June 2, 2011

Making a Find in Banff National Park

On a snowshoeing trip this winter, I (Nadine) and two fun-loving young Brits headed up Bath Creek near Lake Louise.  Poking around on the edge of the riverbed, we were looking at some pine marten tracks when I realized that the tracks disappeared into a hole that was framed by peeled logs - intriguing!

Refocusing, I could see the outline of the log cabin ruins beneath the snow.  A quick reconnoitre and we found another cabin footprint nearby.  I was not surprised to see them as that area was home to railway building camps in the late 1800s and some light logging in the early 1900s too.

But I was curious if they were already on the list of ruins that the national park archeologists were aware of.  Every once in awhile I'd read about new "old cabin" discoveries in the paper - ruins found when people were in unusual places in the park.

So I contacted the park archeologists in Calgary to see.  They had me double check the inventory and sure enough... they weren't listed.  After a few back and forth emails, it was confirmed!  We were the "discoverers" of these two cabins.  Very exciting!

Unfortunately we didn't take pictures that day, so this is a photo pulled off the internet that is something like what we saw.

At some point, I'll join an archeologist on a return trip to document the cabins.  But most importantly,  what a treat it was to provide at least one set of guests with an unusual and satisfying national park experience!