Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cypress Hills - Centre Block

Cypress Hills is an Interprovincial park sprawled across the Sask/Alta border.  It's an upland area created during the initial Rocky Mountain uplift, I mean WAY back in the day!  The resort area on the AB side is Elk Water - I don't go there.  I go to the Centre Block in SK.  It's much less busy.

This is the main little lake, Loch Leven.  The cottages are tucked back in the trees. 

A wilderness area along a trail circling Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond - a tiny bit of water, lined with cattails and just a lovely place.

Dorothy & I were actually trying to find a mythical trail marked on a map we got at the Visitor Centre.  This place really lacks signs!  Well, we never did find the Ridge Run trailhead - apparently a tad more X-country ski trail than a hiking one.  Pfttt. 

However, we were delighted with the road we found that took us along the lochs. 

Nice place to visit - here's a tiny bit of history of the place.  Actually, a lot of stuff happened in the region in the 1880s.  Maybe next year I'll go over to Fort Walsh and wander through the site of the Cypress Hills Massacre (why do I always think of Arlo Guthrie & Alice's Restaurant when I see that word? Ha!)

From Wikipedia
The Cree name, in use at the same time, was Manâtakâw, (spelled in a variety of anglicized forms including "Mun-a-tuh-gow"), sometimes said to mean Beautiful Upland but more accurately referring to "an area to be respected, protected, taken care of and/or taken care with". (from wiki
Historically the Cypress Hills were a meeting and conflict area for various American Indian and First Nations peoples including the Cree, Assiniboine, Atsina, Blackfoot, Saulteaux, Sioux, Crow, and others. During the 19th century Metis settled in the hills, hunting and often wintering there. The Cypress Hills Massacre, a key event in Canadian history leading to the creation of the North-West Mounted Police occurred in the hills when a group of American wolvers from Montana massacred an Assiniboine encampment. Fort Walsh was established to bring law and order to the Canadian border region.

For info about the place, go here

This isn't Alice's Restaurant, of course, but let me tell you, someone here bakes some pretty darn good sticky cinnamon buns daily.

Update:  There is a ban on all fires out there at the moment.

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