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Published: August 5th 2012
Watertown is a small park (only 202 sq. mi) that sits in the southwest corner of Alberta on the boarder between Canada and the U.S. It contains some the the oldest exposed bedrock in the Canadian Rockies. Unlike the Rockies to the north which are mostly grey, these mountains have colorful bands of red with green, blue and black running through them. There are no major foothills leading up to the them; they just seem to erupt suddenly from the prairies. They also have the some of the most stunning displays of wildflowers! I could spend days just photographing them!
We stayed at Crooked Creek campground just outside the park. Later that evening, we were treated to a spectacular thunder and lightening storm! David was up bright and early the next morning and captured the sun rising over the Prince of Wales Hotel. We took a short trip to the the townsite and then drove out to Red Rock Canyon. On the way we stopped at a meadow where I took photos of the flowers and noticed a bear far up on the slope.
Friday morning we were up early and headed out to Cameron Lake -- a tiny
jewel of a lake about 2 km long. We set out on the lake early -- there was barely a ripple as the wind was calm. One lone fisherman entered the lake just before us in a small watercraft that looked like a donut with him sitting in the middle his legs dangling out the bottom in hip-waders -- Now that’s close to nature! We set off at a leisurely pace and were soon at the end. There was once a glacier at this end but, it is now gone; however, snow pack from the winter remains. The runoff from the snow creates a number of waterfalls that flow over the cliff face. The vegetation on the side of the mountain is low-growing shrubs that look like they have been pruned to exactly the same height! Nature is truly the most inspiring gardener!
The snow pack reaches right down to the water’s edge so we canoed right up to a large deposit and took a few photos being careful not to sit under any overhang which was a good thing. As I was setting up to take a photo of David, we heard a large c-r-a-c-k! and a piece
gave way sending a wave rolling towards us! No, I did not get the photo of the ice falling, and wish I had the photo of the look on David’s face as he pushed his paddle into the water with all his might at the sound of the cracking ice.
After our canoe trip, we went to Red Rock Canyon. The canyon is well named as the rock is well, red. From the canyon we hiked up to Blackiston Falls. As we returned to our campsite, we met a fellow camper whose new truck had been beaten up by a powerful hail storm near Cardston -- his back window had been completely broken, his front windshield had multiple cracks and there were big dents all over. The next day we travelled to Cardston to fill up with gas. Everywhere we looked, we could see evidence of the storm -- leaves and branches from trees littered the ground, the siding and roofs of homes were pitted and scores of vehicles were dented and had their windshields cracked or completely broken!!
On our last day, we had planned to canoe on a nearby wetland or on Waterton Lake. However, it
was very windy. So, we went up to the Prince of Wales Hotel and had a cup of coffee in the lobby overlooking the lake. The view from this hotel is breath-taking! I’m always in awe of the vision of those who built such amazing hotels. This is a hard, unforgiving landscape. And yet, not only did someone dream of building a hotel, they built a 7-story building on the top of a hill with views of the lake and mountains all around!
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