I was waiting for the perfect day to take my new car for a long ride with hopes of throwing in a short hike along the way some where. I needed winter to be over with and to have a clear dry highway. I got one of those as I took Touring two hours west to Lake Louise. I had the pedal to the metal at 6:00am and it was smooth sailing the whole way with little traffic and big scenery. The added bonus of a clear sky made for awesome scenery like the moon over the Three Sisters near Canmore.
Through the clear windshield of my new car and a clear highway, I had a clear view of Cascade Mountain right in front of me as I approached Banff.
Before carrying on to Lake Louise, I took a detour down to Vermillion Lakes at the far end of Banff. There's the moon again, plus the ducks by the water and you can't help but notice Touring. I like to be the first one and only one at these places early in the morning.
I had the clear dry highway the whole way, but I arrived at Lake Louise only to see that winter is not over with yet! If you check out my track on the google map below, you may think I swan or canoed across the Lake but this photo will show you, there is no way on this earth that was ever going to happen today. It's still winter here!
After getting my solo shot on the Lake, I wanted to get my short hike in and considered going up to Lake Agnes. This "Attention" signed was posted at the trail head. I took notice, continued on and assessed as I went. The conditions were not good, the trail was very narrow, slippery, and in spots it had given way. One thing in my favour was that it was still hard packed this early hour of the morning. Yet still, I decided I didn't want to be coming down this trail later so made my destination Mirror Lake and Big Beehive instead of Lake Agnes. I was pretty certain too that if Lake Louise and Mirror Lake were still snow covered that Lake Agnes would be too. After all, it's still winter here!
My hike ended up being on the longer side instead of shorter. Once back at the trail head, I followed the shoreline to the far end of Lake Louise and made a loop by hiking back right across the Lake. It was like a calling, they were being drawn, this is where I met hundreds of folks walking single file across the Lake towards me. Well, I was the first one and only one for awhile!
These are other signs that it's still winter here!
As I was leaving Lake Louise, I did notice that winter was leaving too!
The creek was ice free!
On my return trip, I retuned to Banff and saw spring returning here!
The river was running!
I retuned to Vermillion Lakes and saw signs of spring returning!
The ice is breaking up!
Next came a return visit to Canmore and instead of returning to see the Three Sisters, I hiked Policeman's Creek and saw signs of spring returning!
I was having such an amazing day touring in Touring, I didn't want it to end. Before leaving Canmore, I went for a Double Double for an additional pick-me-up. That gave me the boost I needed to veer off onto Highway 40 and visit Barrier Lake. No open lake to be seen here at all but winter is leaving and spring returning as you can see the ice beginning to push up. I hiked along the dam to the far end and sat for awhile enjoy the peace and beauty.
Now it was time to return home! I accomplished more than I set out to today and felt fully satisfied.