A Grizzly Family of 4, Emerald Ponds, Memorial Benches, the Jagged Rockies and Beautiful Sunset Make it An Unforgettable Day in Alberta’s Kananaskis Country

Grizzlie, north of Little Highwood Pass, Alberta Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail), August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.
Grizzlie, north of Little Highwood Pass, Alberta Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail), August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

By MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor  Simergphotos, Barakah, and Simerg

Yes, starting at the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1) and Alberta Hwy 40 junction (Kananaskis Trail), and driving south to Rock Glacier Trail, a distance of say about 50 kms, I experienced in a matter of a few hours much much more than what I would have wished for over several days. The Mount Lorette ponds had been generously replenished by Alberta Parks with fresh supply of trout. You can catch and take home a maximum of 2. A child aged three — yes 3 — caught two of them in front of my eyes. His dad assisted him in releasing the trout back into the pond. An enthusiastic teenager, Jason, around the bend on the other side of the pond, invited me to have a go with his fishing rod. I gladly accepted his generous invitation, and promised myself to buy a fishing rod. I had last gone fishing with colleagues at work in a lake near Ottawa some 30 years ago!

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Ponds and Memorials

Mount Lorette Ponds; August 11, 2022.  Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.
Mount Lorette Ponds; August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Memorial bench Mount Lorette Ponds, Malik Merchant Hwy 40
Memorial, Mount Lorette Ponds; August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Wedge Pond Simerg Malik Merchant
Wedge Pond; August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.
Memorial bench Wedge Pond Simerg Malik Merchant
Memorial, Wedge Pond; August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Wedge Pond Simerg Malik Merchant
Flowers, Wedge Pond, August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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The sun was shining and the Lorette ponds glittered in beautiful colours. The clear emerald waters made it easy to spot fish. My next stop was the Wedge Pond, and I took the 1km trail, somewhat concerned as I was by myself, but I was carrying a bear spray. I passed young children swimming in the pond with their families, and saw a couple of youth in a small raft in the middle of the pond, with beautiful views of the Rockies all around them. Memorial benches at both the ponds touched and inspired me with the messages that had been posted for loved ones who had passed away.

I continued my drive on Hwy 40, going south. Whenever you see a car parked on the side of the road with lights flashing…. then you know there is action. The car that drew me to stop stayed for a few moments before taking off. There was a grizzly, but the view was not very clear. I patiently decided to stay around. I realized in a few minutes there was a family of 4. It was a beautiful afternoon, and I had one of the best wild life experiences in my life. I had earlier seen some mountain goats and deer. With grizzlies metres from me, I remained in my car. There was plenty for them to eat along the sides of the highway, and they crossed the road twice. What an experience! Then I drove off to capture some beautiful view of the jagged rockies, with the sunlight creating sensational colours.

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Pika Rock Glacier Trail
A pika at Rock Glacier Trail; August 11, 2022. Photographs: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Rock Glacier Trail and Pikas, Alberta Hwy 40, Kananaskis Country, Malik Merchant Simergphotos
Rock Glacier Trail, home of the pikas! August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

Once I reached Rock Glacier Trail, I got out of the car hoping to photograph close ups of the pikas. I heard the cries of many but only saw 1. The grizzlies that I had left behind a few minutes earlier were not far away. I decided to return to Calgary, as it was approaching 9 PM. What a view in front of me as the setting sun cast a beautiful glow on the sky and clouds above me. The photographs tell the story! Someone very special is visiting me in a few days, and I just hope that together we live through a similar experience like I did a few days ago. That someone special is my daughter.

The Grizzlies

Grizzlies Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
Grizzlies, north of Little Highwood Pass, Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail), illustrates the hugeness of the male; August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Grizzlies Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
Grizzly, standing tall, to check out on her family; north of Little Highwood Pass, Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail); August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Grizzlies Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
A grizzly family of four, north of Little Highwood Pass, Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail), August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Grizzlies Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
Close-up, grizzly, north of Little Highwood Pass, Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail), August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Grizzlies Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
Grizzlies, north of Little Highwood Pass, Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail), August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Grizzlies crossing road Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
Grizzly, north of Little Highwood Pass, about to cross Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail), from the east side to the west side; August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Grizzlies Kananaskis Trail Alberta Hwy 40, Simerg Photos Malik Merchant
Grizzlies, north of Little Highwood Pass, cross Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail), from the east side to the west side of the highway; August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Grizzlies Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
Grizzly, north of Little Highwood Pass, crossing Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail), from the west side to the east side; August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Grizzlies Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
Grizzly, north of Little Highwood Pass, Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail); August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Grizzlies Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
Grizzly, north of Little Highwood Pass, Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail); August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Grizzlies Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
Grizzlies, last moments, north of Little Highwood Pass, walking south on Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail); August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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The Jagged Rockies and a Beautiful Sunset

Rocky Mountains Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
The jagged Rockies! Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail); August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Rocky Mountains Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
Close-up, the jagged Rockies! Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail); August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Rocky Mountains Kananaskis Country Gold Course, off Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
Gold course, with views of the Rockies! Off Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail), Kananaskis Village; August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Rocky Mountains Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
Rockies! Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail); August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Rocky Mountains Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
Approaching sunset, the jagged Rockies! Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail); August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

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Sunset Rocky Mountains Kananaskis Country Alberta Hwy 40 Simerg Malik Merchant
A beautiful scene of the Rockies and clouds at sunset hour; Hwy 40 (Kananaskis Trail); August 11, 2022. Photograph: Malik Merchant/Simerg Photos.

Date posted: August 14, 2022.

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