Another Day, Another Bear!

It appears that Benoit is a wildlife magnet! A black bear visited the pasture in front of the loft shortly after the Grizzly (and the black bear is smelling the marks left by the Grizz, and didn’t stick around).

 

A Grizzly Visit

About a week ago, Benoit, my young helper from France, had a surprise visit from one of our wild residents. After taking a few minutes to quit shaking, Benoit was able to capture some video footage of this bear munching on vegetation in front of the loft. Although wildlife is abundant in our area, we rarely get the chance to see a Grizzly, much less get his visit on film – so this is a special treat!

YouTube Videos Up

We started a series of videos to tell the story of Rocky Mountain Escape – from conception to current operation.  The videos are posted on YouTube and can be accessed here:

Episode #1:  Escaping into the Wilderness.  https://youtu.be/AaQJo_R57A4

Episode #2:  Making a Living.  https://youtu.be/DVfew7Ev36U

Episode #3:  Heating Things Up.  https://youtu.be/WKWwYKd6ups

Episode #4:  It’s All About Power.  https://youtu.be/TnvfEvvyDtc

It is our hope that folks who have visited the ‘Escape, and others who may believe in preserving this way of life, will subscribe to our video channel.

Future episodes are in progress, and suggestions on what you would like to see would be welcome.  Thanks!

FOR SALE

Rather than “sell out” and become something we are not – a standard-issue, run-of-the-mill tourist accommodation – the assets of Rocky Mountain Escape have been listed FOR SALE.  We boast 3 beautiful, hand-crafted log guest cabins and supporting infrastructure surrounded by wilderness in the Rocky Mountains.  Details of the listing can be found at http://www.mccowans.com

Comfort

For many years, the ‘Escape provided a unique ecotourism experience – allowing travelers the opportunity to share a simple, more natural and much less environmentally destructive way of life in a beautiful, relatively remote setting.  The ‘Escape has touched travelers from around the world, as well as close to home, and we are grateful for the many friends we have made over the years and this lifestyle we have cherished.

Wilderness

The successful buyer(s) will make this place in their own vision.  The foundation is here, lovingly maintained and ready to go . . . imagine your possibilities.

Contemplation

Happy Trails!

Laura

R.I.P. Leo (2003-2017)

A loyal companion, handsome, lovable – not exceptionally bright.  I will miss him.

Leo – the happiest dog in the world.

Leo’s Lookout

On the Hoff Ridge

 

 

Leo on the Berland Ridge

Leo at home in the snow

Spring Hike – Alpine Meadow

While waiting for paint to dry, what better way to spend a gorgeous Spring day than climbing a mountain?  My hard-working helper, Caroline (from Germany), and I both needed a break so on with the packs and hiking boots!

Oops . . . still a little deep

No brave wildflowers out on the trip up, but the birds were singing and there was a lone Big Horn Sheep ewe grazing on the adjacent slope.

Lunch at the top was rewarding as always and Caroline discovered the joy of bum sliding on the way back down.

The view never gets old

Caroline has now gone on to her next adventure, the painting is done and we’re wet.  Snow on Saturday, preceded by heavy rains and thunder, and more rain today.  Jackson Creek has come across the Rock Lake Road again at the horse-holding area, so access to Rock Lake will have to wait until Parks pushes more gravel.

Until next time, Happy Trails!

The Gray Jay

The Canadian Geographic Society has recommended that the Gray Jay be adopted as Canada’s National Bird (https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/gray-jay-gets-nod-for-canadas-national-bird/article32882103/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&click=sf_globefb&service=mobile).  Can’t think of a better symbol of being Canadian!

Photo by Mark Taylor

Photo by Mark Taylor

These beautiful birds are clever, resourceful and hardy (and they love blueberry pancakes!).

img_0225

Where are my raisins?

The Gray Jay families in our valley are frequent visitors to the ‘Escape, undaunted by winter, and bringing smiles to all who take the time to appreciate a less-hectic pace.

Patiently waiting

Patiently waiting

The Gray Jay is a gentle bird, quietly “chucking” at you if you’ve been “too busy” to pay attention to them!  No squawking or screeching, as is common in the more raucous Blue Jay, and their most irritated call is a “rrrrivit, rrrrivit” when the cat tries to stalk them (good luck with that, Jynx).

The Gray Jay certainly receives our vote for the National Bird of Canada!

The Gray Jay

The Canadian Geographic Society has recommended that the Gray Jay be adopted as Canada’s National Bird (https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/gray-jay-gets-nod-for-canadas-national-bird/article32882103/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&click=sf_globefb&service=mobile).  Can’t think of a better symbol of being Canadian!

