A Week In Calgary In the Eye of a Polish Mom
I find more and more we see the young outrunning, outplaying and downright outliving the old. Our NorthAmerican sedentary ways are like a slow death filled with increased cases of high cholesterol, diabetes and heartattacks. With AdamsMom, this is not the case.
This is AdamsMoms’ first time out west. She immigrated from Poland 25 years ago and had since been calling Ontario her home. Adam and I have been goading her to visit for a while now and what better time to see Alberta than in the spring?
She arrived late in the evening so to awake in the beautiful rolling hills of Calgary was a delightful treat. After a rich breakfast (made by moi) of a cheesy mushroom omelet rolled in a crepe, we packed into the car to begin our adventure.
An Ideal Day Trip When Visiting Calgary
1. Johnston Canyon
For light to moderate hikers looking to see a lot of amazing stuff in a short amount of time, this is my number one recommendation. If you also love waterfalls, well then definitely this is for you!
Johnston Canyon is a spot favorited by locals and tourist alike. Within a 10 minute start you’ll find yourself transmuted from civilization to an unreal scene of vertical rock walls and flowing glacial waters.
(Taking a photo is Adam taking a photo of his mom. The tunnel to the lower falls is at the end of the boardwalk.)
The trail varies from dirt to boardwalk and after just under 2km you’ll reach the lower falls. An impressive waterfall nestled into a corner that once long ago carved a tunnel through the rock, and now serves as a viewpoint to get front row seats to the raging lower falls.
We continued up the trail and hiked another 20 minutes of moderate hiking we reached the upper falls. If it wasn’t freezing glacial waters one would be tempted to take a dip.
The round trip, including stops and moments of exclamations our awe and wonder, took just under 2hours from our parking spot. Meaning if you even have 1 hour to spare you can make it to the lower falls and have a fabulous adventure.
2. Pilot Pond
This is my secret pond. Only those of you reading this will get to know, roughly, of the location of this mini paradise.
I wanted to show AdamsMom a place I encumbered by tourists. Since this was a Saturday and the beginning of high season, it’s not easy to find a place with reasonable access that’s not littered with people. Unless you know where to do. (This is where I wink at you. )
After leaving Johnston Canyon, heading back towards Lake Louise, there will be a pull out on the right, just as the road bends left. This is maybe the second or third pull out after leaving Johnston Canyon Main parking lot. You will know you’ve arrived in the right place because there’s a plaque at the pullout that’s says you’re at Pilot Pond. Yay for reading skills!
I told Adam to park off to the side so our car wouldn’t attract other tourists…yes seems sneaky but seriously tourists in this area are like vultures. We began our walk onto a sloping trail through a thin layer of spruce and aspen. After a few minutes the scenery opens into a meadow, like one where you would imagine unicorns and butterflies to roam.
Yes,that’s the one.
To your left there’s a perfect triangular Rocky Mountain and below a still green, yellow, and blue pond. This is pilot pond.
There’s no one else around but us. AdamsMom is moved nearly to tears as she opens her arms and says “I LOVE THIS!” Alternating between Polish and English. She collapse on to the grassy hill and takes off her shoes.
And so begins the adventures of AdamsMom as we explore Alberta together.
Enjoy the views and one another!
Hi Dana! If you have time sometime could you please message me with Adams Dads contact info?
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