Waterton – Spring has sprung – April 20 2018

Spring has Sprung

The first positive signs of spring finally started to appear and I decided that I should make a run to Waterton.  I also was hoping to spend the night in the new van so I thought that it would be a good chance to do both things at once. Environment Canada changed the  weather forecast just before I left on Friday advising of very strong winds all day on Saturday so the night in the van ended up being postponed.  This early in the year strong winds mixed with lots of snow in the bush and muddy trails was more than I wanted to deal with but that did not stop me from at least heading out for the day.

Tundra Swans
Tundra Swans

It is not the destination it is the trip

Sometimes when going someplace it is better to travel with an open mind and see what is around then to push through to the destination. This was just such a time. Still a long way from Waterton the photo opportunities were everywhere.  Some things I just was not interested in as it is still very early to see all the signs of spring and the light and the colors were not what I wanted but when I crested a little rise to see hundreds if not thousands of Tundra Swans I could drive no more!

Tundra Swan chilling out
Tundra Swan chilling out

After watching the Swans and taking a few pictures I saw an old grain elevator off to my right and decided to go and see it.  It was as much to see it as to get some ideas on how I could use it for some pictures at a later date.

Raley Grain Elevator
Raley Grain Elevator

A quick stop in Cardston for gas and pick-up lunch and it was off to Waterton.

Waterton

My first stop was to drive up Chief Mountain highway to see how much snow had melted so far this spring.  I came to the winter closed part of the highway and I saw a couple older guys on motocross bikes behind me.  I passed the sign that said road closed / no winter maintenance and as I did one of the guys decided that I was driving too slow and gunned it past me.

After passing me the biker found out really fast why I was going so slow, the highway was covered in deep snow.  After watching him put on a show of first slamming on the bikes brakes and then hitting the snow and loosing control and wiping out,  I turned around and went to find a place for lunch.  His buddy came along as I was leaving to take pictures of the wipe out and then to help him get his bike back upright.  I stopped at a nice and sunny pull out looking out towards Sofa Mountain to have my lunch.

Spring at Sofa Mountain, Waterton
Sofa Mountain, Waterton

Waterton was a little windy but overall it was very pleasant. LOTS of snow and the lakes were still frozen solid.  Lots of birds as well but mainly just Canada Geese and Coots.  It is funny how the birds return in waves, one day one type and the next day the next type show up.

Cameron Falls

I hate taking pictures of Cameron Falls as I have seen so many pictures of it but there are a number of cool ducks that live by the falls so I stopped by to see if the ducks had returned.  No ducks but I had to take a picture of the falls or at least part of it.

Cameron Falls Waterton
Cameron Falls Waterton
Cameron Falls Waterton
Cameron Falls Waterton

After the falls I headed over to the lake and was surprised to see it still frozen.  Not a fan of B&W most days it just seemed to fit the day.

Waterton Lakes
Waterton Lakes
Waterton Lakes Frozen
Waterton Lakes Frozen

From the park I slowly drove north to explore some areas between Waterton and Pincher.  SO MUCH SNOW and water it was crazy.  Nice to see the water levels getting higher but some back roads were hard to drive on as they had so much mud.

Skunk out for a spring walk
Skunk out for a spring walk

It was nice to see many animals out and about.  Gave me some hope for a real spring to start soon.

Spring Moose - snow no problem!
Spring Moose – snow no problem!

I then proceeded to Beauvais Lake then from there to Castle Mountain.  It was something to see the changes happening.  The snow melting and the plants starting to grow.  Will be nice in a couple weeks to get out and really start to enjoy the area!

 

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