Waterton Lakes in Alberta was beautiful. This National Park is a huge wilderness area. However, I didn’t want to do much hiking alone because of the danger from bears and other wildlife. Shortly after I set up my tent trailer, I had a black bear try to come through my site. It probably didn’t expect anyone to be there as it was startled to hear my voice. I told it to ‘stop, turn around, and move on.’ Surprise – it did! Unfortunately, I did not have a camera on me at the time so didn’t get a photo as proof. I did have a big deer come onto my site the next morning and I got proof of that. The deer didn’t seem to be too bothered by me – he had a good sampling of the bushes and then left.
Even though the Park had beautiful scenery, it was a bit disappointing. One of the few roads that went anywhere – to Cameron Lake – was closed so I couldn’t take a drive there. There were really no other places to drive except to the town of Waterton, and the Red Rock Canyon. Unfortunately, some of the trails around the Canyon were also closed. I did do some short hikes around the canyon though. So, in one afternoon, after exploring the tiny town of Waterton and hiking a bit around the Canyon, I’d seen Waterton National Park!
After my exciting time in Waterton, I continued east and then north to Fort Macleod. I enjoyed checking out this Fort (reconstructed in 1956-7 as a museum) and found it quite interesting. There was quite a bit to see and read. Then I did a small walking tour (only because the town was so small) of the town and checked out their historic buildings, mostly on Main Street. There was not much to do there otherwise.
Nearby, I went to Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Provincial Park. Just love that name! It is a a world heritage site. The museum was very interesting and I learned the various methods the Blackfoot First Nations used to drive the buffalo off the cliffs to their death. It was well worth the visit.
After this attraction, I continued east and then south to Milk River. Milk River is such a cute little prairie town and I enjoyed wondering around. The people there were very friendly. A thunderstorm came through in the late evening so I just hunkered down in my little tent trailer and hoped that I wouldn’t get blown away.
After Milk River, I was able to take a guided morning tour of the First Nation petroglyphs (rock carvings) in the nearby Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in southeastern Alberta. There is restricted access to the rock art to help protect these historical sites. Our tour had to put up with cold, wind and rain but it was worth it. I hope the petroglyphs aren’t too difficult to see in the photos.
After the tour, I went for a walk among the hoodoos. These slowly eroding soft sandstone rocks always fascinate me. The area sure has its own beauty with the prairie landscapes, hoodoos, and coulees (steep-walled ravines joining river valleys). I was easily able to imagine the First Nations peoples and the settlers being in this region.
Southern Alberta has so much more to see. Perhaps on my next trip though I’ll see more. Next stop, Cypress Hills Provincial Park in Saskatchewan.