Engadine Lodge Canadian Rockies
26th Jul 2017
My brother very calmly said without seeming to move his lips let alone do any pointing “there’s a Lynx staring at me five metres away”.
In these situations its good for the brain to kick into gear quickly so after noiselessly (at least I like to think so!) drifting over to Peter and giving the Lynx a quick look myself I hurried to the car ten metres away and told Seda and Liz about as calmly as I could! Seconds later of course we were all staring at the back end of Lynx disappearing into a bush. Nice. It reappeared for a few seconds but again into a bush… We walked round the bush slowly and to our surprise there again was the Lynx this time two metres in front of us. I squeaked and he looked out of the grass calmly at us before turning and sauntering away, stopping to pose rather nicely on a log for Seda to get some great shots! We continued up the road for an hour before returning to see if the Lynx had also returned and as we wandered the spot Peter was again in calm almost silent mode… ”hrrmmm… there’s a Grizzly on the opposite bank” he murmured. The road was good and wide and we were close to the car so we were able to enjoy an extended period watching and photographing said bear.
We were just up the road from the lodge we’d been checking out. This quiet road runs through the fabulous country south of Canmore and Banff, the Spray Lakes and Peter Lougheed Provincial Parks, wilder and less developed than Banff. This is where ‘The Revenant’ was filmed. Engadine lodge, which we’ll stay at on both of next year’s Canadian Rockies trip, is fabulous. Very large windows look out from each of the rooms over extensive ‘moose-meadows’ which are backed by forests and high mountains. Not a sign of a human in a totally pristine landscape, so perhaps not surprising that this region has a reputation for great mammal sightings. There’s not a house for twenty five kilometres in each direction! The mammal reputation may also be helped by the natural saltlick below the large verandah outside the restaurant. The saltlick’s resident male Moose had rather unhelpfully been downed by some Wolves two weeks prior to our visit though four Wolves and three Grizzlies devouring the carcass from the verandah must have been an impressive sight from the veranah! We wondered whether the Wolves would still be about and sure enough on our second day two of them trotted across the road in front of me just three hundred metres from the road before pausing to have their photographs taken (rather shakily as it turned out!) and then disappearing silently into the forest.
I should perhaps also mention the female Moose who spent a while being photographed up the road, the Bald Eagle soaring over the meadow, the hummingbirds visiting the Castilleja flowers below the verandah, Mule Deer and White-tailed Deer, and the groups of Pine Grosbeaks eating gravel on the road!
I very much look forward to returning to Engadine Lodge next year and spending much more time enjoying all it has to offer – did I mentioned the excellent meals and afternoon charcuterie board? Will we be able to see a Lynx next time?