A Piece of Heaven

It’s called the Munn Creek Pass.  Ten miles from the ‘Escape cabins, up the gently rising Munn Creek Trail, to the base of the Pass and a well-established camp.  Another 2 miles, over a rise populated by Marmots and Picas, through a moose meadow and up the stiff climb to the top of the Pass – and one can only gawk at the magnificent vista into Willmore Wilderness.  No people (other than your hiking companions).  No sign of human habitation or destruction.  Just mountains and wilderness. The Mountain Goddesses – Lori, Irene and Brenda – joined me on this 3-night, … Continue reading

Hiking . . . LOTS of Hiking!

With Barbara and Mark (all the way from the UK!) in for a week before the July long weekend, we managed 5 solid days of hiking . . . despite the rain and unsettled weather!  Between rain showers on the Summer Solstice, we had a leisurely stroll along Munn Creek.  We saw that the Yellow Dryas was out in full bloom, along with Lung Wort and the start of the Labrador Tea bloom.  Our resident Grizzly was around – fresh scat and a few fresh digs.  Munn Creek has carved new channels and many trees along the bank succumbed to … Continue reading

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. 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 … Continue reading

Rain . . . and more RAIN

It’s springtime in the Rockies! And that means wet. The typically patchy weather of June has arrived, bringing with it rain, sleet, hail, snow, and the occasional glimpse of sunshine. All of this moisture does have its upsides though: the grass is green, the leaves are out, and the first wildflowers are beginning to emerge. One of our absolute favourites is the Fairy Slipper (Calypso Orchid), a tiny purple beauty. Despite the weather, our guests have made the most of the mountains. Karen and Judy, local artists from Edmonton, spent their days painting, writing, reading, and generally having a lovely … Continue reading

Green-up, great guests . . . and a Grizzly

May long weekend brings the start of the summer season along the eastern slopes of the Rockies. Poplars are shedding their leaf-bud coats, which promptly get glued to shoes and dog fur The first flower appears in the subalpine (the inglorious dandelion) New shoots of grass are poking through the drab brown of winter Mosquitoes make an appearance. These are the big B52 bombers that are S-L-O-W and heavy enough to feel land on you so you can whack one before she takes her pint of blood The migratory songbirds are trilling and chirping, busily establishing breeding territory, attracting mates and … Continue reading

Spring is . . . for the birds

Rotten snow.  Ice.  Mud.  Bloomin’ willows.  And the occasional spring snowstorm to dump half a foot (now over a foot!) of wet, heavy snow.  Time to put away the skis, snowshoes, ski-doo and snowblower . . . and bring out the rubber boots. The only redeeming quality about Springtime in the Rockies is the annual return of our migratory songbirds.  The Juncos returned about 3 weeks ago, followed closely by the Chipping Sparrows.  Heard, but not yet seen, is a Varied Thrush with his distinctive bell-tone song.  A lone Starling stayed for 3 days before the resident Gray Jays got … Continue reading

In Like a Lion . . .

The first weekend in March was accompanied by a major winter storm across most of central and southern Alberta. According to The Weather Network, a strong low pressure system developed around Rocky Mountain House and sucked in the moisture-laden system from the West Coast that had been pummeling British Columbia with heavy rain. The moisture landed here as snow. A LOT OF SNOW! By the time it quit snowing Sunday evening, we had accumulated almost TWO FEET of new snow. Guests throughout February and the Storm Weekend have enjoyed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in good snow conditions. Our Australian family … Continue reading

Tumble

I have hesitated writing about Tumble – partly because it may prove to be a long post and not necessarily upbeat . . .and partly because I still tear up every time I think about her life and death. However, I have been reminded several times over the past few months that good friends deserve to be remembered. So, here’s some of Tumble’s story. Two fuzzy, round Border Collies came to the cabins when they were 5 weeks old. Their breeder, a farmer up north in the Peace Country, said the female was too timid to make a good cow … Continue reading

Hectic Holidays . . .

2012 come and gone, and the world didn’t end on the Winter Solstice.  I sat on my rocks overlooking Munn Creek and waited for it . . . rather disappointing, eh? We’ve had a full house at the cabins over the Christmas/New Years holidays, with guests taking time to celebrate at a slower pace up here. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing/bum-sliding and snow-fort-building have occupied our guests during our short daylight hours.   Spending quality time with one’s family and/or partner, away from other distractions, is what the holidays are all about up here . . . At least, that’s what I think! … Continue reading

CLEARING TRAIL

With gorgeous snow conditions and the premier power saw man (Chris) coming in for the weekend, it was time to tackle clearing the remainder of the “Side-Hill” trail and George’s horse trail down to connect to the Munn Creek Trail.  Chris’ girlfriend, Val, was burdened with homework and had to stay behind – keeping the fires going in the cook house and cabins.  Our repeat guests, Maegan and Anna, opted for much-needed “down time” from their demanding schedules. A cold start to the work on Saturday, but bundled up and hard physical labor soon warmed things up.  Chris and I … Continue reading