Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Waterton With A Toddler: Day 3

If I had to pick a favourite day, and activity, in Waterton it would be Sunday and climbing  Bear's Hump. It's one of my proudest mommy moments to date.

In case you missed my other Waterton recaps you can see them here Day 1 and Day 2.

Day 3 started with a 7am wakeup call. I didn't spend much time getting ready since I knew we would be climbing a mountain. I threw on workout clothes, and a Slouch hat and woke London up. We put on his matching hat (twinning) and made our way over to Trappers Mountain Grill to meet up with the rest of the group for breakfast.

Once again, I opted to keep my breakfast fairly light since I knew we would be hiking for awhile and not have access to a bathroom (#crohnsproblems) so I settled on some toast (with the most amazing Saskatoon Berry Jam) and a yogurt parfait. London had a giant pancake with syrup. The parfait was a little too sweet for my liking but still pretty good. With London's apple juice, and tip, the meal came to thirty-dollars. I told you food in Waterton is on the pricey side!

After breakfast, and checking-out of our rooms, we headed to the Waterton Tourist Centre where the climb to Bear's Hump starts. Since we knew Liam and London would take a little bit longer to climb to the top Becky, Danielle and I decided to get an early start. 

Bear's Hump is a 1.2 kilometer hike with about 2.15 meters (or 700 hundred feet) of elevation gain. I had read some reviews on Trip Advisor from parents who had brought their five, six, seven year old kids but nothing involving todders. I started talking up the mountain climb, a few days earlier, and London was very excited! I knew he was getting to the top but I just wasn't sure if I would be carrying him on my back the whole way.

London started out like he was on a mission. He kept running ahead of Danielle and I. 

The hike is steep with about 17 switch-backs. There are stairs, at some points, and some areas where you have to climb over rocks. I am glad I left the stroller at home.

I haven't done a lot of hiking but I would think it's suitable for all levels of fitness.

About 10 minutes in, London asked for a piggy-back ride. "Here we go" I thought! Then, thirty-seconds later, he asked to be put down and kept on running. 

We stopped for a water break, about half way, and were treated to an amazing view of Waterton Lake. I couldn't wait to see what it looked like when we reached the top!

By this point, most of the other ladies had passed us. They all commented on how well London was doing and I was smiling from ear to ear! I kept telling him how proud I was of him and you could tell he felt the same way!

Kris and Jo leading the way
Brie coming up the mountain

It took us just over half an hour to get to the top. With about 20 metres left London said he wanted me to pick him up but I knew he would be so proud of himself if he finished without my help so I encouraged him to keep going. The moment we hit the top we were hit with the most beautiful view but all I could look at was the huge smile on my son's face. We had just climbed our first mountain together.

We made our way to the other side of the mountain to meet up the other ladies who were waiting for us. Rachel had driven in from Lethbridge to join us and acted as our official photographer. Thanks Rachel!!

The wind was howling at the top, and London kept saying he was cold and hungry, so we didn't stay long. We couldn't leave without one group photo (self-timer for the win!)

Going down should have been easier but London insisted on riding on my back for most of the way. Luckily, he's cute, and I didn't have to carry the 40+ extra pounds on the way up!

He did decide he wanted to run down the last portion and his little legs were flying!

After lunch London, Danielle, Brie and I headed to Zums Eatery for lunch. 

I was craving carbs, and a pop, so we shared a grilled cheese and friends and I had a Pepsi and he chugged an apple juice (mountain climbing is hard work!) 22 dollars with a tip. We couldn't leave without visiting Welch's Chocolate Shop for a piece of pie. Since we had just had lunch, and I wanted London to nap on the drive home, we opted to take our pie to go. I grabbed four slices (pumpkin, apple, peach and strawberry rhubarb) to share with London's daddy after supper. They were six dollars, a slice, but worth the splurge! 

My weekend in Waterton was exactly what I needed. I almost didn't realize it until I got home but mountain air, time with good friends, and creating memories with my son is so good for the soul. 
During a year of ups and downs it's important to focus on just how amazing it is to be alive and just how lucky I am to have this incredible tribe of people who just get me.
Waterton, London and I will see you again next year. 
Until we meet again....

Disclaimer: My trip was sponsored by Chinook County Tourism in partnership with the Town of Waterton and Travel Alberta but all opinions are my own.

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