Waterton Lakes National Park | 07.31.17 – 08.01.17

I know, I know. You’re thinking, “it’s February and these posts about a trip in AUGUST are just now getting posted?” And you’re right. There’s really no excuse, if I’m being completely honest. But working full time on top of trying to blog full time while also having a massive existential crisis over my photography (no, I’m for real, it was bad… it’s still bad) just kind of overtook me, and now here I am, blogging about Waterton Lakes for no real reason other than the fact that I am a completionist, and it feels wrong to do these adventures and not ever post about them.

I also have to admit, this trip has been a little hard to think about/blog about. When we very first planned this trip, it was all about taking Sadie to Canada. This is especially hard to blog about so near to the anniversary of her death, but one of our primary topics of conversation when we visited these places in 2015 was how wonderful it would be to take Sadie with us, and how much she would love it. Teddy still loved it, but I have to be honest- taking a crazy, rambunctious, kind of disobedient, freight train of a puppy on this trip was not really what I had anticipated. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great trip, just a little different than I had perhaps originally envisioned.

Anyway, Waterton Lakes!

Our time here was admittedly short (I mean, isn’t all of our time always short in every place on these trips?), but our primary destinations were Jasper and Banff, and Glacier and Waterton were both on the way. We had wanted more than anything to take Sadie (who loved water) back to Red Rock Canyon, but thankfully Teddy loves the water just as much as she did, so it was still a great time. We met up with our friends from Side By Side Learning (who live near Lethbridge) and their three little kids, who were all very wary of our very large, very curious beast.

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Red Rock Canyon is incredible. The rocks are so red (more of a legitimate red than the deep orange you get in southern Utah), and it’s such a surprise that this random little slot canyon of red rock is nestled into the plains between the mountains. You can choose to walk along the trails that run along the top of the canyon, or you can choose to walk through the water like we did!

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Seriously, just look at that color!

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Red Rock is a gem, but kind of tricky to photograph due to the intensely different light.

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These rocks were so cool! We tried to find out what sort of fossils they were and how they formed so clearly, but searches around the canyon and on the internet came up pretty fruitless.

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We hiked until we reached a waterfall that Teddy couldn’t jump up or scramble over, and then turned around. One thing I do have to say about this dog, is that he is crazy brave- more brave than Sadie for sure. He leaps and scrambles and does pretty much anything we ask of him, and doesn’t panic when he can’t do it. He just sort of looks at us as if to say, “you guys are crazy! I can’t do that, I’m little!” He is a trooper, and I have to admit that I’m super excited for his more insane tendencies to mellow out so we can enjoy all of the positive superlatives this dog has.

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“Mom, I’m pooped. Stop taking pictures of me.”

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Teddy with a stick, a common sight on any outing.

After our fun day at Red Rock, we went back to camp for our favorite activity – relaxing (aka napping). There are probably some who think we just go hard in the paint the entire time on each of our trips because we’re so limited on time, and for a lot of the time we do, but we also do a lot of relaxing and enjoying and soaking up of the environment. This site (E 10 in Crandell Mountain campground, if you’re curious) was awesome. Secluded, quiet, super separate from the rest of the sites in the loop, and right by the water spigot. Admittedly we originally picked a different site when they make you pick a spot sight unseen at the registration desk, but when we pulled up and discovered that we were right up in the grille of another family with multiple kids (including an infant) and a puppy and a camper door that opened right next to where our tent would be, we decided to move. I feel a little guilty as they seemed really friendly and nice, but Teddy was in a tough stage (aka the entire first year of his life- I wish I were exaggerating) and there was no way he ever would’ve settled down or been really obedient with that many distractions, plus it felt kind of invasive to both parties to be plopped right on top of each other (to be clear, the sites were offset from each other, but because they were in a camper in the driveway of their site, it was right next to our site’s tent pad. If we’d both been in campers or both in tents it would’ve been better, or even if the sites had been swapped). Overall it just wasn’t really something that we wanted to deal with, and it has way more to do with us than it does with them. I’ll admit it, we’re social hermits, even if it doesn’t seem like it, and our introversion comes out especially strongly on trips like this, and the rambunctious puppy was certainly less than helpful as well. So, random family from Alberta, I’m sorry. It wasn’t you, it was us. For real.

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Chaco tan on point. Also I definitely fell asleep in this hammock.

We had a great dinner, walked the dog around the entire campground (which, by the way, is huge), and went to bed a little early (yes, even after our naps). It was glorious. The next morning we slept in a little before breaking camp and heading up to Banff.

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It’s crazy to look at this picture and think that at the time, I thought Teddy was big. Hahahaha.

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We saw three bears in Waterton, and this is the only one I took a picture of. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t stop and get out and take more pictures of bears. I don’t know why, but I’m super loath to be “one of those tourists” who stops and gets out of the car at every single major critter… but then I kick myself because I SHOULD HAVE STOPPED. This was one occasion, and we had another in Jasper where I should have just done it. I could’ve gotten some really great bear photos. I’m full of regret- don’t be me.

One of these days, we’re going to go back to Waterton and JUST stay in Waterton (I say that every time)… maybe in a few years when our lives slow down and we can’t manage the crazy whirlwind road trips we tend to do. But for now, we’re seeing it all, and finding the places where we want to spend more time in the future. Waterton is definitely one of those places!

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