Friday, July 24, 2020

Bow Vally Parkway July 24, 2020 Lake Louise Camping

I woke to hearing sprinkles landing on my tent so I was in no rush to make an exit.  It was a chilly morning and I was so comfy and cozy in my Talus.  Eventually the showers stopped and I peaked my head out and then made the exit to get going with the day. We each had a plan in our minds of what we wanted our day to be like.  We attacked our plans.  I opted to stick around awhile and enjoy a little more time at my campsite.  After two coffees instead of one a bit of breakfast, I got a move on with taking down my site and load it all back into my car.  

I aimed for the Bow Valley Parkway to have a nice big breakfast at an official open picnic site.  While setting up I heard a rustle and spotted a grizzly bear.  What are the chances? I wondered was it the same one we saw on Wednesday in the campground.  For this photo I zoomed in so it was not as close as it looks but it did mean packing everything back into my car and moving on down the road.  
I picked another spot much further along the Parkway.  I captured a few photos of the wildflowers which were incredible along the whole road.  I decided to make it an early lunch by now but enjoy it   inside my vehicle instead of at a table.  I did not want to have experience another What are the chances? of the negative kind!

In our world today I am working at living a life, finding enjoyment, being open to change, accepting what needs to be and that played a big part again in my day today.  While I believe life has always been this way, it seems more prevalent these days.  I am trying to be thankful for what I have and where I can go and by doing this I am finding joy where I never saw it before!  What are the chances?

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Skoki Aborted so Lake Louse & Bow River July 23, 2020 Lake Louise Camping

Today's plan was to complete some kind of a big hike up in the Skoki Region.  It was a later start due to waking to rain and working around and between the showers to get ready for the day.  We were ready and made the very short drive to the trail head only to arrive in a down poor.  We waited, we texted, we waited, we left, completed an errand, came back and got going.  We had a short period where the weather was beautiful as you can see in the first two photos.  We continued on to the forest section and then the sky opened, it poured, it thundered, we took shelter, we geared up more, we moved on, we took shelter, we moved on, we took shelter, it thundered.  We discussed what to do, I knew this was not for me, we aborted the plan for today and did a turn about and hiked back to our vehicles.  I wanted to do something so after a snack and a quick chat, we went in different directions to each find a way to save our day.   

I went to Lake Louise.  I wanted to see it even though I have seen it a hundred times.  I was thankful for the blue sky and the heat.  I strolled the shoreline for a bit and then came back and found a bench which I settled on and owned for an hour.  It was nice to just sit, snack, and take it all in.  Eventually it was time to move on and enjoy some campsite time. A beer, chips, hammock time, dinner and after that the evening was still young.

I scooted over to my friend's campsite to see if she was keen to walk the Bow River Loop before calling it a day.  She was onboard and immediately said I am taking my bear spray.  Cameras and bear spray in hand we walk the loop on a most beautiful evening.  We commented on high the Bow River was running and admired it's colour.

Before calling it a night, I hung out in my hammock and read for awhile.  It was a nice night and I did not want it to end but tomorrow was another day, filled with taking down camp, hitting a hiking trail and then having the drive home.  In our world today I am working at living a life, finding enjoyment, being open to change, accepting what needs to be and that played a big part again in my day today.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Iceline Trail & Yoho Lake July 22, 2020 Lake Louise Camping

What are the chances?

