Saturday, October 2, 2010

An October Gift

I was very thankful and appreciative for today!  It felt like a gift!  I accepted it with open arms!  It was the nicest day we had in ages, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and my thermometer on my backpack reached +23 degrees celsius.  Really!  It did!

I soloed to the Big Beehive and didn't even get stung!  The trail starts at Lake Louise.  The pink star on the upper right shows my destination which is the top of Big Beehive.  I was on the trail just before 9:00am and it was nice there were only a few folks around.  
After about 2km I had to delayer down to shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  It was my intentions to do that anyway at some point,  just because it was October, but I didn't plan on it happening well before 10:00 am.   The day was amazing already.  In no time at all, I arrived at Lake Agnes.  Here it is in three seasons!  The autumn photo was yesterday, the spring photo was last year in June and the winter photo was February of this year.  I will have to go back in the summer.
I stopped at Lake Agnes for a bit to take photos and enjoy the scenery then I followed the lake shore to the back side.  When I looked back to where I just came from, this is what I saw!  Click on the photo to enlarge it, you will see the Teahouse on the left.  It is still open and folks were on the deck having breakfast.  I was really liking how this gift was unwrapping.  The reflections were perfect.
I was thankful the autumn colors were still in bloom.  When I reached the far end of the lake around this corner, I took a short detour to what looked like it could have been something but turned out to be nothing.  I was thinking there could have been a small lake or a tarn at the base of a rock face.
I reached where that pink star was, my destination!  I was the first to arrive today.  I had the place to myself for about 30 minutes.   This was my view as I dined on cherry tomatoes, a tuscan turkey sandwich,  almonds, and an apple.  I am blocking the Chateau Lake Louise but you can see the corner of it.  Off in the distance is the Lake Louise Ski Hill which will no doubt be covered in snow soon.  This view is quite a gift!
As I was finishing lunch, folks started to arrive.  First another soloer, then a couple, then a five-some of men and then a group of 8, two who I knew and have hiked with before.  We chatted for awhile and then it was time for me to carry on enjoying today's gift.  I took a different route back down to Lake Louise which added on a few more kilometers then if I went back the way I came.  I was at the base of this and thought it looked dramatic with the fall colors,  the pinnacle and the crescent moon.
Once I got off the Highline Trail and out into the open, I had a view of Mount Lafroy and Mount Victoria.  I like how the branch of the larch tree frames the top of Mount Lafroy.  This is what you see at the far end of Lake Louise and beyond some, when you are standing at the Chateau.  
I reached the Lake shore and took one last look before I followed the trail back a few kilometers to where the hike would end and today's gift would become totally unwrapped.  Once back at the Chateau, I found a bench and just sat and smiled for half an hour.  
I didn't want to leave!  I wanted today to never end!  But, I still had a two hour drive home and I had an early morning ahead of me, so I packed up gear and headed to my car, knowing this October Gift was on my camera and I could relive it at any time!  

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