Grotto Canyon, Wolfhounds and the Canadian Rockies – Carry-On Only
After exploring Calgary all day (and eating our way through it), it was time to say goodbye to the city and move to the Rocky Mountains of Alberta.
Canadian cities are great fun (especially if you know the best places to eat, drink and dance), but nature is undoubtedly one of my favorite reasons to visit Canada! The natural beauty here is just the next step.
The mountains in the UK are not nearly as high as in Canada and we certainly will not get that much snow. (The combination of which can provide some breathtaking views!)
Especially the Rockies are such a special and dramatic part of the world that, even though I've seen them several times, I still "Zwick me"Moments when we leave this path.
We did not waste any time plunging into things and immediately went to Yamnuska Adventures in Canmore to meet Derek, our guide for the day as we crossed the beauty of Grotto Canyon.
Grotto Canyon is not the hardest hike (it's quite flat all the way), which was an additional source in my step for me. If you want to explore this beauty at a relaxed pace, this is even more fun. Hehehe! (Of course I'm not the biggest fan of mountain hikes).
As you walk through the canyon, there is a frozen river that probably requires steppe and pretty winter shoes to run.
We had the latter, but we did not have the former. Fortunately, Derek (our guide from Yamnuska Adventures) came with everything we needed (including lunch), which for some reason we did not even prepare for, as if we were completely forgotten.
The entire canyon is such a beauty you can walk through!
Again, the rivers do not freeze at home in the UK. So there is not even an option to walk through such a gorge – especially if it comes from London. 😄
As you cross the canyon, look out for the centuries-old paintings of the natives on the walls of the canyon. (Another practical indication that Derek is showing us around because I was pretty sure I did not even notice where they were without him.)
At some point you come to what I think is the main part of the canyon, where it really opens wide.
However, if you are here and this is the area where you really need these crampons, to the right is a waterfall that is absolutely breathtaking in winter as it becomes a beautifully frozen masterpiece.
(I've seen some people before I tried to do this without crampons, and it was the funniest thing to go up a few steps, slipping and slipping down again.
If you're interested in ice climbing (or are really fascinated), this canyon is also a great place to get there. 😀
You can always finish your trek through the Grotto Canyon here, but the canyon continues for a while before rejoining the mountains and we thought we might as well continue …
Arriving at the other end of the gorge, we made a stopover for hot chocolate (another surprise find in Derek's backpack – he really thought of everything) and lunch.
Finally, it was time to say goodbye to the Grotto Gorge and drive to our next stop, which has fascinated me for days!
The thing is that we went to the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, and at that point I had no idea what a & # 39; Wolfhound & # 39; was. Was it a wolf that looked like a dog? A dog that looked like a wolf? A dog with the attitude of a wolf? I had no Idea!
As for the character on the left, that's not a wolfhound on top – this is a normal ginormous dog – an Alaskan Malamute, to be more specific.
Well, as it turns out, a Wolfhound is exactly what the name sounds like – it's a dog bred with a wolf. Wolves mate for life and tend to stay away from humans, while dogs do not have the same mating loyalty as wolves and love the human community. Therefore, for the most part, this pairing is not possible by itself.
Wolfhounds essentially exist for the most part because humans have made this possible. Humans have bred wolves with dogs to create a kind of "super-breed", with the exception of these contrasting features that make wolfhounds hard companions.
Wolfhounds need a lot more space, they do not handle large, loud crowds well and are generally not so good with strangers as "normal dogs" to treat.
As a rule of thumb, the more dog DNA the wolfhound has, the more it looks and acts like a dog, and the more wolf DNA he has, the more he looks and acts like a wolf.
The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary serves to bring back wolfhounds whose owners have realized that they can not pick them up. It's not that it's impossible, it's just that you need to know what you're doing and have the means to do it.
Most people get these adorable puppies, who look and behave like all puppies just to see how they get older, that their needs and behaviors are different.
If these owners can not cope, the sanctuary will take care of them and occasionally move them with new owners.
We spent the whole afternoon learning so much more about them, how to take care of them, what they need to thrive and even feed (though they are not nearly as motivated as "normal dogs". That could be great, too, because they be so well fed and cared for here.)
After a short tour (and with a new recognition for the difference between wolves, dogs and wolfhounds) it was finally time to call the day and spend the night in our hotel – the Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.
Let me show you our new excavations. 😀
We were greeted with a charcuterie plate that disappeared at record speed …
… before you go to one of the restaurants for dinner and then call one night.
It's just so refreshing to be out in the mountains all day long.
Although we were not doing too much physically strenuous exercise, this jet lag hit quickly and hard when we finished the dinner and decided to call it a night.
There was still much to explore the mountains, and after today I could not wait to explore more of Alberta in the coming days.