I have finally decided to join the world of bloggers and for my first blog I thought I would answer a question I have been asked more times than I can count….
Why are you living in Canada?
My answer to this is usually something along the lines of I was bored and needed a change in scenery, or Why Not? To which I usually get a response of but Australia is so much nicer, it has great weather, beaches etc, etc, etc.
The truth is that there are days when I ask myself the same question, and then I have a weekend like the one I have just had and it is clear to me. I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada because there are things to see and do here that don’t exist in Sydney.
This weekend was Canada Day Long Weekend so with 3 beautiful days off work, the only thing to do was get out of the city and explore. Not driving does have its disadvantages, but luckily for me my friend and roommate Janine is an excellent driver, and i am a very good co-pilot. While she drives I am responsible for things like temperature control, music, food, and excellent conversation, but back to the long weekend.
Leaving Calgary on friday night we headed North to Elk Island Provincial Park, about 45 mins from Edmonton. We drove into the park at about 11pm, and only a few minutes in we came across a herd of bison with calves, and a coyote. We were pretty excited about the possibility of all the animals we would see. We set up our tent in the dark and fell asleep to the sounds of coyotes. After a fantastic breakfast of campfire cooked vegemite on toast we headed off to spot some Moose and Beaver.
Elk Island Provincial Park is the largest hoofed park after the Serengeti so we were quite positive that we would see lots of animals, and only a couple of minutes into our drive we saw 3 bison. The Beavers eluded us as we walked the Beaver Pond Trail, but our hopes were still high. Driving through the main road of the Park we spotted another Bison, we spent a few minutes driving along taking photos of him, but he got sick of us doing this and decided to chase our car. Now we were driving a Suzuki Swift, so in a fight of Bison V Swift we were pretty sure bison would win so we got out of there pretty quickly.
It was a very warm day, and the Moose all seemed to be hiding so we decided to go for a drive to Mundare to see the Giant Sausage and then to Vegreville to see the Worlds largest Pysanka egg, before heading back to the park.to say we tried to find the Moose and Beavers is an understatement. We drove to every corner of the park possible and tried another hike, but alas, those moose did not want to play.
We drove back to Calgary, slightly disappointed, but excited about the rest of the weekend.
Sunday was Canada day and we spent the afternoon at the Millarville races. It the Millarville version of the Melbourne Cup. Instead of fascinators, dresses and heels, the dress code was cowboy hats and boots. Between race entertainment was childrens sack and running races, but the sun was shinning and it was a great day to soak up some rays. Not wanting to head into Calgary after the races we took the long way round, and drove the 22 into Kananaskis. A drive which can only be described as stunning. We hoped that the bears would come out and play since the Moose had not been kind on saturday. But no luck again. But the drive was worth it. Every corner provided another amazing view, the mountains are incredible, and its hard to ever get sick of seeing them.
We had a hard time deciding where to go on Monday, but the call of the mountains was too strong. Not wanting to drive the same way we decided to head back to the Mountains via Cochrane. Starting our day with a easy hike at Big Hill Springs, we then headed into Cochrane for some well deserved Ice Cream at Mckays, then we drove along the 1A, Bow valley Trail heading to Canmore. We stopped along the way at the Morleyville Church, a did another short hike before our picnic lunch in Canmore, looking at the mountains.
While we did not have a lot of luck with our animal spotting all weekend, the Rockies sure made up for it. So next time someone asks me why i am in Canada, I think i will show them one of these photos
Until we meet again