July 22, 2020 5 min read 3 Comments

There’s no place like home — and these days some of us have been seeing a lot of it. Spending more time close to home can give you a fresh set of eyes to see the world around you every day, and also a new sense of appreciation for it. We reached out to Rocky staff to see how they’re making the most of their staycations in these unorthodox times.

Though we usually travel to family in the summer, this year, we are staying close to home. My husband, two teens and I plan to hike as much as we can to see the many hidden gems in the Bow Valley. We also spent some time turning our long-neglected backyard into a little oasis for a small group of friends to enjoy, fully equipped with an outdoor bar, fairy lights, hammock and firepit. We may even host the occasional outdoor concert or movie night with the projector screen on the side of the house. We are determined to create positive memories for the summer of 2020!

~ Krista

One thing my family plans on doing more this year is exploring some of the hidden gem trails in and around Calgary. 

~ Miranda

I’ve actually been enjoying my backyard!  We’re usually always out on the weekends.  I have such a beautiful backyard and have enjoyed slowing down, observing the bees and listening to the birds that also visit.

Other than that, we moved to Alberta 7 years ago and haven’t spent a ton of time exploring nearby B.C.  We bought a camper in January (how would we have ever known how useful it would be this summer for a nearby adventure!).  We are enjoying discovering lots of nearby areas.

My list of hidden gems:

  • My backyard for the constant visitors (hummingbirds, jays, magpies, crows, chickadees, bees, resident squirrels, etc)
  • Spring Creek walking path for the trees, views, baby ducklings and crystal clear, babbling water
  • The Bow River’s many paths and islands for the rivers sounds, beautiful birds and trees.
  • Golden's bike trails (everywhere), Columbia River (great for a paddle) and lush green forests
  • Invermere’s spirit trail (on Nature Conservancy of Canada protected land), lake and amazing marsh
  • The Nordic Centre trails
  • Kananaskis country — for its sheer beauty, beautiful lakes, challenging scrambles. There’s nothing like a hike followed by a picnic!
  • Goat’s creek trail — the most awesome family ride into Banff!

 ~ Isabelle

image of backyard in the summer.

My boyfriend and I have been in isolation and we’ve been trying to make games and activities in our outdoor space in our backyard. We played our own version of the newlywed game, where we asked each other questions and if we both got the answer right - we would play flip cup to determine the winner. We set up board games on our table out back. Any games we play, the loser has to do some chore for the winner (usually dishes are at stake). 

We’ve also spent some time decorating our outdoor space so it feels comfortable and cool —  string lights, lanterns.

We always make sure to dress up and get ready before we go outside - this helps everything feel special. And we usually have a little photo shoot with our fancy outfits.  Even if you take your zoom calls with friends outside — it feels more special

We also like our cocktails (you can also easily do this with mocktails) so we’ve been trying out a new recipe every couple weeks, whenever we go grocery shopping we’ll pick up a special ingredient for our new cocktail recipe.

We have theme meals once a week - themes include appetizer night, we had frat night one night where we played beer pong and had KD for dinner, etc  My boyfriend loves music so he always makes playlists curated for our theme nights — it helps makes the ambiance on theme.

We’ve also done a social distance dinner party You and your friends pick the same recipe for each of you to make and then you bring your food to some outdoor common area and you’re all eating the same thing 6 feet apart but it’s the same

~ Carina

BONUS Carina’s Mocktail recipes!



Lemon or lime sparkling water

Splash of orange juice

Pour over ice in a glass with a salted rim with lime garnish   


Muddle mint leaves and lime

Add a splash of simple syrup (equal parts sugar dissolved in water) to taste

Add ice, finish with lime sparkling water and a lime wedge & mint leaf to garnish

"Pandemic living has been full of hardships but my husband and I decided to search out the silver linings to improve our mental health; a huge positive of being stuck at home/not travelling abroad is getting to explore more of our beautiful province. Often, Alberta gets overlooked in terms of geographical beauty but it’s a land overflowing with local gems and “staycation” destinations. 

First on our list was Lundbreck Falls! Personally, I have wanted to visit these falls for years but just never seemed to find the time to make the drive. With the extra time off my husband and I had during the pandemic, suddenly the idea of committing to a 5.5 hour round trip in one day didn't seem like such a big deal.

Driving south on Highway 22 is such a gorgeous trip in and of itself; with the reward of the majestic, roaring, picturesque Lundbreck Falls at the end of our journey, we could not have enjoyed our day more than we did. We packed our Nomad Hand Sanitizer to ensure we could safely eat our picnic lunch and use the washroom facilities on-site at the falls. The destination is kid-friendly, since a long or difficult hike is not required to get to the falls; they are right beside the parking lot. It’s a really wonderful place to visit, allowing us to feel like we were far away from home when in reality, we were still pretty close to home.

If you want to turn your jaunt to Lundbreck Falls into a longer adventure, it is close to Pincher Creek (to the east) or Bellevue/Frank (to the west) where the remnants of the Frank Slide can be seen. For my hubby and I, we decided to head home and made sure to pass through Black Diamond on our way, so that we could stop at Marv’s Classic Soda Shop for a Cherry Malt and a  Peanut Butter Burger -- so delicious, don’t knock it til you try it!"

~ Emily

How have you been making the most of staying close to home?

3 Responses

Carol DiMura
Carol DiMura

October 26, 2020

this was a great review of Lundbreck Falls a beautiful place to visit on 22 and not far from Alberta! We are all things water as we are from Florida but boy once the borders open up, would love to make our way there:) thanks for sharing! we have spend our time walking on the beach when the beaches were closed ( some beaches allowed their residents to still walk) and the wildlife was plentiful. It was like a different place and we were grateful to have a place to get away from all the news.

Rocky Mountain Soap Company
Rocky Mountain Soap Company

July 31, 2020

@Sheila thank you so much for sharing! We’re so glad you enjoyed the blog. We hope you can make it out here too :)

Sheila Moffitt
Sheila Moffitt

July 24, 2020

Krista is my daughter -it is SO difficult not having her and family able to come east to visit this year!! However,am pleased that they,as well as many coworkers &friends,are making their own form of fun there in the beautiful Bow Valley.I really enjoyed this article! Hope I can make my usual trip west later in the fall!
Sheila Moffitt

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