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Curiosity on the high plateau | by annkelliott
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Curiosity on the high plateau

Yesterday, eight of us made a return trip to Plateau Mountain, Kananaskis - I had been there a week previously with a different group. The upper gate was locked yesterday and we didn't have a key, so we had to walk from the locked gate up the road all the way to the lower meadows. This time, though, we also explored a little bit further, climbing part way up a very rocky slope. One of the absolute highlights of the trip was when we were offered the chance to be driven to the very top to see the herd of around 150 Bighorn Sheep that call the mountain "home". A week before, I had been up there for the first time, but we only passed by the sheep and didn't get out of our vehicles. Three of us chose to go, and what a thrill it was, to have dozens of these wild animals come rushing towards the vehicle - they love to lick the salt off the truck. Apparently, they won't come near if it's just a person standing there, but they do come running over when they see a vehicle to lick. We got out of the truck and we even had a sheep or two come over and nuzzle our hands. While there, someone spotted a Hoary Marmot enjoying the shade under part of the small gas plant. I was delighted to see one of these animals - got a very distant and crummy photo, but might still upload it just to add it to my Wild Animals of Alberta set. We were so lucky to be driven all the way back to our cars, too, picking up the other five of us on the way. It's a tough job searching for rare plants , but someone has to do it, lol!

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Taken on July 13, 2012