And so it began yet again!
The shout went out!
Hollars came back!
Loud & clear!
Wednesday eve a plan was in place!
The thought was take advantage Saturday, go big, then go home and batten down the hatches for what was in the forecast to hit us later into the night. I feel like we are stealing time with these gorgeous days in mid November. We hit the highway early aiming for Banff National Park with our objective being to hike up Cosmic Ray (back side of Sulphur Mountain) to the top, venture beyond and down a bit to a quiet secluded spot to dine, then return the way we came.
How does that saying go?
"Red sky at morning..."
"photographers pull over to capture it!"
I took this as a sign of the color & beauty we were in for today!
The first few kilometers followed the river.
The early morning light was devine.
It was calm & colorful.
We were aware of the grizzly warning for the townsite and surrounding areas of Banff. We paid particular attention at the closed in areas, being obviously a little louder because it was not busy at all, only three hikers passed us made up of a soloist then a pair. We admired our surroundings, enjoying the blue patches of sky. As we ascended the switchbacks, we heard a hollar but thought nothing of it and carried on our way. Shorthly thereafter, Agent-X saw big dark movement ahead. We acknowledged that by moving closer together and letting that movement know we were in the territory. Then, we let that go and carried on our way.
Nearing the summit, we encounterd snowy, icy conditions.
This was all the snow we had to contend with.
It added to the beauty!
Just before reaching the touristy boardwalk, was a good spot for my summit shot. The weather was moving all around us but never on top of us. Not much of a view behind me but it is what it is. I was high and happy.
view on our way along the boardwalk to the dining spot
Lake Minniwanka center shot
We bypassed the Cosmic Ray Station, circumnavigated the Observation Tower and made our way to a sheltered spot further along to take some time to dine. The views were not much. We shortened our stay, keeping in mind the weather could arrive earlier. We made our way back past the tourists, to the Cosmic Ray Road again. Play time is always important when "out & about" so Short Stop and I did just that.
We made great time on our descent and with the weather still on our side, we made a collective agreement to steal a little more time. We aimed for Sundance Canyon. I had never been. We made a stop along the way to snap some shots. I love the roof.
rocks in the creek at Sundance Canyon
color galore in this place
We went quite a distance into the Canyon, crossed a few bridges then decided we should make our way back. Being rather flat, we went for fast to finish, but not before stopping one last time for a final photo.
As we neared the Cave & Basin, the Parks People were locking up for the night. We joined up along the trail and they asked if we saw the grizzly. They shared with us that there had been many reported sightings throughout the day, throughout the area. We put two and two together and realized what the hollar was we heard early on then the big dark movement sighting.
There was no guilt felt with "stealing" today! Only feelings of that happiness high that comes with sharing time with friends in our beautiful mountain park that is right out our back door.