On Friday morning we packed up and drove to Medicine Hat. Ivy literally asked “Are we there yet?” over ten times, averaging at least once every 40 minutes. She usually responded with wailing and gnashing of teeth whenever we replied, no, not yet, only 9 more hours, or whatever. At the three hour mark she cried out, “But we’ve been driving for fifteen hundred HOURS!” All in all the drive went well. We passed the time with DVDs, podcasts, and books, and it was no sweat.
By the time we arrived at the hotel Ivy cried, “This is the best day of my whole life!” and the kids spent the evening and next morning swimming happily in the pool. Ivy called the hotel the “ho-an-tell” like “show-and-tell” which was pretty funny.
After breakfast and swimming we drove the three-ish hours from Medicine Hat to Waterton Lakes National Park. It was mind-blowingingly beautiful. We found a campsite and set up our tent and then we went to Red Rock Canyon for a hike. We almost left Ivy in the middle of the path crying about how much she hates hikes.
We bribed kids with ice cream to get them to stand for a picture. You do what you gotta do.
I literally felt like throwing up most of the time at the canyon because even though it was incredibly beautiful I was sure my kids were going to a) fall down the canyon or b) slip into the rapids and never be seen from again. Thankfully neither of those things happened. The kids played for forever in the FREEZING cold water. Like seriously, the couple times I walked through it my feet starting cramping up from the pain of the cold, yet somehow the kids didn’t even seem to notice it.
We cooked hot dogs over the fire for supper and then the boys played at the riverside that was just a few steps away from our campsite. Nothing beats throwing rocks when you’re a boy, it seems.
There were mule deer all over the campsite. More deer than squirrels, for real.
Look at our campsite though! Seriously!!!
We all slept in that four man tent, all head to toe and toe to head and all over the place and it was just fine. Everyone slept all night straight through till 7:30 in the morning. Can’t complain about that.
The next day we did what we thought was a hike to a waterfall but was actually a mislabeled hike to a lake eight hours away. Thankfully another hiker filled us in before we hiked toooooo far. We made it basically to the top of the mountain we were on, and it was a beautiful hike, so it was all good. I don’t even think anyone complained on that hike, strangely enough.
By the end of that hike it was getting pretty hot out. We moved campsites because our first campsite was closing for renos or something, but we were still camping, which meant kind of nowhere to sit and relax and cool down. Ivy and I had a nap but everyone else declined. They all regretted that decision later, believe me. Our new campsite was fun, too. It was right in town, but in a little field of small hills, with ground squirrels everywhere to keep the kids busy. There was a river and the lake right nearby too. And more mountain views of course.
I wouldn’t normally pick a campsite in an open field, but I actually really loved this spot too. After naps we played in town a bit, threw more rocks in water, and then drove up to the Prince of Wales hotel. I didn’t get a great picture of it, but it’s right on the top of this big hill and the view is just incredible. It’s a really neat old hotel inside too.
Powdered donuts at the campsite made for some of my favorite pictures ever.
We dragged the kids on another small hike after supper and crashed for one more night in Waterton. I was freezing most of the night but once again, no peeps to be heard from the kids. In the morning we pretty much packed up and headed out for Canmore.
I have to say that Waterton is probably one of my new favorite places ever. The town is sort of like Clear Lake but one million times better, or like Banff but so much calmer and less tourist-y. On one of the hikes I said to Neil that Waterton is basically as amazing as Costa Rica. Different beautiful, but still, SO beautiful. I just loved it. I would totally spend a week camping there and just chilling out, hiking, exploring, eating yummy foods, and enjoying all the pretty. Hopefully one day we can do that!