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Published: November 29th 2022
We nine started our just-out-of Calgary walk in the glow of the Rocky Mountains. The whiteness of the snow was carved sharply by blue-black rock too steep to be covered, even by fresh flakes.
Tramping down the Bowbend Trail, so familiar in summer, we admired the golden-brown grasses that had shaken themselves free from patches of crunchy old snow. In front of us were magnificent vistas of natural prairie on both sides of the Bow River. Obligingly, a long freight train wound through the bends and bushes, returning us gleefully to our childhood. Dorothy counted 166 cars including four engines. We waved at the conductor but were too far away to perceive a response.
Behind us, above the Badger Bowl, were massive remnants of what had once been the flatland, now escarpments in dun winter shades. One of many informative signs explained that 13,500 years ago gigantic camels, bison, mammoths, mountain sheep, and caribou roamed the area, eating lush vegetation fed by what had been a glacial lake.
Enjoying the warming day, we diverted up onto the gravel paths of the Tiger Lily Loop. Carefully negotiating the packed snow, we gazed at ever wider views of the blue
river, gentle hills and shining mountains. After a final effort to climb up to the park entrance (8 km), some of us had lunch in the possible dining room of an old farm house, now marked by lonesome stone chimneys.
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