The Village of Longview is a ranch and farm hub as well as the south Gateway to Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.
The Village of Longview, Alberta, is south of Calgary, Alberta on Highway 22 which links Turner Valley, Black Diamond, Chain Lakes Provincial Park and the Crowsnest Pass. The population of the Village of Longview is both urban and rural. Longview provides access to South Kananaskis on Hwy. 541 west which turns north past Highwood House to become Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40).
Kananaskis Country is a spectacular, diverse, recreational paradise. Two nights at the Blue Sky Motel have provided the opportunity to hike at Raspberry Ridge and Cameron Lookout on Mount Burke over the past two days.
The Blue Sky Motel is quiet and all essential amenities are available. Everything in Longview is a short, flat and easy walk away. Dinners are enjoyed at the Longview Hotel Cafe and the Little New York Bistro which is managed by a friendly couple from Brazil.
Breakfast happens at Heidi’s, open from 6 AM to 3 PM. The food is outstanding and plentiful. Service is great and conversation is easy.
My choice of Longview for staging this hiking mission into the Highwood/Cataract Creek area is made simple because the village stands isolated, nestled in the foothills and is a 45 KM (28⅛ mile) drive west to Highwood Junction.
Longview is surrounded by ranch land, farmland, oil wells and homes of friendly people. Horses are plentiful and a major source of transportation. Real, hard-working cowboys and cowgirls live here. Community pride is high. The vistas are overwhelming and perpetual. The air is fresh and the weather is Alberta typically unpredictable.
Along Highway 22, in this brief interruption of open highway, the ten minute stroll from one end of Longview to the other reveals rustic, unique and trendy gift and bake shops, the combination Municipal Building, Library and Post Office, as well as heritage homes and gardens.
Ian Tyson is the proprietor of a coffee and pie shop called Navajo Mug. The shop brings back fond memories of sitting with Ian and Sylvia, in the middle 1960s, at the Bohemian Embassy in the Yorkville Village district of downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada when their career was just beginning and ‘Four Strong Winds’ was doing well on folk music charts. Ian remains a popular performer.
On the 45 KM drive west from the Village of Longview to Highwood Junction in South Kananaskis Country there are horses and herds of cattle grazing in pasture land surrounded by impressive mountains.
It all rests under big blue sky country but privately operated oil wells dot the landscape and it is common to see something unusual like an abandoned caboose in a field.
The pace is relaxed. The people are friendly and helpful. Life here is less fancy than pure, just down home comfortable and basic.