Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone Provincial Park

Last weekend Julie and I traveled South to visit the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens in Lethbridge, as well as Writing on Stone Provincial Park. We set off on our journey at 9:00am. Lethbridge is only a 2 hour drive away along Highway 2. It’s typically a fairly boring drive, and this was no exception. There’s a few weeks out of the year where I find it pleasant to drive, and that’s the first few weeks of August when the canola fields are in full bloom before harvesting. If you go during the right time of year it looks as beautiful as shown below.

2017-07-01 Yellowstone 01_luminar

When we arrived in Lethbridge we stopped at the Firestone Restaurant & Bar at the Coast Hotel. I had the Sonoma Chicken Sandwich and Julie had the Chicken Burger. After lunch we drove to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens.

The Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens overlook Henderson Lake. They were designed by Dr. Masami Sugimoto and Dr. Tadashi Kubo, both from Osaka, Japan. The pavilion, shelter, bridges, and gates were built in Kyoto, Japan by five artisans, who eventually re-assembled them in the garden. It was opened on July 14th 1967. The gardens took 21 months to construct. While we were there there was a Taiko percussion instrument demonstration, which was fantastic!

2020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 012020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 032020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 072020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 082020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 112020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 132020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 152020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 172020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 212020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 222020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 232020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 242020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 25

After visiting the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens we drove about 1.5 hours to Writing On Stone Provincial Park. The last time I went to this park was 6 years ago. We completed a small hike / walk that took about an hour to complete. Writing On Stone became an official UNESCO World Heritage Site last year, and is a very sacred park to the Blackfoot Tribe. The beautiful, yet small, park has a tremendous amount of sandstone outcrops, which were deposited along the edge of a large inland sea from about 84 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous epoch.

2020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 262020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 272020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 302020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 322020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 352020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 372020-08-23 Lethbridge Japanese Gardens & Writing On Stone 38

After visiting Writing On Stone we started the long 3.5 hour drive back to Calgary, with a quick stop in Lethbridge for dinner at Chopped Leaf.

Stay tuned for my next blog, which is the next installment in my hiking series; Iceberg Lake!

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Taylor Lake Hike

Last weekend I hiked to Taylor Lake in Banff National Park before picking up Julie for a long-weekend trip to Jasper and Wells Gray Provincial Park!

I completed the 14 km return hike, 924 metre of elevation gain, in just under 3 hours. The hike honestly isn’t too strenuous as the elevation gain is fairly consistent throughout the hike. Most of the hike takes place within a forest before emerging in a sub-alpine meadow, which leads to the beautiful Taylor Lake. This was an easy to moderate hike with beautiful views!

2020-08-01 Taylor Lake

Be sure to check back tomorrow on my blog post for our wonderful weekend getaway to Jasper and Wells Gray Provincial Park.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Ptarmigan Cirque Hike

Two weeks ago Julie and I went for a hike at Ptarmigan Cirque with her sister Jill, Jill’s husband JF, and their adorable kids Claire and Sarah. This is my second time completing this beautiful hike. The last time I completed the hike was June 15th 2019. You can view my blog post on it here.

Ptarmigan Cirque is a 4.3 kilometer loop in Kananaskis Park that starts just along Highway 40, before traversing up 355 metres of elevation gain through the thick forest before opening up to a beautiful meadow / rocky area between some mountains. This hike is about 8000 feet above sea level, so make sure to pace yourself or you’ll find yourself out of breath.

2020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 012020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 022020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 032020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 042020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 052020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 062020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 072020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 082020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 092020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 102020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 112020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 122020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 132020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 142020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 152020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 162020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 172020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 182020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 192020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 202020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 222020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 232020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 242020-07-26 Ptarmigan Cirque 25

After hiking we went back to their campsite at Mount Kidd RV Park. We had a delicious dinner of pulled pork sandwiches that Jill had prepared, and then played a few rounds of Washer Toss, also known as Horseshoe’s. The campsite was one of the nicest campsites I’ve been to because it had high tree density, huge lots, power, and water. I even was able to plug in my Toyota Prius PRIME in to recharge for 40km of “free” range. I purchased the car in March 2020 with only 16000km, and I’m already at 33000km!

IMG_9454IMG_9457

Julie and I ended up leaving the campsite at around 7pm as we still had our dog Grady hanging out at home waiting for her dinner.

Check back soon as I write about my next hike that I completed last weekend; Taylor Lake in Banff National Park.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Rummel Lake & Chester Lake Hikes

Last weekend I hiked to Rummel Lake and Chester Lake. Both of the hikes are within a 5 minutes drive of one another in the beautiful Kananaskis Provincial Park.

The hike to Rummel Lake is about 11km return. The trail is a moderate climb up 441 metres through a subalpine forest, before you emerge at the beautiful lake. Even in early July the lake was still partially frozen, as its surrounded by mountains all around. I loved the beautiful reflection that the nearly still water of the lake provided. It took me about 2 hours to complete the hike.

