I had a blank canvas to start with when I laid my head on the pillow last night. I worked at sketching out a plan that would offer me an opportunity to stretch my legs in our mountain playground and that would show me a full color pallet. When I woke this morning my first thought was to aim somewhere along "where life begins at Highway 40" but after performing due diligence I nixed that area plus anything west on the #1 and opted for where all factors would be positively prime for safety and enjoyment.
I parked at the closed gate by Elbow Falls.
I hopped over the gate and hiked the highway.
I picked 10:30am as a turn-around time.
I only wanted to stretch my legs and see some color.
this is what that blank canvas transpired into
I began hiking at 7:30am as the surrounding slopes appeared on fire in these early morning moments.
I veered left down towards the pretty Beaver Ponds.
At the end of the Ponds, I carried on through the campground then exited back out onto Route 66.
The colors were gorgeous.
blue sky, white fluffy clouds, gold rock walls, snow-covered road
The canvas was beginning to fill with color.
I reached the Timber Harvesting Parking Lot and stopped for a few moments. I wondered how much further to Forgetmenot Pond. At this point I already hiked just over five kilometres which meant today would already be a ten kilometer day. My legs already felt stretched but it was such a beautiful morning I wanted to make the most of it. While taking a few moments here, I chatted with R.W. the biker, photographer, scrambler, adventurer. He then went his way back and I carried on forward.
The further down and further in I went, the more colorful and beautiful it became.
This section of the road was easy hiking as you can tell it is bare. I was able to make good time along here. I captured a destination shot here just in case I decided to turn around at any point. It was still early and I had not reached my turn-around time yet. I had lots of food and beverage with me along with extra layers. I continued on.
I reached the intersection and the barricade at the beginning of Powderface Road. Turning left would get me to Forgetmenot Pond in a few minutes. There had been some really recent snowmobile activity and day old ski activity.
crossing the meadow towards the Pond with Powderface Ridge in the distance
After about 20 minutes of admiring the scenery, taking photos and then snacking, I packed up and headed back to the road to continue stretching my legs. My GPS showed just over ten kilometers to here so I knew what I had ahead of me. Looking back at the pretty picture as I left.
a last look back
After the first flat section back, I then put my head down and focused on getting to the top of the really really really long hill. I arrived back at the Harvest Timbering Parking Lot. I fueled up for the the last five kilometers. My legs felt already stretched enough, (I really don't need them to be any longer). With about 45 minutes left to go, the snow began. It was light at first then built up to be heavy and on the damp side. That didn't matter to me, I had the gear for it and my canvas was chalk full of color already anyway.
Nearing the end I heard yelling off in the distance.
Once around the corner I saw why all the yelling.
While my plan was for something on the shorter side today, I felt quite fine with what I accomplished. All that beach walking in Tofino last week must have kept my legs stretched more than I realized. If I was a true artist, my originals would be like the canvas I walked into today.