Sunday, September 9, 2012

Waterton Lakes National Park.

After a long day of driving yesterday and a belly full of good food and beer,  I slept like a rock (in the parking lot in stealth mode).  No one bothered me, or even knew I was there.   I got up a little before sunrise to take pictures, and to go look for wildlife.  I stopped at a park overlooking the lake for an incredible sunrise.  From there it was up Red Rock road to look for wildlife and to figure out some hikes.    I didn’t see any wildlife on the way up,  so,  I took the hike at Red Rock Canyon.   After that I hiked to Blackinston Falls.  I did carry my bear spray,  even though I hadn’t seen one yet,  it was bear country.

 After that I drove for a while and decided to hike to Crandell Lake.   It is interesting to see what people put on the guide posts.  See attached photo.

I know,  everyone asks why I would hike towards a lake with warning  like this ( sighting of  3 bears from the day before)… I also get responses from friends like “Crazy Gringo!”… BUT if my goal is to take wildlife photographs,  don’t I need to go where the wildlife is?

I took my bear spray,  but no bears to be found on this hike,  hopefully I see some later.  The lake was so peaceful,  I just sat there for about an hour looking at the lake and the scenery (and hoping for a bear to show).  There was absolutely no one around and the only thing I could hear was nature.   It reminded me of a saying I saw in the Rockefeller Preserve in the Grand Tetons last year.

Nature quiets the mind
        by engaging with an intelligence
larger than our own.

It was so true sitting beside this lake.

So on to see more of the park and to look for more wildlife,  or any at this point….  As I’m driving along, look who ends up right next to the road!    I was actually in my truck when I took this picture!  (I’m sure my friends are happier now…)  No need for bear spray.  
I went back up to the hotel because I heard that there was a bear carcass down the mountain and across the lake.  Apparently on Tuesday, a black bear and a brown bear (still considered a “black bear”) had a fight to the death.  One couple I met said that the winner, the black one,  gorged himself so much after the fight,  that he went to sleep with his feet straight up in the air, and a bulging belly looking like he needed Rolaids.  Who knew bears were cannibals?

I drove and hiked much more of the day.  It was an incredible day,  I ended up driving about 75 miles of beautiful mountain roads,  Hiked about 10 miles,  along the way I saw 3 more bears (all from the truck) and some elk.   A pretty incredible way to spend the day.  I finished the day back at the bar in the Prince of Wales hotel (like last night) for beers and an Irish stew (with 2 lambchops).  Last night worked so well,  the parking lot was my place to sleep again for the night.

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