6-8 July Head Smashed In & Waterton – buffalo & lakes

6 July

Today we all piled into Sharon’s truck & went to Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump. What the story here is that in the days before the European settlers arrived & slaughtered all of the buffalo with guns, the Indians used to hunt them by herding them over a cliff. There was a pretty good ‘interpretive centre’ here, which explained how the Indians did this, all of the different uses they had for all of the different bits of buffalo, how they could only do this when the buffalo migrated in spring or summer & how they then cured all of the meat so it lasted all winter, and how there are 6m of buffalo bones at the bottom of the cliff. Then having seen all of this, we drove back to back to the GM dealer, who says, “we couldn’t find anything wrong with it, it seems to be working fine now”. And it is. So off we drive to Waterton National Park.

7 July

We wander into Waterton, look at the Elk wandering through town, and then go for a bit of a walk to some waterfalls. When we get there Brenda & Shari decide that it would be cool to push on to the lake. Lake Bertha is up a bit of a hill, but is a very nice looking lake. On the way up, I decide that I would like to see a bear, and tell Brenda and Shari of this. They are less keen, and try to dissuade me with tales of how dangerous bears are, but in the end give up and give me lots of useful advice, like “if you see a mother with her cub, go and pick up the cub, they like that”.

They really are pretty cool chicks like that, always wanting to help. Alas, we arrived at the top without seeing but a single bear. As Brenda and Shari collapsed at the lake edge, I spotted some snow around the lake some and wander off to play in that. The Canadians didn’t seem to find playing in snow such an amusing past time, but I am not sure why. In the evening we drove through a paddock where they had a small herd of bison. Unfortunately these were distressingly similar to cows, and much less impressive than I had imagined. On the way back we saw a bear on the side of the road (well spotted Pat),

8 July

Today, Brenda & Shari decide that they want a quiet rest day. Somehow I got the blame for them walking up the side of a mountain. I got the blame for a lot, including waking Brenda up at night, because she claims (falsely), that I snore.

Brenda decided that the best cure for this was not to rest her imagination, but to throw stuff at me & on more than one occasion woke both Shari & I up by dropping what she was bout to throw at me on Shari. I got the blame for that too.

So we bum around, drive to some lovely scenery, sit on a beach at the lake some, do not a hell of a lot.

Then I go diving in the evening. I arrange to meet Brenda & Shari at a given pub in about 1 1/2 hours or so. I then go for a dive in Lake Cameron. While Waterton itself is quite high (about 5000ft), Lake Cameron is up a mountain some more. It is a lovely picture postcard sort of a lake, surrounded by snow clad mountains, snow down to the lake edge, you get the picture. And as I forgot my camera that is the best picture you are going to get.

Anyway, we were off looking for a sunken forest. Details were pretty sketchy of how it got there, but it was supposed to be pretty impressive, and the visibility really good. Unfortunately we didn’t find it, and the visibility was pretty poor, and the water was a touch on the cold side (my hands & feet were ready to fall off when I got back), but you get that. A great view on the swim back to shore though.

So then we went back & I turned up at the pub to find that Brenda and Shari had got bored of waiting & wandered off. It seems that they thought “1 1/2 hours or so” meant about 90 minutes. Oh well.