First snowshoe of the season

With guests arriving on Friday for a weekend get-away, I made the trip into civilization on Thursday to pick up fresh supplies.  Lots of wildlife were out and about that day, including several grouse, a group of Mule Deer, a few White-tailed Deer and two Golden Eagles slumming with the ravens on a road kill. The temperature was exceptionally mild for the weekend, and Cheryl and Paul were keen to try a short snowshoe trek.  So, down to Rock Lake where the ‘shoeing would be relatively easy, and on to the flat terrain around the Equestrian Overflow, Jackson Creek and … Continue reading

Oh man – do we have SNOW!!

The end of October brought a dump of snow!  Always appreciated and I do love snow . . .but, oh my achin’ back. I’ve been shoveling and blowing snow for the past two days, along with trying to get a snow-track in for our 3-km trail.  The snow blower works just fine . . .until we get above -5C.  Then the blower just pushes snow, and it’s faster to shovel. The Snow Buntings and Pine Grosbeaks are back and delightful to watch (no, these aren’t my photos – courtesy Google Image Search). It’s a town day tomorrow, with guests coming … Continue reading

Sticking Snow

No, not the kind that gloms onto your gloves and toque, making you wish your eyeglasses were equipped with windshield wipers . . . First “sticking” snow means snow that will stick around until spring. I have been laid low with a nasty flu bug, courtesy of the Thanksgiving Weekend, the past two weeks.  Anyone know what the saying ‘Under The Weather’ means?  Everyone knows what it feels like to be so sick even your eyelashes hurt, but . . .where did that saying come from?  I’ve been “under-the-covers” [shaking with chills and fever], “under-nourished” [who the heck feels like … Continue reading

The Willmore Wonderland!!

Now that we are into the month of August, we have noticed a number of changes with the wildlife and flora in the Willmore area. In the first week, we found two Little Brown Bats nesting under the shutters of the cookhouse. They were not happy when Laura welcomed them to daylight earlier than expected and they decided to climb up into the beams for the rest of the day. Upon darkness, while walking from the cookhouse to the loft, Becky has seen bats swooping down to eat the flies her torch (aka “flashlight” in Canadian English) attracts. Susan was lucky … Continue reading

MOUNTAIN ADVENTURES

A few days of fair weather mid-month found us slogging up the Alpine Meadow (aka Avalanche Chute) in search of wildflowers and spectacular views.  We were not disappointed! Nor, by the way, were the mosquitoes deprived of fresh blood . . .We gave up on having lunch on the ‘saddle’, electing to make the short scramble to the top and being rewarded with a nice breeze to keep the bugs at bay. THEN CAME THE RAIN . . . Gentle, steady rain for a day and a half.  Nothing that good rain gear and rubber boots can’t handle, right?  CAUGHT!  Four … Continue reading

ROCK LAKE ACCESS UPDATE

We’ve just received word from Alberta Parks that a temporary repair has been done on the Rock Lake Road, as follows: Flooding – Rock Lake Provincial Park June 28, 2012 The access road into Rock Lake Provincial Park is expected to re-open this afternoon. As of the evening of June 27, some of the water has been diverted and a grader & loads of gravel went into the site this morning to finish the temporary repair. Approximately 1.5-2 km of the dike system upstream has been washed out – if water levels rise again, it may result in another road … Continue reading

Spring Sunshine

It’s stopped raining at the Escape (hooray!) and yesterday we took the chance to enjoy the sunshine and the warm weather. The ground has dried out a bit and for the first time this year we took a hike up to the Alpine Meadow. We saw a few traces of wildlife on the way up there, although nothing of the black bear we spotted last week, who we assume has moved on to bigger and better things. As we entered the meadow we were surrounded by spring activity galore; lush green grass carpeted the slope, butterflies were fluttering by the … Continue reading

Road Advisory

Just back from my weekly/bi-monthly town trip.  The warm weather (+6 C today) has caused very icy road conditions on the Rock Lake Road.  Any travelers coming in to Rock Lake and/or the southern end of Willmore Wilderness should use caution – keep a toe in the dirt or soft snow, as they say, particularly around corners and the Big Hill.