Open all year 9-5.
The garden center and gift shop is a wonderful place to pick up gifts, artwork and jam!
"Giddy Up It's Jam" is my favourite host/ess gift for anyone, but especially friends and visitors NOT from Alberta!
About a half hour drive south of Calgary is the bedroom community of Okotoks, and just a few miles outside its limits these two huge rocks sit alone in the middle of a field. 'Big Rock' has its own little interpretive park explaining the strange story of how it arrived here. It turns out that the estimated 16,500 tonne Big Rock is the largest glacial erratic in the world, dropped on this field 10,000 years ago when the glacier that carried it melted. For a size comparison, that is me standing on a broken off piece in front of the left portion of the rock.
Big Rock began its life on a Rocky Mountain peak in present day Jasper National Park, but was dislodged by a massive landslide 18,000 years ago. The side of the mountain ended up atop a glacier that was flowing below, resulting in the landslide debris being slowly carried eastward as the glacier crept out of the mountains. Eventually, the glacier came up against a major obstacle when it ran into the Laurentides Ice Sheet that covered all of central North America, resulting in the glacier being deflected south, still carrying its load. As the Ice Age finally retreated, the warming climate resulted in a 700-km (440-mile) line of rocks being dropped on the landscape from Jasper to Montana. Some of the other photos clearly show the layers of sediment that originally formed on the ocean bottoms before these were thrust up by continental plate pressures millions of years ago to form the Rocky Mountains.
By the way, 'okotoks' is the Blackfoot aboriginal term for 'rock'. Natural freezing and thawing processes over the last 10,000 years have broken the original 41x18x9 m quartzite rock into smaller bits.
After leaving the Calgary Stampede, we hopped into Carolyn's boyfriends big 4WD truck and headed southwest of the city, ending up in the foothills of the Rockies not long after passing through the small community of Bragg Creek. The Elbow River starts its life in the mountains not far from there and continues eastward until it soon merges with the much larger Bow River in Calgary. All along the upper reaches of the Elbow are nice picnic and camping sites as well as a few walking trails in the Elbow Falls Provincial Recreation Area, where it is possible to get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
We stopped for a picnic beside the river (see my 'Restaurant' tips for the details) before we made the easy walk on the trail to Elbow Falls. On a sunny and warm day like we had, this was an amazingly relaxed and peaceful spot to be as we admired the simple beauty of this small waterfall. In this picture, some people have arrived on the left bank in All Terrain Vehicles, so you can get a rough idea of the size of the falls from them.
You used to be able to jump off cliffs in to the river in Seebee, but when I say, "You're probably not allowed to anymore." my Mom always snips "You were never were ALLOWED to!"
So who knows?
We like to stop here at the dam to let the dog have a little stretch before pushing on to Banff and beyond.
Every Saturday morning (8 am - noon)through the summer months drive out to Millarville and peruse the stands for fantastic food or that special gift. Lots of vendors offering food, baked goodies, fresh fruit/veggies and lots of crafts!! There is a $2.00 charge per car to park on the grounds. Don't forget your 'duckies' if it's wet.
No dogs allowed.