets back ahead of time and I’m glad she did because those boats were packed!!
I was only 15 minutes away from home when I realized I had forgotten my passport and had to turn around and get it. I’m glad I did because there was a threatening sign on the trail that said not checking in with your passport could lead to an arrest and $5000 fine! Yikes!
Off we went, chatting easily. I enjoy hiking with open people like Jo and Nick who you can say anything to with no judgement. I told Nick all about how my temper wrecked my foot. And I DIED when I found out Jo and I came up with almost identical nicknames for our guys when they are being grumpy. It was just a lot of fun!
The Lakeshore trail opens up to the lake about four times during the hike and then you’re in forest the rest of the way.
It’s crazy how much the environment changes on a hike. At the beginning of the hike there were yellow leaves falling on the trail, at other places it seemed lush and humid, and at the end it seemed hot and dry.
Before we knew it, we were at the 49th parallel though! It was crazy how fast we made it.
Just a little way down the trail from the cutline is a river and we sat next to a gorgeous pool and had a snack, soaked in the sun, and enjoyed the day.
The trail goes back into the forest after this river crossing and we stayed in it for the remainder of the hike.
My favourite part of this hike is at the very end, and I was denied the chance to cross it when I hiked this last November the bridge had been taken apart.
We still had a lot of time until our boat ride so Nick opted to jump off the bridge into the icy water below. Jo and I opted to wade in below the bridge and were going to dive in together but I kept chickening out! I am not a cold water swimming person! Ha ha! Nick captured the whole moment.
I finally got in up to my shoulders but that was as far as I could handle.
After the bridge is a turn over for Rainbow Falls, a mere 0.7 miles away and we headed up that way to see what these falls looked like. As far as waterfalls go, they were slightly underwhelming, but nature is gorgeous no matter what!
We headed down to the Goat Haunt station and had our passports stamped. We talked and ate snacks on the beach before the boat arrived and enjoyed a fun and easy day hike.
The boat was PACKED! It was crazy to see how many people got off. We got in line right away and waited quite awhile to be sure we got good spots on the top deck.
The boat ride back was nice but we were hungry and tired and that damn boat seemed to take forever! I really enjoyed learning all the various facts and tidbits about the park from the emcee though.
As we pulled up along the townsite there was a runaway kite caught in the breeze. The string and handle were dangling as this thing was like 150-200 metres up in the air riding the wind, almost not moving.
We stopped at the Taco Bar and had some glorious carnitas tacos! Seriously, these pork tacos after a hike are one of my favourites. If you haven’t gone yet- Go!
The kite was STILL flying in the air 30minutes later. It was looking pretty torn up so I don’t know how long it lasted but i thought that was pretty funny.
It was an incredible couple of days and just what I needed to unwind and relax before work ramps up.