Retirement: World's longest coffee break. travel blog

Getting the gear ready

Lunch by Lake Minnewanka

Dale and Charlie in uniform

A pretty spot

Dale kicks up the bugs, Charlie "encourages" him

Checking out the haul

Cleaning the sample

Charlie leads the ladies across


This is the best route

Measuring slope in deep water

Walk back at the end of the day

Ready to go on Brewster Creek

Another pretty spot

Paula's turn to kick

Serious business

Measuring Velocity

Charlie measures Dale measuring slope

Bridge over Brewster

A bike seat rock with matching leaf

Healy Creek - not as clean as it looks!

Paula in the bird

We're ready to fly

Animal underpass under Highway 1

Dale enjoys the scenery

A bit rainy today

Paula collects the bugs at site 1 on the Spray River

A pristine river

Kicking is hard work

What a haul!

Paula with her sample

Some of the bugs she caught

Paula and Charlie clean the sample

Charlie measures slope

Our trusty steed

Pretty spot to work!

Wolf prints

Lunch break out of the rain

Pam's turn to kick

Taking a rest

Dale and Paula measure rocks

En route to site 2

Dale sets up the Water Chemistry probes

Dale's turn to kick

A crackerjack team

Waiting for pickup

Here comes our ride

Helicoptor wind

Forest from above

Back in the Bow Valley

Back on June 2, we posted an entry about a volunteer training session that we did in Banff National Park. At that time we were completing our field certification of Environment Canada's "CABIN" protocol which assesses the water quality in rivers and streams by looking at the Benthic Invertibrate populations (bugs that live under rocks in the stream). We spent the last few days putting that training to use and getting out in the field with Paula, another 5 year volunteer and Charlie, the Park's Aquatic Specialist. We hiked all of our equipment into a beautiful spot on the Cascade River near Lake Minnewanka on the first day. That was our refresher day and it took us a while to get the hang of things again. Luckily Charlie is very patient! The second day we drove to 2 different sites, one on Brewster Creek and the other on Healy Creek. The third day was the highlight day as we were transported to 3 different sites along the Spray River by helicoptor. This experience has definitely been the highlight of the 5 years of volunteer work we've done in Banff National Park. We've learned alot, have really enjoyed working with Charlie and the other volunteers and can see how the results of this work will have a direct, positive impact on the Park. Can't ask for much more from a volunteer experience! And we get to do it again next year.

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