Tuesday, a free day, how novel is that! No school, no work, no chores! The weather forecast was calling for "perfect" and the road reports said "clear sailing". That was the status of all things last evening and nothing changed over night. This morning I headed west to catch a ride up the Sunshine Road to where I could enjoy a day of color and contentment.
At times I am just a child at heart so how fitting to jump on the bandwagon with all the children who are riding the school bus for this first day back at school. This was my ride up that road that takes you to the "top of the world" at Sunshine Meadows.
I caught the first bus and arrived at the Village surrounded by cloud and fog. It was a strange feeling. As the moments went on and I moved on up the trail towards Rock Isle Lake, the fog began to lift and this is what appeared.
I already knew there would be much to love about today!
The scenery was impeccable.
I was releasing loads of deep sighs being in awe of what was right in front of me.
I veered right onto the Monarch Lookout Trail. The colors were out of this world wild. Lots of work has gone into improving the Sunshine Meadows hiking experience. While there are areas which are now off limits, other areas for viewing from have opened up. There are many more signs and so many objects that look like cameras or microphones.
along the Monarch Lookout Trail
the only kind of wildlife I saw today
The clouds were clearing as I was heading west towards British Columbia. I could see mountain peaks peeking through the clouds. There was rain last night which equals snow on the mountain tops.
I forgot all about the coming of larch season until I saw some of the larches have changed already. Thankfully only a very few have changed. I would like to get up this way but deeper into Simpson, Healy areas for full on larch season.
I arrived at the Monarch Viewpoint to witness this view. Those deep sighs I talked about earlier, well I still had more in me to release here. It was a good spot to enjoy some snacks and just breathe it all in.
Down the hill I went towards Simpson Pass area. I did not want to go too deep down because I did not feel for the big ascent back up. I stopped at the wide open rocky spot, sat for quite some time just being thankful that I could be here today.
view of the meadow area on the way to Simpson Pass
I hiked back up and retraced my steps back along the Monarch Lookout Trail now heading east.
I took a detour up to the Standish Viewpoint Deck.
From the Standish Viewpoint I zoomed in close towards The Monarch and Grizzly Lake. I was shocked to see how close that fire last summer came to Grizzly Lake. I felt a bit sad. I also felt a bit sad knowing too we can no longer venture across The Monarch Ramparts.
It was time to move on down the Standish Hill and head towards the three Sunshine Meadow lakes. This is Rock Isle Lake from the back side. I just thought, this could not be more perfect. I met a lady here visiting on her own from North Carolina. In a way I felt proud that this is my territory and she is getting to see it at its best.
We offered to take each others photos and this is the one she took of me.
Thank you for your suggestion on this idea.
The trail continued on towards Grizzly Lake.
some green, some gold
Grizzly Lake is so pretty.
When I saw the burnt section on the other side I felt sad again.
It will come back and I hope to be able to see it at its best again one day.
This is Grizzly Lake showing the fire came right down to the edge of the water.
Then there is Laryx Lake. Just when I think how can it get anymore beautiful here, it then does! Along here there is now a wonderful view point with numerous benches to sit for snacks. I met up with the North Carolina lady again here. We had lunch together and talked about our travels.
along the trail by Laryx Lake
I spent some extra time at Laryx Lake watching the clouds dance and make reflections. Then it was time to move along and up out of the valley holding the two lakes. The colors continued to be impressive.
I reached Rock Isle Lake again and chatted a few more minutes with Ms North Carolina. She was aiming for the 3:00 bus due to commitments and I was just aiming for whatever bus was there when I got there.
I left the Lakes behind and meandered along the trail that would take me back to the Sunshine Village. The scenery continued to beckon me to release even more long deep sighs. I didn't know I had so many in me.
This was my last photo before aiming down hill and calling it a day.
This whole day was amazing from beginning to end. There have been improvements to the shuttle bus service which I appreciated. They may only have come into play today as yesterday was the last day the gondola was in operation. The numerous tourists who were here today and who I talked with were in awe of the beauty. Sunshine Meadows had so much to show off today and it did so like there was no tomorrow. Well, I know there will be a tomorrow and many tomorrows here when it is just as beautiful. I want to experience another one of those tomorrows up here before winter is upon us!