RIDGE WALKING

Clear skies and the promise of fair weather . . . guests keen to tackle a challenging hike . . .where else but the Hoff Ridge?? Undaunted by the previous day’s snowfall, cool morning temperature and periodic gusts of wind at the cabins, our four intrepid 2-legged hikers (Laura, Becky, Emily and Ralph) and our faithful 4-legged companions (Molly and Leo) prepared for the Hoff Ridge hike shortly after breakfast. Rain gear? . . . . .Check Warm, layered clothing? . . . . . Uh, Ralph, do you have long pants to wear?  Says Ralph “I always hike in … Continue reading

Hiking, Hiking . . . and MORE Hiking

As summer draws to a close, Laura has spent the last 8 of 10 days hiking.  Although a welcome relief from the “Cookie’s” job, Laura’s older legs were sometimes feeling a bit . . . well, OLD. On the list were the Alpine Meadow, the Scenic Route to the Viewpoint (3 times), Rock Creek, the Hoff Ridge. the Berland Ridge and the Munn Creek Trail.  Scenes/impressions from these hikes follow: The views . . . Our guests . . . and all the unexpected pleasures . . . Today is a gray day, and it won’t be a big surprise … Continue reading

Rock Creek Ramble…… er scramble!

It was a beautiful Friday morning and the rain was holding off for a change. Pascal had returned to stay, and there was hope of drier expeditions than the stormy one he had last time. There were also new arrivals at Rocky Mountain Escape, Monica and Dave. Dave and Pascal were up for a long hike, so Laura decided that the Rock Creek hike would be accessible and, with no mosquitoes, it would be a pleasurable hike. Susan was excited as this would be a new route for her; however, the excitement that was to come was more than what she … Continue reading

Wild Berries, Bear Scat and Bum-Sliding

We’ve had mostly a fair-weather week – HOT some days with a couple of late afternoon/evening thunder storms just to keep things lively. Both the Alpine Meadow and the Scenic Route to the Viewpoint were favorite hikes over the past week.  The once-abundant wildflowers on the Alpine Meadow are mostly in seed now, although the Monk’s Hood, Cinquefoil (Potentilla) and Gentian are still out.  Wild strawberries are in full fruit – and such a welcome excuse to stop and catch your breath on the way up!  The way down on the avalanche chute is (relatively) easy . . . as long … 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

Sunshine, rain and horses!

The past week has been turbulent, weather-wise. As we say in Alberta, if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes! A mix of sunshine, rain and violent storms every day is not helpful when deciding on suitable hiking trails for our guests. On Tuesday we attempted an early walk around Rock Lake with a young family, but we were soon turned back by a lightning storm that progressed for the rest of the afternoon and evening. This was not a disappointment however; as they preferred to have a lazy day after the busy time they had spent touring around … Continue reading

THE BERLAND RIDGE HIKE

Fair weather and willing guests will always find us climbing a mountain!  A mother/daughter pair from Saskatchewan and a fellow from Ontario joined us to hike the Berland Ridge, hoping for cooler temperatures amongst the trees as we made our way to the top. Leo was a hot as the hikers were, and took comfort in the shade. Wildflowers, butterflies and mushrooms were abundant along the trail.         A special treat – wild strawberries!  Until next time . . .happy trails! … 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

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

The Impassible Road

Despite the summer solstice coming up in the last two days, our weather pattern seems to be firmly stuck in ‘Spring time in the Rockies.’ We have been, and continue to be, wet and cool! A few hardy souls attempted to venture to Rock Lake over the weekend, only to find the road impassable and the popular camping and staging areas closed. It is a pity that Alberta Parks neglected to post the closure at the highway 40 turn-off or to post on their website until June 14th, which was about a week after the park road was closed! Alberta … Continue reading