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  • Writer's pictureSandra

Rockies here we come

published 29th of july, 2022

Did you know that the Rocky Mountain range extends 3,000 miles from the northernmost part of western Canada to New Mexico in the southwestern United States? I honestly don't! But it was clear to me that I would like to see as much of it as possible. Since we left Olds (small town near Calgary, ALBERTA🇨🇦) on July 7th, 2022 at around 2 p.m. with a tornado warning behind us, I had asked a host in Pinchers Creek for the evening. During the 2 hour drive for a total of 102 km, I received approval from Bev & Garry, the owners of the Spring Ridge host location. Luckily we got closer to the Rockies without encountering a tornado, but still a bit dusty. Even from a distance they looked beautiful. You can also see over the unpaved and bumpy roads, which we have not been surprised about for a long time. We arrived in the evening to see the retired couple and their beautifully situated huge property with panoramic views of the Rockies.

Lennox rolled in the lush green meadow and showed us that he was quite happy with our choice of location. A little later, a second Boondocker, who had been a guest at Bev & Garry the night before, arrived. Jimmy was a little reserved at first like so many Canadians we've met before. But it turned out that he is a very interesting guy who has a lot to talk about and is still a good listener. While Seb' was scrambling on the bus, I was sitting outside with Jimmy and chatting about the world. He told me his story of how he ended up traveling across his country and doing a podcast (Road Trekkin') about it. And I was the first to get a sneak peak of his first podcast episode "Getting Ready" even before it was released and I encouraged him to upload it that evening. If you want to listen (great voice by the way), you can find him on Spotify and, as he says, on all common platforms.

The next morning it was: Rockies, here we come! Waterton National Park was our destination. The weather was perfect, the surroundings were beautiful and everyone was in a great mood until... I got on my Segway and... who knows? The brace gave way... Déjà vu! Seb was annoyed. Me too, but sooner or later I expected it. The Ikea screw (see blog post "Mission Dirty and Dusty") was an temporary but not a permanent solution. Evil tongues would claim: if you nibble, you have to do it twice. 🙊 Reluctantly, Seb went back to work.

Unfortunately, I am absolutely dependent on the Segway outdoors, because the trails would be brutally exhausting with an active wheelchair and would hardly be feasible without help. In this case, too, the chosen trail to the waterfall contained a number of obstacles that had to be overcome. Starting with the transition from the path to a small wooden bridge, the heel of which was so high that 2 people had to pull me up backwards. Followed by a rocky climb that required courage and balance. The rest of the forest, which was visibly affected by a fire in 2017, was also past the abyss with roots and narrow trails, no picnic. A stair platform with countless steps leads to the waterfall itself, so that I could only see it from afar... but as the saying goes: the journey is the reward.

In this case, unfortunately, the photos do not reflect the special beauty of this burned forest, as I felt it. I would have loved to have walked the way to the canyon, but according to the park ranger, it wasn't doable even with a Segway. Of course I think it's a shame that a lot of things are denied to me due to the circumstances, but I try not to get caught up in it. On this trip I have already seen and experienced so many beautiful things that it is much more fun to enjoy them than to regret what we have not seen. The colorful flower meadows on the side of the road and the white mountain peaks in the background were also a feast for the eyes from the moving bus. The easily accessible course of the river was ideal for Lennox to cool down. The water was crystal clear!

Waterton Lake National Park was a nice introduction to the Rockies! After this again unplanned pit stop I decided to finally get a replacement for the missing and the broken screw before the next park. Contrary to Seb''s expectations, finding metric screws wasn't all that difficult; Canadian Tire had some according to Google. We found the next branch about 150 km away (“just around the corner” by Canadian standards) in Fernie. Since it was already closed, we parked in a street behind the shop,

so that we could get everything the next morning, which we did. But Seb' didn't feel like replacing the screws directly, which was our undoing again 100 km further in Foort Steele when Genny didn't want to do it again.

The problem was different, but we didn't know that at the time. Eventually Genny gave in and we were able to visit "Fort Steele Heritage Town". This is a historical park with a replica of a western town.

It was already late afternoon shortly before the park closed, so there wasn't much going on and many shops were already closed. The advantage was that there were hardly any people there. In the evening we continued towards Kootenay National Park, where we visited the Radium Hot Springs the next morning. It is an idyllic village between the Canadian Rockies and Purcell Mountains where hot springs are located. Contrary to what I had imagined, it looked more like an outdoor pool, but the water temperature was much warmer and super pleasant on this relatively fresh morning. We spent more than 1 hour in the warm pool then it just got too crowded.

In Kootenay Park we weren't on the trails that much (some were closed and the others weren't feasible), but there were still so many beautiful viewpoints and/or rest areas to see. Attention danger of envy!!!

And that was just the beginning of picture book locations that awaited us in the days that followed. So stay tuned!

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