2020-07-02 Rummel Lake 2

The hike to Chester Lake is about 10km return. The trail is a moderate climb up 424 metres through a subalpine forest, before you emerge in a clearing where there is an absolutely stunning lake. The lake was also still partially frozen, as its also surrounded by mountains all around. It also took me about 2 hours to complete the hike.

2020-07-03 Chester Lake 22020-07-03 Chester Lake 32020-07-03 Chester Lake 52020-07-03 Chester Lake 7

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Boom Lake Hike

On May 29th 2020 my friend Sara and I completed the hike to Boom Lake. The 10.3 km long and 543 metre of elevation gain hike to boom lake is on a well maintained trail through a luscious forest. It took us about four hours return, but I imagine you could easily shave off 30-45 minutes in the summer when you don’t have the snow to deal with. The first 45 minutes into the hike there was no snow and it was pretty smooth sailing. The next 30-45 minutes was ankle deep snow, for which we put our crampons on. The last 30-45 minutes to the lake had knee deep snow. We decided to wear our gaiters for this, but my feet still ended up getting soaked.

2020-05-25 Boom Lake 032020-05-25 Boom Lake 052020-05-25 Boom Lake 062020-05-25 Boom Lake 082020-05-25 Boom Lake 102020-05-25 Boom Lake 122020-05-25 Boom Lake 132020-05-25 Boom Lake 2

We saw some canine or cat footprints that were larger than a dog, but smaller than a bear. I am very glad that we had our bear spray with us. The views at the still lake were absolutely amazing! We had lunch at the lake, before returning back to our car.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Glacier Lake Hike

On June 5th 2020 I completed my fifth hike of the year. This hike was to Glacier Lake. The 16.9 km long and 870 metre of elevation gain hike to boom lake is on a well maintained trail mostly through a luscious forest.

About 1 km along the trail there is a bridge that crossed the North Saskatchewan River. The waters are a beautiful turquoise blue. After another 1 km or so you come to a pair of red chairs with a beautiful overlook of the Howse River valley.

2020-06-05 Glacier Lake 012020-06-05 Glacier Lake 022020-06-05 Glacier Lake 032020-06-05 Glacier Lake 042020-06-05 Glacier Lake 06

After a quick break at the chairs the trail follows the river flat and then climbs up along a creek. There are numerous rivers crossings on privative log bridges.

2020-06-05 Glacier Lake 14

As you begin the descent from the summit watch for signs on the trees and look to your right to see a tree blazed to commemorate the 1928 Topographical Survey, which was completed by Morrison Bridgland.

At the lake there is a campsite with a historic hut, a place for a campfire, and some picnic benches. I had some lunch here before returning to my car. The hike took me a total of 4 hours to do the return trip. This area is prime bear territory between July and August, due to berries along the river, so be sure to bring bear spray, an air horn, and a knife.

2020-06-05 Glacier Lake 082020-06-05 Glacier Lake 162020-06-05 Glacier Lake 092020-06-05 Glacier Lake 10

Be sure to check back soon for my next adventure. If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Banded Creek Connector Bench Hike

As most of you know COVID-19 has making its rounds around the globe, infecting over 7.05 million people so far and taking the lives of 403,000 people as of the writing of this article on June 7th 2020. I was supposed to take an Eastern Europe roadtrip starting on March 18th 2020, ending on April 7th 2020. This trip has been postponed until further notice, but I will complete it when it is safe and socially acceptable to do so.

Despite these sobering statistics Canada has started to re-open the economy, and with that they have also re-opened the Provincial and National Parks. On May 24th 2020 Julie and I decided to go on a moderate difficulty hike called “Banded Creek Connector Bench” in the Bragg Creek area. This hike was my third hike of the season. I typically have a goal of completing 20 hikes per year, so I’m well under way already.

The hike was a 6.1 km long hike with 222 metres of elevation gain. It took us approximately 2.5 hours to complete, including a fifteen minute rest at the small wetland area at the end, and another fifteen minute rest at the small lake a bit further along. The trail conditions were fair, with a few muddy spots in the middle.

2020-05-24 Bragg Creek Banded Creek Connector Bench Hike 12020-05-24 Bragg Creek Banded Creek Connector Bench Hike 22020-05-24 Bragg Creek Banded Creek Connector Bench Hike 32020-05-24 Bragg Creek Banded Creek Connector Bench Hike 42020-05-24 Bragg Creek Banded Creek Connector Bench Hike 52020-05-24 Bragg Creek Banded Creek Connector Bench Hike 6

Next week I plan on going on a hike with my friend Sara to Boom Lake. Stay tuned!

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Brooks Aqueduct, Red Rock Coulee, High Level Bridge

As most of you know COVID-19 has making its rounds around the globe, infecting over 1.34 million people so far and taking the lives of 74,000 people as of the writing of this article on April 6th 2020. I was supposed to take an Eastern Europe roadtrip starting on March 18th 2020, ending on April 7th 2020. This trip has been postponed until further notice, but I will complete it when it is safe and socially acceptable to do so. In the meantime I am following government guidelines and maintaining physical distancing from others.

