Thursday, November 11, 2010

Grotto Canyon Hike

Greg had Veteran's Day off today (it's called Rememberance Day here in Canada) so we decided to take a hike that a friend of his recommended. We drove an hour to the Rocky Mountains, stopped at a visitor's center for a map, ate lunch in an unassuming little place that apparently some celebrities have frequented (according to the photos on the wall) and found the parking lot at the beginning of the trail.

(Sorry if I rushed you through that, but we've got a hike to take. C'mon, let's go...)

The trail follows an almost-dry river bed as walls of rock rise up on either side.

We were promised pictographs, which kept my interest up during the rocky walk, but after almost an hour of jumping from stone to stone over icy water with no sightings of these ancient drawings, I started getting crabby.

I sat down on a boulder and declared that I was done. But when I looked ahead of us, I saw a cave in the distance, up a steep hill.

Interested again! We decided to take the trail as far as below the cave and then turn around to head back. But as we stood looking up at it, it was obvious that other people had made the climb into the cave. I reminded Greg of all the cartoons we've seen involving caves. "They always have a bear in them! Cartoons don't lie, man!"

He gave me his usual blank stare when he's not exactly sure if I've lost my mind. "Bears prefer more isolated spots," he said, and headed up the hill.

It was a lot more steep than it looked, but he managed to get far enough to stick his head inside and take a look. He yelled over that there was nothing to see but that it smelled really bad. His guess was that it was probably full of bats.

The only picture I grabbed of him at the cave is this one, as he slid back down the hill. I'm sure he'd prefer I share a photo of him looking more like Indian Jones and less like a baby playing patty-cake, but this is all I've got. Sorry!

We started the walk back. The ice was beautiful.

Walking DOWN the trail was much easier.

And then Greg found it. A pictograph! It was hard to see, but there it was, a red drawing of a man and a deer:

So worth it.


lois meyer said...

Wow! Canada is just one surprise after another! But I'm also wondering about the practical side - like - what kind of shoes or boots did you wear? cold was it with all that ice? ...could you have gotten lost? I guess it's just a "Mom thing."
Love, Mom

caryl said...

1.We wore our hiking boots (the same ones I took to the Grand Canyon).

2. It was around 32 degrees, but we were prepared for that and plenty warm. Actually, I got hot inside the canyon and unzipped my coat.

3. No chance of getting lost. We just followed the river (and the signs-ha!)

gail said...

awesome! thanks for sharing.
Don't worry about the bear thing....i just hiked in the adirondacks in new york state a month or so ago, and my hiking pal was pretty concerned about bears the entire time.
great photos....but i didn't see you in any...what gives?

caryl said...

I'm not in any photos coz I was taking them!

Anonymous said...

Wow, more awesome Canada pictures and adventures. Glad you're taking advantage of your time there. Cathy

Anonymous said...

Those pictures are really Beautiful Caryl. All your pictures from your adventures are Beautiful. Thanks for posting them somewhere so we can see them :) Helene

Anonymous said...

Seen lots of petroglyphs, but never a pictograph. Very cool!

Such gorgeous scenery. Makes me want to travel there.


JenAdams said...

You've landed in a very beautiful place. Keep the pictures coming!