Have you ever wondered why all those cars are parked in the Montgomery Community Association parking lot at the bottom of Home Road? They belong to members of groups of fun-loving, active seniors who board a chartered coach with their packs and set off for a day in the mountains. The destination is typically Kananaskis country or Banff National Park. The day will be spent hiking in a selection of carefully curated destinations during the spring, summer and fall seasons, and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing during the winter.
Each week, several choices of hikes are offered, designed to accommodate different fitness levels and provide a satisfying day of activity for participants, from hikers who prefer to walk in a more leisurely fashion, through to gung-ho hikers who want to hike long, high and fast. Each hike has a group leader, and individuals experience the beauty and grandeur of nature, great conversations, shared wonders, enhancement of physical, mental and emotional health, and just plain fun – all within the safety of a group environment.
The bonus is the coach, and the luxury of being comfortably chauffeured to and from the destination by a professional driver. The bus ride is a joy unto itself, a social gathering that adds another dimension to the day, and the buzz of conversation fills the air as we travel, able to enjoy the scenery in a way that is possible only when you need not pay attention to the road. Added to this is the joy of NOT dealing with road conditions, snowstorms or parking restrictions!
Calgary’s seniors’ hiking clubs are friendly groups, and many friendships have been forged on the bus and on the trails. If you, like many of your Varsity neighbours, are a like-minded senior who would enjoy breathing mountain air and adventuring in the mountains and foothills, check out http://calgary-seniors-outdoor-club.ca/ .
Article and photo courtesy of Greg McKenzie