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Wanderlust cured’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 21 Jun 2009

Location: Canmore, Canada

MapA Brown, Black Bear?

I need to correct a mistake in a past post on here as the "Grizzly" that I saw two weeks ago was actually a black bear...now it fooled me due to the colour of its fur, which was brown - and who's ever heard of a brown black bear? Anyway, it was the week following my first sighting on horseback of a big bear that I was riding with two girls who worked in the tourism industry. First we saw the movement of a big brown butt and then a smaller butt scuttling through the brush. Turns out a mother black bear (in her brown costume) was with her tiny little cub, which was around the size of a corgi dog - TINY for a bear. She scuttled Tiny up a tree (which is a tell tale sign that this bear was not a grizzly) and watched us. Buck, the horse I was riding was alot younger than the old timer Ticker from the sighting before and thus was extremely nervous and was dancing about while I made sure my tourists were safe, the mother and cub were calm and not aggresive and ensure the horses were safe all the while thinking it would have been a 'perfect photo op'. Anyway, I had work to do and I hope there will be other opportunities for sightings, they truly are spectacular, and being within 10-20 meters you can truly appreciate their size and strength.

I hiked up Castle Mountain with friends and there will be a link to some photos for your veiwing pleasure. The spring flowers are all out, so I couldnt take up the opportunity for a happy snap. The hike was really pleasant - although still a workout and my calves are still mooing :) Did not make it to the summit, but will most certainly be back! We were supposed to hike up Cascade Mountain, which is the most highly photographed mountain in the Rockies, partly to do with its looks, partly because its right beside Banff - a tourist meca! 6 hours it would have taken, and there was too much snow on top, so in a month we will conquer that one and in the meantime we have been planning a two day rafting trip from Lake Louise to Banff/Canmore...just have to set a date, hire some rafts, take some food and make sure there is a safe island in the middle of the Bow River to camp so the bears dont have us as a midnight snack :) Good to go!

After my intro kayaking course I thought I best learn how to roll before getting out onto the river - easier said for done is quite the understatement. Its tough, really tough and with one of the best people to teach me, in the end, I have to be the one flicking myself up from under the water and the technique is important, no muscling your way up. Its not something you can take your time with, there is a limited amount of air that lungs can take in, and without nose plugs, you gotta be blowing out your nose, otherwise being upsidedown, your just going to suck it all up into your lungs. Im not complaining, I understand that with this one its going to take patience and lots of practice...because even once I perfect a roll in the nice warm pool, there is a whole world of rivers out there with swirling currents and unfortunately Im in one of the coldest climates...brain freeze under the water! I shall persist and keep you all updated.

Now briefly, I did the G8 trail and 5km orange Nordic Centre trail last week. I booked in for the Sugoi Dirt Series which is a Mountain bike camp for the weekend to fine tune my mountain bike skills and its run in Canmore in August 22-23. Im considering a trip in October to Moab a famous mountain biking spot...will definately keep that on the 'to do' list. Work is going great, still a bit slow - just wait until summer is in full swing, but at least the lawns are always nicely mowed with all my spare time - plush, pampered ranch :)

This week: work. fit in a few rides, no plans for the weekend yet, but its a given that something crazy will be going on.

Till next time my loyal readers.
R.J