Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Waterton, Canada-a beautiful Alpine village nestled within the Canadian Rockies with deer roaming free as tame as your backyard dogs. This little "Tourist Town" is strictly a seasonal village with only 35 people manning the town year round. We met one of those die-hards when we were taking the shuttle this last day to the trail head for our last hike. It seems they take turns in Waterton being the mayor. They also like the deer roaming their little town since they provide food for the cougars that come down from the mountains in the winter and stalk the village. He told us you would find carcasses all over the campgrounds during the snowy-cold winter months. HMMMMM!-remind me to stay in tepid Louisiana during the winter.

This former-mayor/store proprietor/bus driver gave us a brief geography/ecology/history lecture while driving us to our starting point, high up in the mountains. He showed us the mountain that you could stand on and have a foot in Alberta a foot in British Columbia and your rear in Montana. He just loved telling that one! He proclaimed today's hike the most beautiful hike in all of Glacier Park on both sides of the border. While certainly beautiful, we decided he might be a little partial to the Canadian side of the park. In our humble opinion, not THE MOST beautiful hike of our trip, but a highlight for sure.

We hiked the 11.8 miles to Carthew-Alderson Passes & Lakes. This hike would probably qualify as one of the steepest climbs we made. The loose shale on the side one of the passes as well as the stark drop and steep climb made for a heart stopping trek. Not for the faint of heart, I found myself unable to look down for long, since vertigo would set in from the bottomless valleys down the cliff. While approaching the pass, we looked down in the valley-WAY DOWN- and spotted the largest grizzly of our trip. While gazing at him through binoculars, he looked the size of a bull. HUGE! Thank goodness he was way down in the valley. The winds were so strong once we got to the top of the pass that you had to lean into them for fear of being blown off your feet. When the wind is blowing so hard that we cannot stop to eat-well that is enough explanation of just how strong it was.

When we started down from the passes, back toward Waterton, the last 4 miles were through deep woods and bear country. We saw LOTS of fresh scat and took turns calling out our presence, trying to avoid another encounter. When you finally turn that last corner and see the roof tops , it was a bitter-sweet moment. A wonderful week that will forever be etched in my memory as an adventure of HIGH ORDER!

Starting our day, headed up and up to eventually cross the passes.
In front of us is one of the passes we will go over. The brown is the loose shale.

Deep down in that valley, one of those specks is the huge grizzly. That gives you a perspective of how high we were.

Another glance back and the beautiful lake, deep in the valley.

This gives you a closer look at the loose shale. The figures coming up are an indication of how high we eventually climbed.

The Top of the World.

Sonja waiting on her sister to cross the crest and head down.

The last snowfield to be crossed.

Momma and Baby Deer are on the left side of this picture.

Sonja headed down the first set of switchbacks.

Down in the valley are the roofs of Waterton and the end of the trail.

This-the last picture-is for Adam. Note the fly-fisherman in the pool below the waterfall. He told us he had caught 2. You would love it all, Adam!
Today ends the narrative of our adventure. Tomorrow I will be back to mundane day to day -ho-hum Lora's Life. Maybe you could all take up a collection and send me on another trip-after all I have been home almost a week and I would be glad to tell you all about it. NO-well don't blame me for asking!


the Jennings secede from the South said...

Ooh, that means that next year you have to take us so that Adam can be that guy flyfishing by the falls! Also, nice pictures MOm!

Jessica Stephenson said...

Love the pictures- how beautiful!

Angela Williams Duea said...

That is unbelievably beautiful. I hope to see that myself someday.

Hannah Lee said...

I am just going to send you all of my pictures from the beach and Boston and let you write the story behind them! You are an awesome writer!

Lora said...

Hannah, write it like you talk it. That is all there is to it! Enjoy your adventure and then tell us all about it!

Anonymous said...

Why are we here in Louisiana? Winters! It is truely breath taking beauty. It is what God talks about in Romans - we are without excuse His handy work decalres His glory. thank you for sharing your trip and the pictures. Helen