My original plan had been to capture the trip and experience into three posts, one for each day we were there. But after I got home and started going through the hundreds of photos I had taken, I immediately felt overwhelmed at how to perfectly capture the magnificence of the retreat. Instead of rushing to get a post out for Monday, I decided to sleep on it, hoping to wake up with a clear head and heart on just how to execute my posts.
I've decided that the best way is to quickly recap the entire weekend in a 'snapshot', and then I will have specific posts dedicated to the main events: hiking, boat cruise and food. Get ready for a week of Waterton my friends! I promise you won't be disappointed. And if you don't find yourselves wanting to go to Waterton after I'm done, then my photos and words have failed you. Also, in the meantime, you can always check out my instagram feed to see the many photos I posted while in Waterton.
On Friday, I packed up my car, kissed my boys goodbye, and headed south to Waterton around 2 p.m. I knew it was approximately a three hour drive from my house and I wanted to take my time getting there, arriving in the day light. Becky and I actually crossed paths in our vehicles en route to Waterton somewhere around Claresholm, Alberta and followed each other the rest of the way.
We arrived at our hotel, the Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort just after 5 p.m., ate dinner, checked into our rooms and then grabbed ice cream before heading down to the water to throw rocks and take selfies.
By this time, all the bloggers had arrived so we all met up in town, wandered around a bit more, before heading back to the hotel. Our hotel was actually comprised of eleven separate buildings with approximately eight suites in each. Unfortunately, we were scattered about the different buildings, but luckily the walk between each wasn't too far. Danielle had the biggest suite, with a separate living room area, so we all congregated there for wine and girl talk before calling it a night at 10 p.m.
The rooms are older and the decor is outdated, but they were clean and well maintained. My bed was pretty comfy, but I regretted not bringing my own pillow. I liked the chalet style feel and that there was a door leading directly outside, rather than always having to go into a hallway to exit. Wifi was a bit of a nightmare, but first world problems. The coolest thing about our hotel was how the deer roamed freely all over the grounds, grazing on grass and leaves without a care in the world.
We woke up early on Saturday, met up for breakfast and then made our way down to the dock for our boat cruise which took us to Goats Haunt, Montana. It was a two-hour cruise, and even though the weather was less than desirable, it was an amazing experience and something I would highly recommend doing.
After the boat ride, we ate lunch and then Jo, Kris, Ashley and I set out to hike to Bertha Falls. The hike took us about four hours and once we were done, we quickly freshened up so we could meet with the rest of the group for dinner. This was followed by more ice cream and another stroll down to the lake. We got in some more girl talk back at the hotel before calling it a night shortly after 9 p.m.
We ate our last breakfast as a group and then hiked The Bear's Hump, kids in tow! A short, but challenging hike, with the most satisfying views at the top! After the hike, most of us said our goodbyes and headed our separate ways. I sat with Danielle and Kaella while they had lunch and then I wandered about the town on my own. I wanted to take some time to reflect on the weekend, and absorb as much of the positive energy and vibes the little mountain town was giving me. I missed my boys dearly, but I also wasn't ready to go home. Had it not been so windy on Sunday, I definitely would have enjoyed a book and a hot cup of coffee in one of the red Adirondack chairs by the water.
On my drive home, about 13 km after you leave Waterton, I did the loop through the Bison Paddock. It's a short, 3 km loop through a large, scenic park, where, if you're lucky, you'll get a good view of the herd of bison living in there. The views of the mountains and grasslands looking back towards Waterton are worth the short detour. The bison were a little far from me to get a good look at them, but I still enjoyed the glimpse I got. It was definitely a beautiful end to my weekend.
So, in a nutshell, that's how my weekend went! I'll be spreading out my next posts over the following week, so be sure to check back for those! You can also catch the recaps from the other bloggers on the retreat from the link-up below.
**The #ABBloggersRetreat was funded and sponsored by Chinook Country Tourism in partnership with the Town of Waterton and Travel Alberta in exchange for posts sharing our stories. Accommodations, food and activities were provided to the bloggers. A huge thank-you to Kris and Candace for organizing the trip! All opinions and writing are my own.