Alberta snapshot: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary.

Zeus and Kaida

My brother, my hubby, and I had the incredible opportunity to take a guided, interactive tour at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary near Cochrane, Alberta a couple of weekends ago.  The sanctuary is a permanent home for several rescued/surrendered wolfdogs (and one coydog), all of which would probably not be alive today without this amazing facility and its staff.  (The Sanctuary also rehomes adoptable wolfdogs).

Education about wolfdog behaviour and correcting the unfortunate misinformation about their breeding is the focus of the talk that accompanies the tour, and the highlight was the ability to feed treats to some of them (and get in a few pats if willing).  The high content wolfdogs such as Zeus and Kaida in the photograph above, are of course not receptive to touch but they were certainly keen on the chicken we offered!  If you want to learn more about the Sanctuary and its work (plus see photos and learn the histories of the other wolfdogs), check out their website here.

Alberta snapshot: Moose Mountain.

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Snow in June!

Well, at that altitude anyway (2,437 m/7,995 ft).  My hubby and I hiked up to the top of Moose Mountain in Kananaskis Country a couple of weekends ago.  I should say, “almost” the top – you can’t actually completely summit the mountain as it is home to a fire lookout and it would be impolite to invade the privacy of the personnel stationed there.  We got to a few feet away, and sat atop the heli-pad to enjoy the absolutely incredible views.  “On a clear day you can see forever…”.

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Alberta (historical) snapshot: Mount McGillivray bunker.

Now, this was a fascinating find!  A short (about 2 km, one way) hike west from the Heart Creek parking lot near Canmore, Alberta leads you to this gigantic cave carved out of the base of Mount McGillivray.  My hubby and I headed out there a few weeks ago to check it out.

There is plenty of speculation about the purpose of this huge excavation, but it seems that a private enterprise called The Rocky Mountain Vault and Archive Company started digging it out in the late 1960’s, presumably so that they could rent space to individuals and corporations to store documents (in the event that the Cold War took a nasty turn, perhaps?). You can read more about their ambitious plans for the site here (it was slated to become operational in 1970) – but there doesn’t seem to be any information about why they never finished the project. At any rate, it’s an amazing place to visit (and fortunately, there weren’t any creepy Hallowe’en masks hanging from the ceiling when we went – my heart wouldn’t have been able to handle the fright).

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Looking towards the entranceway from inside the vault.  

Alberta snapshot: Prairie View Trail.

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The result of a fun afternoon hike in Kananaskis my hubby and I did back in April.  The peak in the foreground is Mt. Baldy, overlooking the amazing blue water of Barrier Lake. This is a great hike for beginners or parents with older kids (or experienced hikers who want to blaze through in a couple of hours or less). The only significant elevation change occurs shortly after you’ve hit the first lookout. While we encountered only three cyclists at this early date, Prairie View is apparently a popular mountain biking trek, so everyone has to share the trail during the peak season.

Alberta snapshot: North York Creek, Crowsnest Pass.

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A couple of photos from a quick excursion out to the Pass last week. I keep hoping I’ll find lying somewhere on the ground a cheque made out to me and in a decent denomination so I could cash it in and buy property in these mountains.  So far it hasn’t happened but you have to stay positive about these sort of things….  😉   You can definitely see why I’m so enamoured with the place.

Alberta snapshot: Along The Cowboy Trail.

The ranch lands in the foothills of the Rockies have been repeatedly Chinook-scoured – you won’t find much snow out here right now!  I took these photos on January 30, just east of Chain Lakes, where my hubby, brother, and I had spent a few hours ice fishing.

*If you’re interested, here’s the Cowboy Trail route information.  It’s a very scenic (if a bit meandering) 700 kilometer drive partway across the province.  We’ve traveled it on numerous occasions, albeit not the whole thing all at once.