Prague Trip 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Heart Creek Mountain - Heart Creek Trail

About 40 minutes or so from Calgary, this is not a long or hard hike at all.  It is pretty level (and short) but it is a really beautiful walk.  The parking lot is at the junction of Lac des Arc exit off Highway #1.  On the south side of the highway.  You can park about a kilometer further east off the shoulder of the highway but at the parking lot are bathrooms and it is a nice walk the 800 meters to where the trail makes a turn to the south up the creek.  There is a for real hike that goes around Heart Mountain but that is for a different day. 

The walk-hike takes you over several bridges and on the way you are likely to see quite a number of rock climbers. More on the weekends.  It is open enough that you can see up the cliffs and rocks and mountains as you are walking.  It is not that far to the falls at the top end - a nice space for a picnic or to relax for a while.  You can climb up onto a rock there (you'll see) to get a better look at the falls. 

On the other side of the river in this beautiful grotto is a steep trail leading to the top.  I put a couple of 200 pound rocks in the river to make crossing a little easier and as I wanted a little more of a challenge climbed to the top of that trail.  There are a lot of loose rocks at the bottom section.  And it is steep enough that any rain at all would make it all but impossible to go the rest of the way as it would be too steep and muddy.  One does have to think about getting back down.  I have no idea how really to estimate heights but I figure it was a 200-300 foot climb.  I was not sure at first if the trail would go anywhere or if it would be one of those that petered out or just kept going and going on forever.  But it did get me to the top and it was, except for the trees, quite the view. 

Numerous paths at the top that would take you in almost any direction that I deigned not to take. 

We hung around for a while in the grotto - ate our lunch - it being a weekday was not terribly busy. 

This is a great walk if you have smaller kids or are looking for an easy or short hike with some very nice scenery.






The 'clearing' at the end of the trail





Heart Mountain

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hiking Lake Minnewanka "Water of the Spirits"

We drove from Calgary to Banff yesterday to hiking at Lake Minnewanka. The drive is less than 90 minutes if you are doing around the speed limit and depeding where in Calgary you are. We went in the middle of the day so only went for a few hours. The park is just minutes from Banff so if you want to go there as well for lunch before or dinner afterwards it is very close. If you are going to spend some money on a meal I suggest go there or bring food. There is a canteen there but it very expensive for what you get. I should have expected that when I approached it and there were no prices listed anywhere. It cost us over $15.00 for a hot dog and a small veggie burrito and a coffee. Hrmff!

Lake Minnewanka
All the trail guides that I read said there was no elevation increase - maybe I was reading the wrong ones but if you walk the trail on the north side of the lake there is an elevation increase of at least 300-400 feet. It is pretty easy walking though. One section of the woods was pretty muddy - there has been a lot of rain this year.

After the park at the bottom, once you get onto the trail you are going to be in the woods for at least half an hour depending on how fast you walk. It is not closed in like some hikes so is pleasant.

Lake Minnewanka
You can go as long or short as you want on this trail. Start early in the day and you can go the length of the lake. That will have to be a different day for us. We just walked out about an hour and a half or so - we may have gotten close to the entrance to the Aylmer Pass entrance but that was closed anyway.

I took a lot of photographs. I like working with black and white but many of these I could not choose between color and black and white - both ways communicated the beauty well. I took a lot more that I have put here but I hope to show you a sampling of the beauty of the hike. Hopefully, I have not left out some of the better ones.


Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Mountain Sheep

Mountain Sheep
These fellows were on the road foraging with many others when drove around to Two Jacks and Johnson Lake.  Very pretty drive.  And there is a walk around Johnson Lake that we did not do but if you want more of a pretty walk than a 'hike' looks like a nice one.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ranch country near Benchland, Alberta

We went for a drive around the loop from Highway 40 up 734/Forestry Trunk Rd - through Benchlands and Waiporous.  Very pretty drive - it was raining a lot of the day so we staying in the car mostly and the mosquitoes were bad until the wind came up.  We went south on Richard Road expecting to be able to hook back into Highway 40 but about half way down came to what looked like the end of the road.  Turned into a dirt/mud road.  So we went back the way we came.  Kinda glad we did as we got some really nice pictures.  But if anyone knows this are and can tell me if the road goes all the way through...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sean Liv - Calgary Alberta

I met Sean the other day.  She had a spot at the Kingsland Farmer's Market(just south of Glenmore Trail on MacLeod Trail).  Promoting her book 'The Ticket'. 

What a gem!  I have not read her book yet(but it is on my list) or been to one of her talks but I absolutely enjoyed speaking to her. 

Check out her website: http://www.seanliv.com