Photo by Mark Taylor

Photo by Mark Taylor

These beautiful birds are clever, resourceful and hardy (and they love blueberry pancakes!).

img_0225

Where are my raisins?

The Gray Jay families in our valley are frequent visitors to the ‘Escape, undaunted by winter, and bringing smiles to all who take the time to appreciate a less-hectic pace.

Patiently waiting

Patiently waiting

The Gray Jay is a gentle bird, quietly “chucking” at you if you’ve been “too busy” to pay attention to them!  No squawking or screeching, as is common in the more raucous Blue Jay, and their most irritated call is a “rrrrivit, rrrrivit” when the cat tries to stalk them (good luck with that, Jynx).

The Gray Jay certainly receives our vote for the National Bird of Canada!

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Howdy, friends.  Ah, Canadian Thanksgiving, a time to be thankful.  And despite the fact that this is the first time in 20 years Rocky Mountain Escape has been closed for Thanksgiving, we still have much to be thankful for;

We are thankful of Mother Nature, reminding us that this is Alberta, and we can expect 6 months of winter or better.  🙂 Yaay! Skiing  🙁 Yaay, shoveling…

We are thankful of our longtime friends, supporters and occasional lumberjacks, the Chant Family, plus Mike!, who have never shied away from helping with our Fall Harvest.  Thanks also to David, Christine, Ali, Mark, and Margaret.  Through our combined efforts, we were able to clear out some dead leaners and stock up enough firewood to see us through for a bit.  Just in time to be ahead of the snow this year, too!

We are thankful for the great batch of volunteer visitors we had in this year.  From Germany, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand (others?), this year’s class has been seeded with overall hard-working, reliable, and rather pleasant folks.  Your companionship, humor, and friendship was most welcome up here.  We hope all of you are continuing to do well upon your return home, or wherever your travels have taken you.

Last, though certainly not least, we are thankful to YOU.  Our family, friends, and clients, for the outpouring of support during our recent time of strife.  We are so thankful that you believe in the dream that is Rocky Mountain Escape, and were able to experience it and share in our vision.  Regardless of what the outcome with Alberta Health Services may be, we are thankful for the 20 years that you have given us.  It is only through your patronage that we have been able to sustain our operation.  We have faced fire, flood, drought, and blizzard (at -52 degrees Celsius!), economic downturn, travel restrictions due to terrorism, road closures and stuck vehicles, broken bones, stitches, and bloody noses, and through it all YOU have continued to come.  YOU have continued to say, “That’s where we want to be.  That piece of heaven that is Rocky Mountain Escape is where we want to get back to.  We can’t find that experience anywhere else.  Thank you so much for sharing it with us.”  So, THANK YOU.

Your thankful hosts,

-Chris & Laura

It is unlawful to feed…our friends?

closed

Hello, friends,

Our Inspector returned this morning to post her own “Closure” notice on the door to our cookhouse.  Laura’s repeated requests during the Inspector’s last visit, and this one today, asking the Inspector to please clarify who was encompassed in the terms “registered guests” and “public attendees” as set out in the Closure Order (which is attached in our last blog post) were succinctly ignored by said Inspector.  Ms. Thind refused to provide any clear definition, verbally or in writing, as to if this pertained to “paying clients” only, or in fact extended to “friends”, “visitors”, “family”, or everyone except Laura & Chris.

While we recognize that Laura has a basic “right to life” as outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 7, and thus can use her own kitchen to provide sustenance to her person, we are extremely shaken and disturbed by the threat of “…penalty and/or imprisonment…” as outlined in the above Closure.  We have received a generous outpouring of support, from you; our friends and family, but now are faced with the uncertainty of whether or not we can even invite you in for a cup of coffee and a bit of conversation.  We cannot comprehend that a show of emotional support by a visit from friends and family during this time of struggle may now, in fact, be unlawful.  We believe we may be protected if visits from friends and family are within the parameters of a “restricted function”, and continue to be by invite only, as outlined in the Public Health Act.  However, if we continue to be subjected to the same mindset of “guilty until proven innocent” as our current state of affairs, this may not be a safe assumption.

Laura has taken ill and will be unavailable for the next few days during her recovery.  I will attempt to respond to any questions or concerns you may have in the interim.

This matter currently remains in the hands of our legal counsel as we await further direction and decision.  Thank you all for your continued thoughts.  We appreciate all the feedback we receive on Social Media and your comments bring many a smile to Laura’s face.  I will continue to keep you all updated.

-Chris