We all awoke early - we knew Muriel and Peter would be prompt, and we were expecting them at 9am to take us out to Kananaskis Country to climb Nihahi Ridge. Rosie and Bridget had time for a game of Horse-Opoly before breakfast.
Peter drove us out to the Elbow River in their hired minivan - not bad as a free upgrade from a compact! Then it was boots on for the hike.
Just downstream as we set out a group of riders set out across the river.
Upstream the views were of the mountains beyond.
A short walk took us to the start of the Nihahi Ridge Trail - this hike is special: Dad was keen on it, Muriel's dog Gypsy was often walked up it, and back in 1990 I carried Rosie up it. So this was more than a hike, it was a pilgrimage.
As we started to climb, the views got better and better, including this one of Forget-me-not Lake, where we were to head for lunch after the hike.
The trail took us up through the woods, and across an alpine meadow full of wild flowers. Here are a selection of those that we found.
We also saw a variety of animals - including a bear at long range...
A couple of chipmunks...
And various butterflies, one of which settled long enough to be "snapped".
Peter led the way up the ridge.
The views in towards the Rockies got better and better.
Muriel and Bridget waited in the meadows rather than attempt the ridge itself, Meld and Rosie climbed some way up the final ridge, but Peter and I pressed on until we hit the band of red shale, where we got photographic evidence then turned back.
Again the views were stunning
Just below our turning back point, Peter inscribed a stone for Dad and Gypsy.
We rejoined Meld and Rosie, and I took this picture of Rosie roughly where she and I reached in 1990. Then the mountains to our west were engulfed in a blizzard - today it was windy but the rain held off.
After the descent (and a bit of to-ing and fro-ing where we got separated) we drive to Forget-me-not Lake for lunch and feet-cooling in the very cold lake water.
And then on to Elbow Falls, just as impressive as I remembered it, but very busy.
Back in 1990 we had a photo of Muriel, Rosie and Gypsy at this spot.
Then Peter drove us back to our hotel, where we relaxed with a cup of tea and showered to remove the dust of the trail, before heading out to find food. The university area (where we're staying) was heaving with people attending a football match between Calgary and Saskatchewan at the stadium a block away, so we tried further afield. In the end, we had an interesting driving tour around Calgary, but ended up back at the restaurant next door! As we walked across the parking lot, we knew that Calgary had scored again by a deafening roar! (They won by a large margin). And so, back to the hotel for diary-writing, coffee and bed.