For a couple of days before hand, then as I lay my head on the pillow last night, including heading out the door this morning and for the whole drive to Lake Louise my summit goal for the day was to be Mount Saint Piran. But from the moment I stood facing Lake Louise that goal changed and an upside down kind of day began! I now gave myself an option of either summiting a Mount or a Hive and I have marked my choices and would make the decision as I went along. Yes, I did mark my choices, remember I just said this was turning into an upside down kind of day!
I programmed my 60CSX and went on my way. Before even leaving the Lake, I saw a summer reflection, autumn colors and winter frost, yet the warmth felt like spring!
I veered off up the trail that said Lake Agnes this way and very quickly found myself by myself. It didn't take long before I arrived at Mirror Lake. There was one of my possible destinations mirrored in Mirror Lake. I decided I would make my final decision on either the Mount or the Hive by the time I reached the next junction.
I couldn't decide by the junction and as Mother Nature was calling, I choose to head to Lake Agnes and answer her call first. I arrived only to find myself by myself. I hung out for awhile and had a snack and to see if others would arrive but no luck. I scouted out my options, saw no snow anywhere, but seeing as I was solo, I still needed to make a safe choice. Whew, I made a decision! As I eyed the Devil's Thumb, I would pass on the Mount, go for the Hive and check out the trail to the Thumb while I was up there. How did the Thumb get caught up in the mix! How could it not with an inviting view like this!
I circumnavigated Lake Agnes and was thinking the whole way how nothing was black and white today. I guess when you are solo you can play that kind of game of winging it as you go. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see the Lake Agnes Teahouse.
What was black and white to a certain extent, was that today was full of color. Although one flower looked like it was ready to give into winter frost and the other beamed brightly like a mid summer day.
I made it to the Big Beehive! I was Queen of the Hive! Once again, I found myself by myself! I enjoyed the view, took some photos, had lunch and tried to decide where to go next. The Devil's Thumb was close by and it has been on my to-do list for this year. Decisions! Decisions!
While owing the Hive, I noticed these off in the distance. I wasn't able to figure out from my GemTrek what they were! Hhhhmmm! After 30 minutes of ownership, I packed up and hit the trail towards the Thumb, but very soon into hitting it, I turned back deciding this wasn't going to happen today and certainly not solo.
The Hive would be my high spot for the day and I was content with that but I certainly was not happy with the little distance I covered so far. I made another decision, I would followed the Highline Trail and join up with the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail and carry on to see the Death Trap. Along the way, there was autumn and winter right in front of me.
I reached the trail that heads to the Abott Pass Lookout and the Death Trap and my decision was made for me! This was the end of the trail for me today! It would be all down hill from here so after another thirty minute break, I went down hill. Figuratively and literally! I covered about 11 kms so far and I was feeling tired and had about 6 kms back to my car.
I landed at the Lake and took a break to enjoy the view and the warmth from the sun.
I watched others who knew exactly what their agenda for the day was and I enjoyed watching them enjoy their adventure. At this point I was very happy with the outcome of my indecisive day and realized I made wise decisions all along. I got to enjoy peacefulness, scenery, all four seasons and lots of color.
There are not many more days left this year that one will be able to enjoy the Lake Louise area coat-free, boot-free, hat-free, snowshoe-free, mitts-free! While I enjoyed visiting Lake Louise today under these ideal autumn conditions, I love the area just as much when it is a winter-wonderland! I'll be back to see the area in all that glory!