I’ve been in an exploration mood lately. It dawned on me last year that after being in Calgary for a while, there were still many sites and attractions I had not visited! I suppose this is fairly common: we tend to think about all the amazing wonders in other places- the salt flats in Bolivia, the mountains surrounding Seoul, or the beaches of Thailand- that we sometimes forget about the incredible things right around us.
In my case, world-class skiing, jagged peaks of the Canadian Rockies, and the badlands of Drumheller. Travellers from everywhere come to Alberta just to experience these! I’m also thinking about growing up near Toronto… it took about 20 years before I went to the CN Tower. I know. I’m ashamed of myself.
So today, I decided I’d explore a local site. I didn’t want it to be outlandish or intense; rather, I just wanted a low-key afternoon experiencing something new. I’ve been wanting to take a walk through Grotto Canyon for quite some time, and today seemed as good a day as any.
During the winter, it is possible to walk on the frozen creek bed through the narrow canyon. The temperature was quite warm today, but luckily the water was still frozen… so yay, it was an ice walk! Icers/microspikes are definitely recommended when walking on the ice, even though I was too lazy to put them on and almost fell a few times. The landscape has been very affected by the June 2013 floods, which means lots of interesting things to see along the way. And it’s really cool to walk between towering canyon walls and be rewarded with a frozen waterfall! When really cold, sometimes ice climbers are present, but alas, not today. A little further on there’s a meadow with hoodoos, cairns and a cave. So much to see and do with minimal effort!
I had read that there are ancient pictographs on the canyon walls right before the waterfall. However, despite my best efforts (and I certainly tried!), I was unable to see them. I wonder if they were easy to see and I just missed them, or if the severity of the floods have caused them to disappear. Nevertheless, they have been deteriorating quickly because many people feel the need to touch them. So if they’re still there and you’re reading this… don’t touch them! I guess I have to make a second visit out there and search more carefully. Seeing Grotto Canyon again, but next time during the summer, wouldn’t be the worst thing!