Last weekend me, Delilah, and the boys headed out to Kootenay Plains on the David Thompson Highway for a long weekend camping adventure! Happy Canada Day!
Kootenay Plains is a group campground site that is literally right on the highway, but a lot of the campsites are tucked beside a rocky outcropping (a cliff? a mountain fingerling? I am not up on my geology terms...) so it is quiet and lovely. I mean, look at that view!
Gran bought the boys some dollar store bow & arrows, which all broke immediately. But with a little duct tape, Gran had them all back in commission. Note: this was the most fun thing the entire weekend. Below, you can see Evan in his power pose.
Day two, we decided on the Siffleur Falls hike, which is literally immediately across the highway from us. There are some really steep sections, but the boys were champs! Eventually you hit the gorge, with the river running below. Again, spectacular views both above and below.
My parents! It's been a really long time since we went camping together, so this was a big treat for everyone.
Relaxing with some G&Ts outside the cookhouse. BFF was in Red Deer for work all week, so it was completely amazing to have him come out with us! Also, he is the only one who knows how to set up the tarps...so....
We got one of the campsites that is nestled up against the rocks at the back of the campsite. Popular with rock climbers, BFF, Dad, Lucas & I attempted a skinny little goat path and made it to the top! You can see our cook shelter tucked in the trees at the bottom of the photo.
My boys! They had so much fun this weekend, playing Catan (so many games of Catan were played!), colouring (Evan was carrying this colouring book + a pink felt around for most of Saturday afternoon), chasing each other, making a fort out of the firewood, climbing rocks, and wrestling with Grandpa.
It was my sister's birthday on Saturday, so Evan & I spent some time picking wildflowers to make her a little bouquet! He presented it to her so perfectly, and there were only a few bugs on it.
Amy brought her own cake because she is the smartest person I know.
We actually were invited to be part of a larger group, connected via a friend of my Dad's. Kam (& his wife Jan) are avid mountain climbers, world travelers, volunteers, and just genuinely nice and smart people. I mean, Kam is "something else", but at least 92% awesome. We spent our last night sitting around the campfire with Dad, Kam and their friend Tyler telling dirty jokes.
Other info about this area...
- The closest town is Nordegg, and they have gas and most services. Next closest is Rocky Mountain House, which is larger, with more services. It's a good place to stop for a quick snack or rest on the way down. Saskatchewan Crossing and access to the National Parks is about 20km away. It's nice drive in to Lake Louise or up the Icefields Parkway if you are so inclined.
- This entire stretch is dark sky rated. We had a couple of cloudy nights (and also I was too tired to stay up past 11pm), but the star viewing is supposed to be very amazing here!
- It is BEAR COUNTRY PEOPLE! You have to be really careful with food storage, garbage, etc. Walk in groups, walk loudly, carry bear spray, that kind of thing. That being said I think it's been many years since anyone has reported a bear sighting in the campground.
- There are a lot of informal camping sites along the highway. In fact, you could pretty much pull over anywhere and set up for the night. And a lot of people do. The big lake (reservoir) just to the north of Koontenay Plains (Abraham Lake) is the most beautiful colour of turquoise, and there are always loads of people with their trailers and tents set up on its shore.
BFF & I are already talking about coming back in the fall...