Saturday, August 12, 2017

North Molar Pass August 12, 2017

My brain hurt after today's hike from all the wrapping around it felt like it had to do!  It was a Somewhat Surreal Saturday.  We lived out this day off the Icefield Parkway with a hike up to North Molar Pass then off exploring in the opposite direction in Search of Something Special.  I was happy to have along old friends to catch up with and an opportunity to make new friends.  We hiked!  We explored!  We discovered!  This day really did happen!
We met at the Mosquito Creek Parking Lot shortly after eight and it was quite chilly, chilly enough that my knees were shaking.   I thought I read the high for up where we would venture to was to be about 15 degrees Celsius.  I came prepared for that from the waist up.  Not long into our hike along The Creek we felt it warm up quickly and were down to short sleeves quite fast.  We reached the open Molar Meadow to see it carpeted in wildflowers and also to see our vast bright views would be limited due to that smoke still hanging about.  I felt I was needing something to smile about and this did the trick!  My mind was elsewhere and I was working at getting with the program but it was a struggle.
For a few this space was new.  We took lots of time to admire our surroundings.
When I arrived close to this location along the trail, I stopped and stared.  It took a few seconds to realize I was standing next to the Mosquito Tarn.  It looked like all green meadow at first and it was hard to tell where the tarn began and where it ended.   I got my mind around it and then it all became crystal clear just as clear as the tarn was.
reflection in Mosquito Tarn
We worked our way along the meadow, rock hopping the creek to the opposite side.  
I looked back again to see the Tarn take on a whole new look  
We ascended the scrabbly section up to North Molar Pass.  We went down a tad on the other side to settle in for lunch.  After lunch I took my camera and went up slope for vaster views.  When I reached the top and turned to look behind me the landscape took on a whole new hue that looked familiar.  I rattled my brain trying to figure out why this looked like something I saw before and why I loved this look so much.  It hit me!  This reminded me of Landmannalaugar in Iceland.
looking down at the trail and my friends
No you are not in Iceland!  
You are off the Icefield Parkway!
My destination shot at North Molar Pass.
"Walk like an Egyptian" someone said!
looks like baby Dolomites
It seemed like my mind was travelling the world today!  It looked like Iceland in places, we walked like Egyptians and my mind wonder to what the true Dolomites might look like after seeing the tiny ones that were gigantic.  Then I found myself feeling like I was back in Iceland!  Each time in the past that I ventured to North Molar Pass I looked off to the west and north wondering what could be up there and out there and over there.  Before heading out today I did a bit more homework and discovered the real Mosquito Lake was over another Pass.  My friends were as keen as me to seek it out.  We scampered up the final steep slope then rounded the corner and saw this sight.  Ah!  Landmannalaugar!  Ah!  Iceland!  Gosh I was feeling tired by now!
We were not able to see a safe route down to the lake from this point but did see a way to reach it which I would like to do another day, another year.  Seeing this lake and it's color was such a nice surprise, it lifted my spirits.
looking back and up at where we just were with the lake being down the other side
back at Mosquito Tarn
We saw this fellow from a distance at first and it looked big enough to be a marmot.  Yet it didn't have the coloring or the shape, only "looking the size".  It didn't move, it just stood there.  Yes, stood there, almost looking like it was bulking up to make a disguise and look bigger.  It took zooming in with my camera to see what it really was.
After leaving the meadow behind and getting back into the trees, we just motored along to the back country campground.  We took a good long break to snack and rest.  It was hot and we were all feeling tired.  A level of happiness set in when we reached the parking lot, ditched our gear and aimed for Mosquito Creek.
The water was freezing, my feet became numb, but what I could feel felt fabulous!  

While I finally did get my head around all that stuff I thought I saw or I didn't see along the hiking trail, I'm still working at comprehending what happened and what I saw just before we arrived at the trail head parking lot.  The few cars ahead of us were slowing, I thought bear sighting and then I did see a black bear walking the middle of the road.   A few seconds later I saw a dead baby black bear in the middle of the road and that was the mother black bear circling her baby.  It almost looked like the mother black bear was saying come on honey get off the road.  Then we realized the mother was in distress not wanting to leave her little one.  This was so terrible to see and very upsetting.  My emotions let go and I lost it!  A few minutes later we arrived at the parking lot and my friend was already there and came right over.  She seemed somewhat shocked.  I felt for her and felt sorry she had to see a speeding tour bus hit and kill the baby black bear  right in front of her and then speed away even faster.  Our other friends arrived a few minutes later and they were saddened and shocked too from what they saw.  I had a difficult time letting this go and getting on with enjoying our hike.  I was able to, to a certain extent, but that image kept popping into my mind.  I always appreciate being able to share fun times with friends out in our mountain playground living out our passion.  I just wish today got off to a different start!  It is what it was and I feel so sorry for that!

1 comment:

  1. Heart breaking to have this wonderful hike start in the way it did. Poor mother bear!


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