|The Red Deer River flows into YaHaTinda through the gap between Warden Rock and Wapiti Mountain|
After the total solitude of the last several days, I had arrived at what seemed like a very crowded and bustling location. There were trucks, trailers, horses and people everywhere. Some were campers. Others were there to ride or hike the trails of YaHaTinda or visit the nearby waterfalls. Some were outfitters and guides preparing to take their clients deep into the back country along the Cascade River Road or up into the country that I had just journeyed through. This was a busy staging area for backcountry travelers and outfitters. To me this seemed like the real Alberta. I had begun my hike in Canada several days ago and now I had arrived in Alberta.
After this group was on its way, one of Warner’s young hired hands drove me through rolling foothills country and past the scene of a recent forest fire. We talked about his job, the ailing tourist industry and my journey. He wished me luck on the rest of my trip as he dropped me off at Mountain Aire Lodge, which sits right next to the Red Deer River on the Forestry Trunk Road.