There is no doubt that summer has arrived! It’s been over 30 degrees for a week or so now. My plants, both in the yard and in the house, are thirsty. I have spent hours watering everything in sight. I took some time off from the “aquatic” management to go glamping with my niece. We enjoyed random camping for probably the last time as the Province put into place maintenance fees to help pay for the privilege of visiting nature on Crown land.
I have always loved spending time in the Crowsnest Pass. My husband and I took the kids and camped, hiked, caved, boated and hung out in the area as much as we could. There are nooks and crannies that are only known by the locals and a few others. Places that take your breath away by their beauty and energy.
My niece and I paddled from one end of the Crowsnest Lake to the other and explored most of the coves along the way. Our new blow up kayak worked perfectly on the glass like surface of the water. The water is turquoise blue and crystal clear. There are places where it’s less than a foot deep and other places where the depth goes down 90 feet. Legend has it that there is a railroad car full of moonshine somewhere at the bottom. We didn’t see any but we had fun trying to locate it just the same.
The place I like to hang out in has a sandbar that jets out almost the entire length of the cove. It’s almost smack dab in the middle of the water. There is an old dance hall boarded up on the side of the shore. In the 1920s and 30s it was the hot spot to celebrate and gather. You can see parts of the old dock down in the water. Boards that still are held together with tires scattered close by giving evidence to another time in history. The historical site sign talks about the evolution of the valley and mountain range that dates back over 10 thousand years. You can feel the energy of all those cultures, rituals, spiritual sites as you sit in the snow fed waters. Cooling you off from this unrelenting heat of the day. On any given day, the locals come to the spot to give their pets and even a few horses a chance to lower their body temperatures.
On shore we watched as dozens of butterflys came to rest on the wet ground near the water. I watched them for a while trying to figure out what they were doing. They didn’t go to the waters edge but stayed in the wet dirt area. I focused in with my phone camera and could see their snout dipping into the little pockets of moisture. They were drinking up the water through the dirt. It was facinating to watch.
A local tells someone nearby that the original name was supposed to be Raven’s Pass and Raven’s Mountain. The crow showed up and made a nest in a unique tree and the rest is history. I know as a child I knew we were getting close to the area by the landmark of the old leaning tree on the side of the road. Never saw a nest in the tree but I am sure it was occupied on occasion.
I had researched various types of kayaks before buying the inflatable type. I knew space was a premium for me and it had to be easy to assemble on my own. Sturdy enough to feel safe and big enough to hold myself and maybe one other person of reasonable weight. I am very happy with my choice for lake kayaking. We own a boat but it’s a lot of work to get it ready for just the two of us to use. Neither one of us water skis or board and the kids live too far away to come for a day on the lake. So a kayak was a doable option.
The water route lets you see so much more. We watched hawks swoop overhead looking for fish. A beaver swam close with some twigs in its mouth. White tail deer are ever present but I haven’t seen bighorn sheep in that area for years.
Our morning view at Atlas Staging Area was of Crowsnest Mountain. My husband and kids have climbed it in the past. I am thinking I should go up there soon. The time was well spent with my niece. We enjoy each other’s company and now have a new sport in common with kayaking. I even convinced her to go on a bit of a hike that involved three river crossings and a trek up a mountain trail. That adventure we will talk about another time.