Canadas Homeschool Alberta 7.1 Fall : Page 5

ON THE COVER Favourite Places STORY BEHIND THE COVER PHOTO by Elaine Ritter Homeschool parent Every year when we camp we have to choose between old favourites and new places to explore. For our longer trips we often head west to the mountains, thoroughly enjoying our beautiful ‘back-yard.’ Hiking in Kananaskis, Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper we marvel in the immensity of the mountains (while checking out the depositional layering of the rocks), observe in awe the thundering power of the waterfalls, and laugh at the antics of the Columbian ground squirrels. Stopping at an alpine lake we investigate the residents of that habitat. Squeals of excitement can be heard as the kids recognize some of the insects we have studied in our “Wetlands” science unit. Riding the massive Brewster Ice Explorer out onto the Athabasca glacier is a not-soon-to-be-forgotten experience as the Ice Explorer points its nose seemingly 90 degrees down the steep lateral moraine and out onto the glacier. Bring a warm coat. It’s always cold on the glacier regardless of the weather. Lake Minnewanka A few kilometers north of the Columbia Ice Field Centre is a small hiking-trail sign that signals the beginning of short hike to Stanley Falls. The easy 1.6km trail from Beauty Creek to Stanley Falls traverses a narrow canyon that boasts eight waterfalls. Here we stopped to take pictures and captured a great one of the girls (cover photo). There were no handrails so stepping carefully is a necessity. From the rugged, majestic mountains to the green and golden prairies we like to see the places we’ve read about in our Grade 4 Social Studies. Driving the scenic Cowboy Trail, fishing at Chain Lakes (while watching and listening to the cows bellow just across the lake), and hanging on the rails watching the Nanton Rodeo provides different facets of Alberta’s character. HomeschoolersGuide.ca The Drumheller area gives us yet another snapshot of our province. Walking through the badlands, wandering around the hoodoos, strolling across the historic Rosedale Suspension Bridge, visiting the Tyrell Museum, touring the Atlas Coal Mine, and looking for garter snakes are among our favourite things to do in this area. Hiking, riding our bikes, playing catch, observing wildlife, evenings around the campfire, watching for falling stars, and being away from the telephone, computer, housework, and all the other things that regularly crowd our day allows us to relax and enjoy life, nature, and each other’s company. On our way home from each camping excursion we review what we loved and didn’t like so much about the trip, making notes of things not to miss the next time. Not sure when or even if we’ll be back but it is fun to plan and dream together. There are so many places to visit and revisit that we plan on camping for many years to come. v FALL 2010 7 Atlas Coal Mine

Favourite Places STORY BEHIND THE COVER PHOTO

Elaine Ritter, Homeschool parent

Every year when we camp we have to choose between old favourites and new places to explore. For our longer trips we often head west to the mountains, thoroughly enjoying our beautiful ‘back-yard.’<br /> Hiking in Kananaskis, Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper we marvel in the immensity of the mountains (while checking out the depositional layering of the rocks), observe in awe the thundering power of the waterfalls, and laugh at the antics of the Columbian ground squirrels. Stopping at an alpine lake we investigate the residents of that habitat. Squeals of excitement can be heard as the kids recognize some of the insects we have studied in our “Wetlands” science unit.<br /> Riding the massive Brewster Ice Explorer out onto the Athabasca glacier is a not-soon-to-be-forgotten experience as the Ice Explorer points its nose seemingly 90 degrees down the steep lateral moraine and out onto the glacier. Bring a warm coat. It’s always cold on the glacier regardless of the weather. <br /> A few kilometers north of the Columbia Ice Field Centre is a small hiking-trail sign that signals the beginning of short hike to Stanley Falls. The easy 1.6km trail from Beauty Creek to Stanley Falls traverses a narrow canyon that boasts eight waterfalls. Here we stopped to take pictures and captured a great one of the girls (cover photo). There were no handrails so stepping carefully is a necessity.<br /> From the rugged, majestic mountains to the green and golden prairies we like to see the places we’ve read about in our Grade 4 Social Studies. Driving the scenic Cowboy Trail, fishing at Chain Lakes (while watching and listening to the cows bellow just across the lake), and hanging on the rails watching the Nanton Rodeo provides different facets of Alberta’s character.<br /> The Drumheller area gives us yet another snapshot of our province. Walking through the badlands, wandering around the hoodoos, strolling across the historic Rosedale Suspension Bridge, visiting the Tyrell Museum, touring the Atlas Coal Mine, and looking for garter snakes are among our favourite things to do in this area.<br /> Hiking, riding our bikes, playing catch, observing wildlife, evenings around the campfire, watching for falling stars, and being away from the telephone, computer, housework, and all the other things that regularly crowd our day allows us to relax and enjoy life, nature, and each other’s company.<br /> On our way home from each camping excursion we review what we loved and didn’t like so much about the trip, making notes of things not to miss the next time. Not sure when or even if we’ll be back but it is fun to plan and dream together. There are so many places to visit and revisit that we plan on camping for many years to come.

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