Sunday, 11 May 2014

Mother's Day

Today was Mother's Day here, Lara had made Olga a handprint in concrete at school, decorated with "precious jewels". The concrete bit was so it could be kept in the garden as an ornament, which is where this one will go.

After breakfast in bed, we set off to the Elbow Valley, part of the foothills west of Calgary, just over an hour's drive away from Airdrie. I had read on a really helpful website about Highway 66 - it's closed to vehicular traffic until May 15th, so it's a perfect place to ride bikes with the kids.
Once we got into the valley, before the road closure began, we saw people had stopped by the side of the road, and were standing by their cars and pointing, or taking photographs; a sure sign there was something interesting close by. Bears are definitely up and about now, but this was a moose, close enough to the side of the road that Olga thought better of getting out and taking a photo - moose are known to charge people!
Having reached the barrier that closed the road, we parked up and got on the bikes, with Dan on the kiddy-seat with me. We cycled for 1.5km until we reached Beaver Flats campground, which is definitely in bear country, and looked deserted - like the road, it's closed until May 15th. We had brought our bear spray with us, but between Dan and Lara, we were making plenty of noise.

We stopped for a while by the Elbow River so the kids could play, throwing stones into the river was the main pastime, with Lara throwing bigger and bigger rocks, and Dan suggesting that he might grow up left-handed:

Dan was happy on my bike, and Lara was OK so long as she wasn't cycling through snow or on a gravel road, when there were a couple of tantrums, so we'll definitely do something like this more often over the summer.
On the way home, as we were leaving the valley, we passed a group of mule deer, so named because of their donkey-like ears:

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