hiking

Hiking Grotto Canyon, Exshaw, Alberta

Hiking Grotto Canyon, Exshaw, Alberta

Perfect Weather for a Mountain Hike

When we lived in Calgary one of our favourite short hikes was Grotto Canyon near Exshaw.  A short hike; about seven kilometres to the hoodoo and back.  But quite spectacular nonetheless.  And it is less that an hour from Calgary, depending where in the city you are coming from!

Not difficult at all.  That said, the walk in is rocky so wear sturdy shoes or boots.  We went in near the end of May and there were sections with still several feet of ice. In winter one should definitely wear crampons on your footwear to keep from slip sliding away.

From the parking lot it is probably a little over two Kilometres to the bend where the falls are (to the right).  The bend is to the left.  Surprisingly, there was very little water in the stream or coming down the wall near the waterfall

If you go past the falls through the steep walls to the left you will come to a section where there are about a hundred cairns (piled up rocks).  I’m sure these get destroyed each year with the water cascading out of the mountains, then rebuilt each year.

Keep going past that you will come to a hoodoo on the left with a small cave near the top of it.  We have in the past gone a couple of kilometres past the hoodoo but never got to anywhere there was great views.  Lots of other hikes for that. 

Yvonne and I went with her son Spencer on this hike. He’d never been to this spot.  Great day, perfect weather.

Check out a nice walkabout at Elbow Falls, Alberta

#elbowfalls #alberta

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Armstrong BC – Thomas Hayes Trail & BX Falls Vernon

Armstrong BC – Thomas Hayes Trail & BX Falls Vernon

Thomas Hayes Trail - Armstrong

Having an amazing time in Armstrong.  Always amazing when we get to go hiking/walking in the woods. Yesterday and today.  Spent the weekend with Marianne (Yvonne’s sister), Marianne’s son Shayne, and his wife Shannon, Shayne’s daughter Cassidy, and Marianne’s other son Evan.   And the puppy Maya.  You can see the bunch of us hiking about in Armstrong on Saturday.  Started of kinda cool but by the time we were half way through the hike pretty much all coats were wrapped around hips.  I was very happy I’d worn shorts

You can see the bunch of us over my bald head on one of the photos.   And a couple through the trees of Yvonne.  I caught a few of her with my long lens coming through the trees.  I could look at her all day.

BX Falls Vernon

Today Marianne took us a little way into the hills east of Vernon.  Was a rainy today so felt like we were in the rainforest in the Vancouver area.  Lots of steps to get to the bottom of the waterfall.  Rainy day. 

Marianne drove us up to Silver Star (mountain Ski place above Vernon) to see the view but the fog had set in by the time we got there so couldn’t see a thing. Next time. 

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Hiking Ithaca, New York

Hiking Ithaca, New York

Buttermilk State Park, Watkins Glen State Park

Buttermilk Falls, Watkins Glen and other waterfalls

Hiking Ithaca, Watkins Glen water falls.

Booked a concert to go see in Ithaca, New York this for this past weekend.  A finger picking guitar legend named Leo Kottke.  He played at the Hangar Theatre last Saturday night.

As my wife and I are avid hikers we thought it would be good to see some of the sights while we were in the area.  I did some research before leaving on the trip and found that there are an amazing numer of spectacular waterfalls in the area of Ithaca and Watkins Glen.  All around the Finger Lakes area.

On our way in to Ithaca, along the west side of Cayuga Lake, we stopped at Taughannock State Park.  We first drove up to the top overlook to see the falls from there – tall!  Then drove around the hiked in from the parking lot.  More of a walk than a hike really. Only took 10 minutes.  One of the highest drops of a waterfall east of the Rockies apparently at 215 feet.

From there we checked in to our AirBnB in town and got some dinner.  After that we hiked Buttermilk Falls.  We started at the top and hiked down to almost the park at the bottom then back up(obviously).  We take a lot of photos so going the first direction takes us about 3 times as long as coming back.  We were there on the Friday evening, a little while before dusk, which makes for much better light than the middle of the day.  I liked this one as there weren’t too many people as opposed to Watkins Glen – that was packed.

I didn’t have much choice of the weekend I wanted to go because of the concert but going again I would not choose the graduation weekend.  So many parents hiking about with their graduates.

Saturday was spent see a bit of the town, Ithaca Farmers Market in the morning where I was able to get my second breakfast of this delicious breakfast samosa.  We went to Robert Treman State Park but the gorge trail was close due to all the rain so we ended up doing a short walk about there.  Couldn’t really see much of the falls.  We circled around and were able to see a bit more at the base but not much walking about.  We went through the university and circled around Bebee Lake. Very Spring like with the students out on the lake in their canoes. If you make that walk around the lake, be sure to go up the short spur just past the bridge along the river and you can see a nice waterfall or two.

It was too early for much in the way of flowers in their botanical gardens.

On Sunday, Watkins Glen, even with the crowds, was amazing.  I have not yet done any research on what went into the construction of the walkways and bridges etc but they were masterful.  You are climbing a lot of stair but this is completely worth the effort.  If you are debating whether to take the rim trail back instead, it is not hard at all and should take you about a quarter of the time to get to the parking lot at the entrance on S Pavilion Road.  

Below are just a few of the photos.

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