Saturday, October 12, 2013

Splendid Sulphur Saturday

Every now and then while on a hike, for one reason or another I'll say I need to come back and redo this one.  The reasons vary.  It could be to do it in nicer weather, or at a slower pace or in a different season.  That was the case with today's hike up the Cosmic Ray Road to Sanson Peak and Sulphur Mountain.  If you are one of my follower's, you may remember when I did this trip but as a snowshoe outing on December 29 of last year.  At that time, I thought this could be a nice trek when there is no snow.  Today, the time was right and I was happy to have a few friends who thought likewise.  

A few minutes after leaving the Cave & Basin parking lot, we arrive where the splendor began.  While the larch show is drawing the final curtain, many other trees are still in the midst of Act 2.  The plan was to work our way moderately along this section but the beauty kept a hold of us.  It was a day to enjoy this Act 2.     
The first few kilometers followed along side the Bow River.
I have confessed before that orange is my favourite color.
It still is!
We reached the junction and then it was time to begin the climb.  In preparation, I had a quick snack,  removed a layer and pulled my poles out.  Very soon, we were through the dense trees, next the sparsely treed area then the wide open space.  Could we be so lucky one more time with no wind nor snow.  The view behind us was big where we could see down into the valley and the highway heading west.
Today's climb was so much easier then it was back in December.  It seemed like in no time we were eyeing the meteorological station which meant we made it.  Before I went any futher, I captured my summit shot while still feeling jubilant for having made it.  To this point, it was just me and my friends but that would change now and I knew it and prepared for it.  I took a deep breath and then went for it, I got caught up in amongst the hundreds of tourists who also have come to this magnificant place. (Note:  99.9% of the folks on the top would have taken the gondola up the front side of Sulphur Mountain).
The historical meteorological station on Sanson Peak.
I walked the scenic board walk and took in the views.  There's Banff down below.  If you click on the photo it will open large for you to have a grandeur view.  You can see the Banff Springs Hotel center bottom,  that's Tunnel Mountain right in the middle.  
Some of my friends continued straight inside the teminal building, shown below, to dine.....
.....while I chose to pass right by the terminal building in favour of finding a nice spot outside where there was shelter away from the people and with a nice view.   Two of my friends were on board with that plan.  This was where we dined!  Perfectly peaceful!
1:00 pm was our regroup time so we hit the trail back to join up with my other friends.  This is my destination shot taken on the edge of the helicopter pad with the edge of the terminal building to the right and Sanson Peak just above my head.
descending the Cosmic Ray Road
in the trees near the junction at the bottom
The last three kilometers along the Bow River was still as beautiful as it was six hours ago but now we did have a little bit of my favourite blue to add to my most favourite orange.  We were surprised that it was still early and realized how quick a trip this was which even included a full hour and fifteen minutes at the top.  Yet still, I did not want it to end and lingered as our day did near the end.
I don't need to wait until Monday, Thanksgiving Day, to give thanks.  Today, like every other day I am in our mountain playground, I am truly thankful to have my health, the time and the friends to share such wonderful adventures with.

Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. A view I know well from the web cam. Have a special thanksgiving!


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