More RAIN . . . and best laid plans

Soooo typically JUNE . . . Clouds hanging low and moving UP the valley – never a good sign.  As they say in Alberta:  Only bad weather and politicians come out of the east.

LowClouds1

Despite the rather dismal weather, we did get a short hike in on Saturday.  Jennie and Greg returned to the ‘Escape to introduce their two girls to the wilderness – and 2-year-old Avery carried her own backpack on our stroll to the Osprey nest.  Tessa, not yet walking, was content to ride on Dad’s back.  The female Osprey is not sitting on eggs yet, but the nest appears to be mostly re-built and ready.  We didn’t see the male Osprey, but the female was calling and I must assume he was out fetching lunch.

We saw several cow elk crossing the meadow at the Equestrian Overflow on our way back to the car.  One cow was hesitant to leave the trail and I was beginning to suspect she had a young calf (or two) laid up in the bushes just off the trail.  Picking up a couple of large sticks – just in case the cow viewed us as a threat – we quietly eased our way past without incident.

While Jennie, Greg, Avery and Tessa were enjoying a picnic lunch, I went in search of the woodpecker nests we had seen off the meadow last year.  woodpecker1

The poplar that housed the nests last year is lying down across the trail . . . I briefly searched for new nests and saw one poplar that the woodpeckers may be working on, but nothing finished.  One of the woodpeckers made an appearance, but I lost him in the trees and heard no sounds of youngsters clamoring to be fed.

Cheryl and Paul – regulars at the ‘Escape – returned for a much-needed long weekend of R&R after a gruelling tax season.  Content to read and relax in their cozy cabin during prolonged periods of pounding rain, they did manage to get some fishing and canoeing in.  The fish weren’t biting, but they did see a cow moose and her brand-new baby!  Their canoe trip in Switzer Park was fast – partly due to high water levels and partly due to getting caught in a hail storm . . . A hot shower once back at the cabins did wonders for cold bones.

And we now have a certified BAT HOUSE thanks to Cheryl and Paul!  I am hoping that this new Bat House will encourage our furry friends to come in earlier to help out with mosquito control.  I’m also sure the bats will very much appreciate a stable, warm place to roost during the day . . . as opposed to getting rudely dumped on their heads when a shutter is dropped to cool the cookhouse!  BatHouse2

As to Best Laid Plans . . . You were, perhaps, wondering why I’m writing in the 1st person again?  Beth and Ben, my wonderful volunteers, left yesterday to attend to a family emergency.  My sympathies go with them . . . along with my sanity.  Those of you who know me, of course, recognize that my sanity left years ago!  So, I’m scrambling to find helpers on short notice.  Takers, anyone?

In the meantime, my friend David (of ‘Two’s Company’ fame) will return to the ‘Escape on Monday.  Dragging his folks with him for a couple of days.  The last time David convinced his parents to try the ‘Escape, he led them on an ‘unforgettable’ hike to the top of the Hoff Ridge . . . and then ‘sort of’ took a wrong turn on the way down.  David’s father is in his 80’s and his mother doesn’t like heights (although loves alpine wildflowers!).  We will endeavor to make this trip less of a trial!

The Rock Lake Road access to Rock Lake is still holding, despite the rain.  There is water (Jackson Creek) running on the road between George’s horse-holding area and the turn to the Equestrian Overflow.  But, as of last Saturday anyway, the road is still passable with a regular vehicle.  My 3-km trail off the Rock Lake Road is muddy, of course, and the ‘lake’ half-way up the trail looks daunting (but is still solid).  My trail is (apparently) not daunting enough to keep the odd lookie-loo from driving in . . . just to see where the road goes (Why, Rocky Mountain Escape, of course.  Just like the sign says! ).  A Parks/SRD truck pulled in the other day – and turned around at the bottom of the clearing without being polite enough to stop and at least say hello.  Now what was that all about??

Until next time . . . Happy Trails!


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