Confession time…when I received an email with the subject “May 2-4 Sale” on May 15th, I figured someone messed up or the email had been lost in cyberspace for a couple of weeks, so I simply deleted it. Then when a couple more with similar subject lines hit my inbox I suspected I had become something I vowed I’d never be – an unhip mom!
Sure enough, just a couple of minutes later (thanks mainly to Urban Dictionary) I discovered that “May 2-4” is Canadian slang for the Victoria Day weekend (aka May Long). Queen Victoria’s birthday was May 24th, but it’s celebrated the Monday immediately before May 25th creating the long weekend that marks the unofficial start of summer in Canada. And while I may be unhip, I immediately connected the term with the fact that many Canadians celebrate May Long with a two-four of beer and fireworks, something our teenage boys didn’t “get” without an explanation (maybe there’s hope for me yet).
Anyhow, we headed to Canmore for the long weekend, where the weather was much better than forecast and we enjoyed several long walks, a bike ride and some geocaching. Here’s some of what we saw while out and about in Canmore…
Wildlife – While exploring some of Canmore’s pathways we spotted a small herd of deer, several elk, a chipmunk, lots of squirrels and several kinds of birds.
Rising River – We saw plenty of evidence that the water level in the Bow River was rising. Saturday morning we saw survey markings that were standing clear of the water pretty much submerged an hour later…
Also Saturday morning, we used a recently fallen tree along one of the side arms of the Bow River as a makeshift bridge to access Mantracker Island.
Because last June’s flood washed away all the old fallen tree “bridges” to the island, it’s been more than a year since we last explored the area. Footprints on the shoreline made it clear that at least one other person used the same makeshift bridge on the weekend, but most of the footprints we saw there belonged to four-legged creatures! On Sunday, Mr. GeoK made a return visit and discovered that the entire trunk of the tree was under flowing water and it was no longer long enough to reach the gravel bar on the shore of the island. By our estimate, between Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon the water level rose 30 – 45 cm (12 – 18 inches) in that particular location along the Bow River.
Amazing Scenery – Even from Main Street Canmore the views of the surrounding mountains are impressive. But we prefer to get out of the townsite using the extensive pathway system to make photographs of more natural landscapes…
By that, I mean that we (or more accurately Mr. GeoK) hid two new geocaches. They are both birdhouse containers that require in-the-field puzzle solving to access the log sheet.
And we (or more accurately C and I) found four geocaches, bringing our cumulative number of geocaches found to 3981 (I can’t help but think a milestone is not too far away). All the caches we found are hidden along a pathway on the Silvertip side of the Bow Valley and I spotted some beautiful crocus blossoms near one of the hides. The crocus in Calgary are already well-past their prime, so it was a treat to discover that they’re a little later in Canmore.
If you’re in Canada, how did you celebrate May Two-Four? And for those south of the 49th parallel, I hope you’ll stop back to share a few highlights from your Memorial Day weekend.