I Could not leave Canmore without getting drawn into another adventure!  I was raring to go. Packed up from my base camp. I was on the road by 8 AM. Just about leaving town when I  stopped in at Grotto Day Use Area to finish my Timmys coffee.

Boardwalk Path leading aroound Grotto Pond

Path leading around Grotto Pond

The day use site looked like a small loop path around a pond. It was photogenic. It looked relaxing and innocent enough. Finished my Timmys and I started snooping around and low and behold a trailhead leading into a canyon appeared.

Hmmm.  I had a problem now. I was going to meet Bro today 400 kilometres away in Eckville near Red Deer. Hiking the trail would make it a longer day and a longer drive.

So I hiked it anyway.. ha ha. It was a great hike after all as soon as I walked past the mineral processing plant. Ugh! Once in the canyon the buzz and crash of the plant is no longer within hearing distance. Out of sight , out of mind for awhile anyway.

The canyon had two routes for exploring. One is up on the dirt path high above the canyon on a ridge. The other is hike on the canyon floor with the walls towering high above you. I did both, because I did not know better.  I figured it out once I saw someone hiking in the canyon. It is definitely the better route.

Supposedly, there are pictographs in the canyon. I was disappointed I could not find any. I was looking forward to being in presence of ancient writings from the times of the First Nation people.  But I struck out. Maybe because I was rushing things a bit due to the long drive ahead.

However I did enjoy the canyon views and balancing on the rocks, crossing back and forth over the creek – constantly scanning the walls for pictographs. I continued in the canyon for some time and then eventually headed back to the parking lot.

The drive to Eckville was some quiet time for me after my hike.  The clouds were teasing me with rain and lightning all day.  Sometimes living up to the threat. I pulled into Eckville and hooked up with Bro. Good talks and stories till the night.

Have fun out there!

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