Hello DLTK viewers. I don’t very often write blog posts for our sites but I am feeling particularly inspired today. I am the ‘D’ in DLTK and usually provide technical support for Leanne as she works to materialize her ideas into the marvelous activities you find on our sites.
The reason for my inspiration is simply…mountains. Leanne and I are trekking from Calgary to Vancouver to celebrate the University convocation of our oldest daughter Tasha. (Yes. You read correctly. University convocation. My how time flies.) The trip requires a 10 plus hour drive through the Rocky Mountains of Western Canada. I have found these mountains very spiritual every since I first ventured through them as a small boy with my parents and brother.
Later this month I will be celebrating my 23rd Father’s Day and many of my favourite memories from that special day revolve around the Rocky Mountains. Sure I have spent time on the golf course on Father’s Day with friends who are also fathers but the most special memories are those from time spent with my family.
Leanne knows how much I enjoy spending time in the mountains so when Tasha was just a baby we spent my first Father’s Day at Johnson Lake near Banff. It was a beautiful blue sky day. We had a picnic and while swimming was an option the water was much too frigid. We did manage to dip our toes in the water but most of our time was spent playing in the sand on the small beach.
Years later when the kids were a little older she arranged a family trip to Waterton National Park in the southwest corner of Alberta. The park was only a few hours drive from our house but we had never visited so I was very excited.
The highlight for me was a round of golf with the whole family on the Waterton Lakes Golf Course. We had terrific weather and the course was not too busy so we could take our time and enjoy the surroundings while playing a little golf. I remember looking back over my shoulder a lot because the pro shop had mentioned that a bear had been spotted in the area and we should be on the lookout. Fortunately our game was not interrupted by any bears.
The next day we took a boat cruise on Waterton Lake. The neat thing about Waterton Lake is that it straddles the Canada/USA border and the two hour ride takes you south from the Waterton town site, across the border to a U.S. Park Ranger outpost at the very south end of the lake and then returns. I remember teasing the girls that I was surprised that I could not see the line painted down the middle of the cutline in the forest on either side of the lake as we crossed the border. The boat that we rode, the M.V. International, is apparently the oldest passenger ship still operating in Canada.
We also went on a short hike on the Canyon Loop Trail at Red Rock Canyon which is only a short drive from the Waterton townsite. The loop is less than a one kilometer walk from the parking lot but there were plenty of opportunities to take photos. The red rock in the canyon was striking and the bright sunny day made it even more so.
To top it all off as we were leaving Waterton National Park to head home we spotted a black bear walking between the road that the lake. It was likely the closest I have ever been (knowingly?) to a bear and I was glad we were able to get some great pictures from the safety of our vehicle.
I have not been back to Waterton National Park since but I have very fond memories of that Father’s Day weekend a few years back. Leanne managed to pack a whole lot of my favourite things into a great celebration weekend: family, golf and mountains. Nothing could be better for me. I hope that any fathers that might be reading this post also manage to create some great memories for themselves and their families.
Happy Father’s Day!
All photos in this blog post are copyright Darren Guenther.
Visit DLTK’s Father’s Day section for crafts, coloring and more to celebrate Father’s Day.