Last weekend I needed to get out to get some fresh air. I didn’t want to be around others so I decided to drive around Southern Alberta with Julie to take some drone shots of some of my favorite places, as well as explore something I hadn’t heard of (Red Rock Coulee) until I did some reading online. This 800km journey was completed in my new to me 2018 Toyota Prius PRIME, which I picked up about a month ago. I’ve already put 3000 kilometers on it, and it costs just pennies per kilometer to drive. The average fuel consumption is under 4l/100km.

SouthernAlbertaApr2020DCIM100MEDIADJI_0494.JPG

First stop was Brooks Aqueduct, which is a defund aqueduct originally built by the irrigation division of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company in 1914. It was made of reinforced concrete and provided irrigation to the area for over 30 years. It had a capacity of 25 cubic metres (900 cubic feet) per second and provided water to over 113,000 hectares of land. Water to the aqueduct was provided by the Bassano Dam, and built as part of the same project on the Bow River. In 1934 the aqueduct was refurbished. In 1969 the Alberta and Canadian governments assumed the responsibility of maintaining the aqueduct, but it had already fallen into disrepair and was shut down. It is now considered a National Historic Site of Canada and is fenced off. I was very lucky in 2011 when I was able to walk on top of the Aqueduct before it was closed to the public.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0440.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0443.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0449.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0457.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0463.JPG2020-03-28 Brooks Aquaduct 102020-03-28 Brooks Aquaduct 12Brooks Aquaduct 25Brooks Aquaduct 30

Our second stop was Red Rock Coulee, a Provincial Natural Area near Medicine Hat, Alberta. The area features large spherical red coloured boulders, some measuring up to 2.5 metres (10 feet) in diameter. These formations were formed from the erosion, exposing the concretions of shale, sandstone, siltstone, bentonite, and brown ironstone. This place reminded me of the Devil’s Marbles on my trip to Australia in 2016.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0478.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0482.JPG2020-03-28 Red Rock Coulee 052020-03-28 Red Rock Coulee 062020-03-28 Red Rock Coulee 082020-03-28 Red Rock Coulee 092020-03-28 Red Rock Coulee 112020-03-28 Red Rock Coulee 122020-03-28 Red Rock Coulee 132020-03-28 Red Rock Coulee 142020-03-28 Red Rock Coulee 152020-03-28 Red Rock Coulee 16

The third and final stop was High Level Bridge in Lethbridge. I decided to fly my drone here, albeit it being a tremendously windy day. I regret my decision later, because it ended up crashing after only 5 minutes of flying due to not being able to combat the wind. Damage is minimal, but I have to wait until Amazon delivers me some new propellers. High Level Bridge was constructed between 1907 and 1909 at a cost of $1.3 million by the Canadian Pacific Railway company. The 95 metre tall bridge spans 1.6 km over the Oldman River near Lethbridge, Alberta and provided a solution to extremely steep grades that hampered railway operations for the company. The grade was reduced to only 0.4 percent and saved over 8.5 km of track. Transport of the steel to the bridge required 645 railways cars, and another 40 cars contained the equipment required to build the bridge. The bridge is the largest railway structure in Canada, and the largest of its type in the world.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0504.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0514.JPG

A video of this adventure can be found on my YouTube channel here.

Wash your hands religiously, maintain social distancing to flatten the curve, and stay safe. See you soon!

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

 

Rocky Mountains Winter 2019

Winter is coming… wait… winter is here!!! Over the last few weeks we have visited many snowy locations in the Rocky Mountains including; Emerald Lake, Lake Louise, Banff, Johnston Canyon, and Kananaskis (Rawson Lake). The crisp winter air certainly takes your breath away, but the views do too! Take a look at the absolutely splendid views that we have right in our very own backyard!

2019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 022019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 032019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 052019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 062019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 072019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 092019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 102019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 112019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 122019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 142019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 172019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 182019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 192019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 212019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 222019-12-09 Yoho & Banff National Parks 23

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Buller Pass Hike

On August 3rd 2019 my friend Carissa and I completed the Buller Pass hike in Spray Valley Provincial Park. It’s a 10.1km out & back style hike with 778 metres of elevation gain. The majority of the elevation gain is at the end, but the views are worth it. It took us about 6 hours to complete this amazing hike. The hike starts out in a heavily tree’d forest and eventually breaks through to some meadows before getting into some more burnt out tree’s from a forest fire from 2011/2012. After passing through those trees you come to the pass, which is about 250 metres of elevation gain, and it definitely makes you work for it. The loose shale makes it difficult to gain much traction. After reaching the peak you can see the beautiful view of Ribbon Lake below. We had some lunch at the top before turning back towards the car. I highly recommend this amazing hike!

2019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 012019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 022019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 042019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 052019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 062019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 072019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 082019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 092019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 102019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 112019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 122019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 132019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 142019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 152019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 162019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 172019-08-03 Buller Pass Hike 18