Sunday, June 24, 2007

marmots, pikas and elk, OH MY!

Well, we're wrapping it up here in Canada. Yesterday we hiked the Cascade Amphitheatre - our longest hike to date. It was about 16km round trip. The first part was slightly downhill into a river bed. Then it started relentlessly up, then up even more with terrible footing. But, we made it in 2.5 hours. It was a beautiful cirque with a meadow.

We sat down on a flat rock in the middle of a couple talus slopes to eat our snacks. Looks like elk was on the menu here over the winter. Soon, we were joined by a couple marmots, 3 pikas and a host of ground squirrels. They made an interesting cacauphony of sounds.

After finishing our hike, we saw some baby big horn sheep on the road. And, we saw a mule deer while heading into town.

Today we went to Radium Hot Springs, because the weather was crappy. I also got a massage. Yay! We stopped on the way to view the paint pots. They were only marginally interesting - nothing like the ones in Yellowstone.

On the way back, we took the Bow Valley parkway to look for moose. We did find a lovely bull elk with a nice rack. Beautiful!


bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

That is quite a nice rack.


Chris said...

Cool moose. What is a pika?

CyclistRick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CyclistRick said...

Chris - Moose? and Moose?

and, Pika's are cute little distant cousins to rabbits.

chatterbox said...

Panda - yeah, cyclistrick made that same joke while looking not at my eyes!

chris - C-Rick sent you a link about the pikas. The funny thing is that they make this 'eh' sound - kinda like an abbreviated version of the sound Mr. Annoying Man made on Saturday Night Live.

Chris said...

Oh, that isn't a moose. It is an elk.

Thanks for the link on the Pika. They look like giant Hampsters to me.