I was very fortunate to have been invited by Chinook County Tourism to spend this past weekend in Waterton National Park with a group of amazing bloggers. I did everything I could to reschedule prior plans to make the trip work because there’s nothing I love more than the mountains in the fall and some great girlfriends. I had never been to Waterton before and have heard nothing but great things. Be warned, this will be a picture heavy post!
If you missed it, here’s Part 1.
Sunday was one of my favourite days even though it was so short. Our group met for breakfast at Trapper’s Mountain Grill, where they served the most amazing saskatoon berry jam. One of my favourite parts of Waterton food (since none of the food was good enough to write home about) was the abundance of bison on the menu. I LOVE bison and was pleased with my bison skillet.
Liam was restless at breakfast and I knew that our morning activity would be a good one for him. The plan was to hike Bear’s Hump as a group before parting ways. I wasn’t sure how this would go, since Liam wasn’t in to walking anywhere on the weekend. He’s too big for a carrier and the trail was not fit for a stroller so I knew that I would end up carrying him most, if not all of the way. We set off with Kaella, London and Danielle ahead of the other girls, knowing we would take longer with the kids.
It wasn’t long before the rest of the group passed us and it was just Liam and I strolling up the steep trail. He ended up walking half the way, on and off. The rest of the time I carried him on my shoulders. The group in front of us was impressed when we passed them like that but man was I huffing and puffing with the extra 35+ pounds. Liam was more interested in looking for interesting sticks and rocks to carry along and was in heaven when we spotted a cute little chipmunk. He could have cared less about the accomplishment of hiking his first mountain or making it to the top but I was determined to make it to the end with him. We made it the whole 1km up to the top to be rewarded with crazy wind, some absolutely stunning views and were just in time for a group photo with everyone. I was so proud of this kid, at not even three years old, for finishing his first mountain hike.
We took a few minutes to take in the views before making the descent. For some reason, Liam was not happy at this point. I’m not sure if he was just tired, cold or scared from the wind but he whined and cried the entire way down and finished with a big meltdown at the car. I mean, he got a piggy back down a steep mountain, I don’t think anyone would whine about that! That made up my mind as to whether we would stick around the townsite for lunch or just hit the road for our four hour drive home.
I said goodbye to all of the other girls, not really wanting to leave at all. While I was still incredibly pumped up about the amazing little hike, my heart felt really heavy. It wasn’t enough time in such a beautiful place, and I did not have enough time with the amazing group of girls I was lucky enough to spend the weekend with.
I turned out of the Visitors Centre, where the Bear’s Hump hike starts, and immediately turned around to go back into town one last time. I made a quick stop for coffee and a sandwich for the road before Liam and I said goodbye to Waterton. I was stalling and I know it. To further the stalling, I turned into the Buffalo Paddock, where a small herd of wild buffalo call home. It was absolutely beautiful to drive the small gravel road through the rolling hills to see the buffalo. Even though they were too far to get a good look at, the colours and scenery where so beautiful.
It was the perfect way to say goodbye to the place that stole a piece of my heart.
I came home with immediate post-getaway blues. There was something about that place that was pure magic and I’m dying to go back to enjoy more of it. Since we were visiting on the last tourist weekend of the season, many of the activities weren’t available. I am already anxious for next summer so I can explore the Prince of Wales hotel, go stand up paddle boarding, canoeing hiking and adventuring my little heart out in this beautiful mountain town.
Disclaimer: The #ABBloggersRetreat was sponsored and funded by Chinook County Tourism in partnership with the Town of Waterton and Travel Alberta. All opinions are my own.