The Ole Buck and the Troll…

I’ve just begun to discover Kananaskis Country in spring…thanks to some long-time local hikers who are introducing me week by week to new places…


Here we are in the Sibbald Lake region venturing out to the Ole Buck Loop.

E & W

Spring is just barely springing.  Its new green is such a refreshing sight!

Spring comingSping has sprungP1200450



We gained 500ft. before stopping for lunch at what used to be a viewpoint, before the pines grew tall…


It was lovely nonetheless and even boasted a geo-cache which we duly signed.

My PB&J sandwich was all the better for the lovely setting ( :P1200443



This Crocus chorus greeted us along the way back.

Crocus chorus

But that was last week’s hike.  The following day a grizzly was reported in the area making advances toward a hiker and the trails were closed till further notice.


Today our hike took us to a lovely falls, also in Kananaskis Country.


These trails double as cross-country trails when the snow falls.

The leader of our expedition has a very long history here; she’s written books about the area and one of the trails is named after her—a downhill stretch that’s sure to be a ‘screamer’ on skis!


This is Ruthie.  She is fast approaching 80 but still on the move and still very much in love with Kananaskis Country.


She names for me the flowers along the way…

(names I am disappointed to have now forgotten…)


And points out the spot where she would like a bench placed in her memory…


As we near our destination, the effects of the 2013 flood are clearly in evidence despite extensive clean-up.  This area was hard hit.


Troll Falls is our destination–


Named for the troll who keeps watch as it tumbles…






The nearby Nakiska ski slopes were built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics…the meadows we traverse used to be full of wildflowers but they have yet to recover from being used as parking lots for this event.

But the valley is lovely still, from beside…








P1200522 P1200536

and above…


…and has become a popular setting for wedding parties.




We, though decidedly less glamorous, pose for a picture anyway.


In 2002, top world leaders met in this out of the way place for the G8 Summit of 2002.

It became the largest peacetime security operation in Canadian history.


For today though, we have the place almost to ourselves! Though over the weekend the Prime Minister and his cabinet were here for a cabinet retreat!

These and other bits of trivia I hear as I walk for the first time in Kananaskis Country…, but it’s the flower names I wish most to remember!

And I have it now…Calypso Orchid is that flower’s name!


The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Ps.93:3-4

Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity. Ps.98:8,9


Grotto Canyon…

We had just enough time if we hurried.  P1200125

Day was at its fading end as we reached the canyon…

P1200127P1200132P1200138P1200133Ice still lingers here—cause for careful steps!


And then, as the canyon opened up we found the grotto…


Scaling the slope was much harder than met the eye.P1200152

I just watched; I have new hiking boots on order…

Then we hastily retraced our steps


Emerging from the canyon in time to catch the pinking of the sky…



What a lovely way to finish out a day ( :


The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.
Ps. 19:1-2, a psalm of David

No want of places to hike…

Well, I am a few hikes behind in posting pictures here. There are a world of hikes to be had here and scenery everywhere!

I have joined up with a little group of regular hikers for a couple weeks in a row now.  They are older than I but still hitting the trails every week. They’ve been doing it for 11 years faithfully so I have lots of places to discover.

We strolled to Middle Lake in Bow Valley Park one Thursday…


And I learned all about Scotland on the way thanks to this gal’s great story telling…P1200084

(She’s also quite a photographer!)


There are hot springs active here…

And less active one-legged geese (lol)P1200097


And migrating swans…P1200103

And the first wildflowers are just making their appearance…P1200104P1200108 The “Prairie Crocus”, also known as the Pasque flower, is the first harbinger of spring, though it’s not a crocus at all, but an Anemone.   We are now officially acquainted ( ;


The next  of “Ruthie’s Hikes” took us into Banff on a cool day with weather brewing!  We walked the circuits surrounding Johnson Lake…


This was once mining country…all traces of the town that lay below this overlook are now gone.



We stopped by an old hermit’s cabin along the way—seems he lived here for 27 years avoiding society.
I’m sure there have been many more visitors to his cabin since his passing than in his lifetime!




A few of us oldies tried out a trailside swing over the bluff. Eeks!



Despite the day’s chill spring is making headway here…



I for one will be glad to see it warm up a bit.  I have not yet learned to dress just right for the fickle weather.  I ended up borrowing a coat!


The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Ps.24:1