Last Wednesday, despite the heat warnings, I set out for Waterton with TyTy and my friend Paula and her children. I read on Twitter that Parks Canada had opened up the Crandell Lake hike and I thought that was a perfect easy hike to ease TyTy into baby carrier life. Paula had her doubts after seeing the forecast of 34C, but I told her we would be okay in the tree cover.
When we arrived in Waterton both roads that led to Crandell Lake trailhead were still closed. Confused, we parked and went on the Parks website. It turns out the trail is open, but the roads to get there are not. You have to walk or bike up the roads to get to the trailhead. With a baby and two little kids, that was much too far for our group.
I suggested we hit the good old Bertha Falls trail instead. I’ve done that hike so many times, but it’s a short and easy one so I figured it would be perfect for our group.
As we gathered outside the trail head a couple with two babies warned me that it was extremely hot on the trail and may be too hot for TyTy. When I asked why they reminded me that with all the trees burned out there was no tree cover! Oh yeah!! I had completely spaced on the fact that all the hikes affected by the fire would have no tree cover.
After a consultation with Paula, we decided to do the 1.5 km to the scenic viewpoint and call it good.
We headed off and the first part of the hike was still intact and green and lovely.
But very shortly, we hit the section that was burned. It was a crazy sight to see, all the trees completely burned out.
TyTy did really well in his carrier. He was quiet and enjoyed watching the world around him as we walked.
Because of the lack of cover and the fact that he was pressed up against me in his carrier, TyTy began to feel very warm pretty early on in the hike. I love the heat and I would have had no problem continuing on, but I’m a mom now and have to do what’s best for my baby. I apologized to my group and told them we had to turn around. It was too hot for my baby to be out in the open sun.
Paula and her kids didn’t mind and were totally understanding. We walked back and hit the nearby beach so we could have lunch in the shade of the trees.
Down on the lake there was a slight breeze which felt nice and cool and we set up under the shade of the trees. TyTy promptly took a bottle and passed out.
When we were done eating, we practiced skipping rocks on the lake. It was so hot outside that the kids and I waded into the water and I was shocked that it felt good and not overly cold. Cruz just dove right in and began swimming. I got in up to my waist and was so tempted to dive in myself but I didn’t want to have a wet shirt when I put TyTy back in his carrier.
After swimming, I saw a rock wall at the end of the beach and asked the kids if they wanted to climb it with me. Paula was a little nervous, but I assured her we would only go part way up. This is the stuff I live to do, taking kids on little excursions. We climbed up a little bit and posed for a picture from Paula who stayed on the beach near the baby.
I taught them how to descend sideways facing into the rock rather than pointing toes down and risking sliding or tripping. Nikki was so proud of herself when she was down.
After our time on the beach, we pulled out the stroller and walked around town. We hit Cameron Falls first where a Parks rep was talking about bears and showing folks how to use bear spray.
In town, the kids wanted ice cream and Paula and I wanted an ice cold diet soda.
After we all got our refreshment of choice, we walked toward the lake to relax in the shade and enjoy. Cruz and Nikki saw a little performance going on by two Parks reps. It was a sketch show geared toward children that talked about wildlife safety and interactions.
It was a perfect day in the mountains but I definitely need to get TyTy used to longer hikes in his carrier.
Any tips for hiking with a baby? I learned to check the forecast and ensure my chosen hike has tree cover! Ha ha!
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