Saturday, July 15 to Monday, July 17, 2023 (Cochrane, AB)

Saturday (July 15)...and time to move on again. We had such a great visit with Dave and Cheryl! When you only see folks in the winter, travelling down south, it's always great to meet them in their home location, spend time with them, and exploring their area. Thanks so much for putting us up for a couple of nights...and all of your hospitality!

We said goodbye to Dave and Cheryl just after 9:30...we have a lunch date in Calgary with more RV friends and wanted to give ourselves a little extra time since it is a 2 hour drive.  On the way out, we drove past the marina where Dave keeps their pontoon boat. It's a beauty, too bad we didn't get out on it.
Pretty smokey as we watch a boat heading out on the lake...
We arrived at Phil's Restaurant in northwest Calgary at noon. It's a very popular spot, so Pat had gone inside to get a table while John greeted us in the parking lot. We met John and Pat at Fort Camping in Fort Langley years ago...checking back on our blog, I believe it was 2016! At that time even though we had just met, John insisted that I use their car to go grocery shopping. We had also joined them for a day at the Granville Island Public Market and a harbour tour on one of the Mini Harbour Ferry Boats.

We are on our way to stay with friends in Cochrane, just west of Calgary, so Steve had contacted John to see if they would be available to meet for lunch glad they were! Wonderful seeing them again and catching up!
With big hugs, we said goodbye to John and Pat, thanks for taking the time to meet with us! We then continued west to Cochrane Lake where we are staying with long time friends, Ken and Charlene. Steve and Ken grew up together as neighbours in Regina, Saskatchewan and have remained friends, maintaining regular contact since around the age of 5!

Steve, Ken, with Charlene in the kitchen starting to make a pie. They have uniquely decorated their home in a way that works...note the tools on the far wall...
They have a very cool's an older one that Ken has renovated and has a warm and cozy feel to it.
Their deck...
Cochrane Lake...
They have 3 Zoey...                                                     and Buddy...
I didn't get a picture of Allie...she's an old girl that spends most of her time sleeping in the bedroom.

Charlene cooked a delicious dinner...Buddy looking to see if there is any left for him, LOL...
They have collected some very interesting things to decorate their home with. This is in the bathroom...
And this is in the living room (which is on the entry level of the house)...
Sunday (July 16) morning, Ken put together a picnic lunch and we headed off to Kananaskis and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park...
An incredibly beautiful area...and, look...very little smoke!

Our first Rocky Mountain Sheep of the day. They like to lick the road salt from the previous winter...

Charlene dropped Ken, Steve and I off in the parking lot at the north end of Upper Kananaskis Lake. We are going to hike the Upper Kananaskis Lake...on the Interlakes Trail, a 6.74 km/4 mile hike along the edge of the lake. Charlene will drive to the other end of the trail and park in that day-use area and relax with a book and wait for us. At the start of the trail we were warned that a Grizzly with cubs and a Black Bear had been spotted on the trail. Great! Not only had Ken forgot his knee brace in their car, but also his Bear Banger, and there's no cell service here to contact Charlene. So we decided to cautiously carry on making lots of noise as we went, keeping our eyes peeled on the trail ahead!
The trail is described (on All Trails) as a great easy hike along the shore of Upper Kananaskis Lake with views that are stunning every second of the way....and they weren't wrong! The views are absolutely stunning! We kept getting bear warnings from others as we passed by.😟😟😟(Steve)

Of course, we had to get a selfie with a backdrop like that!
We went for about a 20 minute stretch where we didn't see a soul on the trail, hmmm...

Almost there!

The day-use area where we have to find Charlene...
There is a trail that loops around the lake, and if I recall correctly it's about 10 km/6.2 miles long...
We had no trouble finding Charlene and the car, and we even found a nearby picnic table in the shade!
What an absolutely fabulous hike! Ken was a real trooper and never complained about his knee, but we're sure some pain was involved.

Time to head home...

As Steve was taking this picture (he was in the front passenger seat), I looked over to the left to see a herd of Rocky Mountain Sheep at the intersection...
See the kids?

Further along the road, there was another herd on the right...this fellow ventured out onto the road. Not in the least concerned about the traffic...

These sheep ran in front of the motorcyclist!
Ghost Lake...which is really a widening of the Bow River. A very popular spot on a hot Sunday afternoon...
After such a big day yesterday, Monday (July 17) was a pretty relaxing day. The weather wasn't nearly as nice as yesterday...more cloudy and there was a chance of a thunderstorm later in the afternoon. 

After the fog had lifted Steve launched his drone for a 2:23 minute video tour of the area...

Ken took Steve and I out for a tour of Cochrane and the area...absolutely amazing how much it has grown, and continues to grow. Definitely a 'bedroom community' of Calgary.

After our drive, we stopped back at the house to relax for a bit before going out for the Cochrane Taphouse Bar and Grill. While having our lunch, the wind and dark clouds came in...and then thunder, lightning and heavy, heavy rain. There was one flash of lightning that immediately cut the power to the building.  Thank goodness we already had our lunch! It absolutely poured out. We watched from our window table as the wind lashed the rain sideways. Too bad we didn't think to take any pictures...sheesh!

Unfortunately, with the power out, we were unable to use debit/credit to pay. Since Steve and I were treating Ken and Charlene, we managed to scrape together enough cash for most of the bill but they had to chip in. Sorry about that, guys!

By the time we left, the storm had basically moved on but holy cats! the puddles everywhere were crazy! The owner/manager of the restaurant even told us to leave from a different door because the entrance door was totally flooded!

As we drove home, we found other areas without power, but later found out that the reason for that had been a car accident.

Tomorrow we are leaving Ken and Charlene's and heading stop West Kelowna!


  1. That must have been quite the storm. What a beautiful area to hike.

    1. Kananaskis is absolutely beautiful. Hope to visit and spend time exploring in the future!

  2. Ken and Charlene sure have a great house!

    That hike with Ken looked awesome, glad that you did not get eaten by the Griz!

    1. We would never have the imagination to decorate that way and make it look natural. With Kananaskis being such a popular park we were hoping that the bears would be used to people in their area. 🤞🤞🤞

  3. Cute doggies! Nice the smoke moved out. What gorgeous Mountain View’s!!! Great hiking and time with friends. We know a gal that lives in Kelowa!

    1. It was so nice to get out for that hike in relatively clear air. Kelowna and surrounding areas are beautiful.

  4. I’m guessing you had treats in the car for the dogs right Dianne lol? Peter Lougheed park is amazing and you hiked a great trail. Bear warnings always help with your pace!😳
    D&L cheers

    1. Haha...guess I should start keeping a supply in the car! The hike was fabulous but the bear warnings were a little unnerving!