Fall Visit

My Mom and Dad came out for a visit this weekend.  With uncertain weather, I thought the best course of action was to undertake a series of small trips rather than find ourselves a long way out with unpleasant weather bearing down on us.

Our first stop was Highwood pass. As you can see, there was plenty of snow on the ground!

Snow is a pleasing compliment to the autumn colors though the alpine larch were not quite at their peak golden hue yet.  We got to experience fall, winter and as we strolled into the forest, the sunshine melting the snow had all the optimism of spring!  After a trail lunch of crackers, cheeses, salami and grapes, we continued down the road to King Creek.

We got out of the car a walked into the steep-walled canyon.  Looking behind us downstream, I noticed a grizzly bear casually eating some riparian vegetation.  We quickly turned around and headed back to the car!  We drove to the other side of the valley where I got out and hiked up the opposite side of the valley hoping to get a telephoto shot of the bear.  Sure enough he wandered up to where we had been walking and I got a great shot of the largest grizzly bear I’ve ever seen.  For scale, compare the bear to the bench in the foreground!

A large herd of sheep nearby seemed concerned about something whether or not it was the bear is hard to know.

We went to the Parks office and reported the bear since it was so close to a day-use area.  We also thought the conservation officer might be tracking this guy’s movements.  I filled out some paper work and a C.O. was dispatched to make a safety assessment.

After that excitement, we stopped at the Kananaskis river by Galatea but bear warnings were posted in the parking lot so we drove further north and had a stroll beside  the river bringing the day to a close.  A great day and the best weather we’ve had in a week!

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