We found that Lethbridge was a little more cycling friendly, with paved bike paths, some bike routes through the city and paved roads in the country so we were able to get back into a routine that included cycling and working out again. This is always good for our mental health as well as our physical health 🙂 The other nice thing regarding cycling was that our
resort was down in the Coulees along Oldman River. This meant that no matter where we were going we had to climb up 100 meters in elevation over the first 3 kilometers to start off, a great way to get the legs going in a hurry.
Our visit with Pat (another one of our friends that we made while cycling in Cuba) started early the morning after we arrived. She belongs to a hiking group and invited us for their inner city walk this morning. It was a nice two hour walk around Henderson Park in downtown Lethbridge. We felt it was a great way to get a feel for the city as well as meet some very nice people. After the walk we went for coffee with the group and from this we were invited to a Ceremonial Japanese Tea in the
Japanese Gardens the following day. Which we gladly accepted and the next day we met Pat down at the Gardens and walked around with her before the Ceremony. We also had an origami lesson, and after making a paper heart all three of us tackled an origami crane, which turned out pretty good. Sheila from the
yesterday’s walk was the leader of the Tea and took us through the rituals of drinking tea. She needed volunteers from the group and June was one of the lucky ones to go into the room and enjoy the tea. It was quite interesting. We had volunteered to help pick apples with Pat in the afternoon, so right from the Tea we went to the backyard of a Lethbridge home where there was an apple tree that needed to be picked. This brought back memories from years gone by! After apple picking we had to go get cleaned up and headed over to Pat’s place for an amazing salmon barbeque. When we arrived for dinner she gave us a tour of her home and yard and when we
looked up in her Russian Olive tree we noticed we were under 4 very large and yellow watchful eyes. They had three Great Horned Owls born in the neighbourhood this spring, two of them were sitting in the tree above us and were big and beautiful! WOW!! We had to rush off as we were going to an outdoor Shakespeare performance of The Comedy of Errors, by the local theatre group, plus university theatre people. The play that evening was really fun but the highlight of the night was definitely the owls!!
Some of the other highlights from the city was our nice morning walk/hike along Oldman River in the Coulees. This took us through the Elizabeth Hall Wetlands where we were startled by (or we startled her), a baby deer, we all stood and watched each other for a few minutes. We enjoyed the Lethbridge Farmers Market as well. Just cycling into and around town took us through the Coulees and down to the river a couple of times and we used the paved bike paths to explore this area. Now back to the apples we picked, after our visit to the Farmer’s Market we met Pat again and her Apple Harvest Festival friends and picked some more apples but also helped press them into juice. More memories of old!
Early the next morning the three of us went south west out of Lethbridge to Waterton Lake National Park on the border of Canada and the US, also on the border of Alberta and BC for a hike. We drove into the Rocky Mountains and parked by the trailhead and headed up to Forum Lake. A beautiful hike that took us through the forest and up 300 metres in elevation and back in 4 kilometers to a beautiful lake that is walled by huge granite walls on two of its sides. The lake brought back memories of being in Patagonia for us as there was still some snow high on the granite walls. After having lunch by the lake we walked back down to the car and headed towards home. We made two stops, the first one was not planned as we had just left the park when we saw a Grizzly Bear playing in the water at the edge of a lake. We stopped and watched for a few minutes until he walked off into the grassland. The second stop was for ice cream at Mountain View. Once we made it back to Lethbridge we went to a wonderful Indian Restaurant for dinner, what a full wonderful day.
(More pictures from our hike!)
(and then on our way out of the park!!!)
It is hard to believe a week has gone by already and we are getting ready to leave again tomorrow
morning. So, we went over to Pat’s place for a goodbye drink. When we arrived, we had to check to see if the owls were home. All three of them were sitting on her neighbour’s deck railing. They are stunning creatures. After a couple hours it was time to hug Pat goodbye until next time, take the cherry tomatoes, green beans and zucchini that she gave us from her garden and head back to Juergen for the night. For, tomorrow we are on to another adventure in Crowsnest Pass.