What are the chances that a grizzly bear would get inside the electrified fence that protects the tent-only camping section of the Lake Louise Campground?  That's what faced us this morning about 6:45 am or so while we are in the midst of having breakfast.  We hear "bear" and look and there it comes along the path between my campsite and my friend's campsite.  That's it in the middle of the photo, the head on the left of the tree, the rump on the right with the hump behind the tree. It looked at my friend and then carried on, it looked at me and then carried on.  We jumped in our vehicles and waited a bit. While waiting I shared the transpiring event with my friends on social media.  Figuring it was gone and safe now, we went about our business.  In about 20 minutes we hear a very loud voice yelling "IF YOU HEAR MY VOICE GET INTO YOUR VEHICLES IMMEDIATELY!" which we did and in a second I saw two Park Wardens pass in front of my car carrying large tranquilizer guns and the grizzly bear jumping through the bushes on the other side of them.  Once again we waited a bit and then got out and finished the unfinished business.  
We had a later start than planned for our Iceline Trail adventure 30 minutes west in Yoho National Park.  We parked, geared up,  and hit the trail. This is the view of Takakkaw Falls as we were getting ready.
looking back as we worked out way to where we would begin the climb
You can see in the middle of the photo what creates the waterfalls.  
This is a land of glaciers!
As we reached higher elevation levels the views opened up where we could see Daly Glacier.
feeling like I am at eye level with the mountain peaks and glaciers
There is still snow in spots up here.  I have been along the Iceline Trail a few times but there has never been so much water running as there was today.  We had lots of water crossings and even in spots where there are not normally water crossings.  Along this route I feel like I am so far out there or I should say so far back there, in the days of stone age and ice age!
incredible colours in this tarn
just being one with the rocks here while enjoying another lunch break
We picked a turn around spot and then decided to carry on with a loop around Yoho Lake.  
We had this view for a good long stretch.
eventually we would enter the forest at the far end of this traverse
We entered the forest then after hiking  a couple of kilometers we came out to Yoho Lake.  Oh the colours!  It was quiet here and a good place for another short lunch before the misquotes took control which they eventually did.  We chatted with two people who were working in the area that day.  They are with the division of Parks Canada that is responsible for clearing the trails of fallen trees.  Thank You for what you do!  They just came from the direction we were now headed and had just cleared the fallen trees from that trail.  What are the chances?
On the way in we noticed the trail sign listed a short hike into Hidden Lake.  Curious as to what it might look like, we veered off and came upon it quite quickly.  How does a lake get to be this green in colour, it was so pretty!  It is not a lake with access to enjoy a close up experience so we admired it and then continued on with the descent back to the trail head.

This day turned out being not quite what we had planned, we received a little more in some aspects and a little less in others.  In our world today I am working at living a life, finding enjoyment, being open to change, accepting what needs to be and that played a big part in my day today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Larch Valley July 21, 2020 Lake Louise Camping

What are the chances?  
What are the chances that there would be two campsites available side by side at the Lake Louise Tent-Only Campground.  When a friend and I decided we would like to camp and hike for a few days, we went onto the Parks Canada Website and there were two spots available, side by side, for the three nights we wanted.  In a matter of seconds they were ours!  

What are the chances that we would arrive at a full Moraine Lake Parking Lot only to be greeted by the two parking lot attendees who directed us to park in made up non official spots.  In a matter of minutes we were ready to hit the trail up to Larch Valley.  

What are the chances it would be so very quiet along the trail mid morning.  
It was WOW when we recached the opening!
The trail was clear and dry yet with more than enough snow in the meadow to build a snowman.   
The best boulder on the edge of Minnestimma Lake was available so we snatched it up.  We settled in for some lunch,  a rest, lots of admiring and of course me taking care of business.  We watched hikers heading up to and descending from Sentinel Pass.  Watching those that choose to slide from the top of the snow to the bottom was our entertainment.
perfect reflection
We began the hike back with the intention to check out a trail that leads off to the right.  
Before that though, there was still lots to admire.
When a group of hikers came along and spotted the marmot they yelled out "look at the beaver"! 
a tarn with the Valley of Ten Peaks as the backdrop
reflecting peaks
We found a well beaten defined path off to the right and we went for it.  The trail meandered through a meadow, down a hill, off to a most beautiful area where there was no one.  It was very quiet and we made sure to let the wildlife know we came for a visit.  This is the first time I ever saw a marmot standing for the longest time.  This is zoomed in from a good distance away.  It was one of the largest marmots I have seen and because it was standing, we thought it was a bear cub until I took the zoom shot and looked closer.
We found our way down to the creek and followed along for a little while.
This section was so beautiful!  
It's the clearest mountain creek I ever did see!

We finished our hike and drove to the campground to check in and set up our sites. This is my site and my friend's site is on the other side of the trees on the right of the photo.
dinner time
hang out time

Today played out in our favour.  It was good to be able to set up camp then have dinner then relax without having to deal with non-user-friendly weather.  In our world today I am working at living a life, finding enjoyment, being open to change, accepting what needs to be.  It's nice when "what are the chances" are positive bonuses!  But are they always???

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Bellevue Prairie Trail & Red Rock Canyon July 15, 2020

Of all days to pick to spend along the Red Rock Canyon Parkway in Waterton Lakes National Park, today was the day.  From the second I turned off onto that road the views were spectacular and never ending.  I hiked the Bellevue Prairie Trail which is the area where they say the prairies meet the mountains.  I read this route is blanketed with wildflowers and as it turned out that is saying it mildly.  It's not a trail to rush along (then again what trail is), it is a trail to do 360's which I did dizzily!  When I felt I had my fill I returned the way I came and then it was time to drive further on down the Parkway to Red Rock Canyon.  My intentions were to walk around the Canyon and then veer off and hike along one of the trails leading elsewhere.  There would be no going elsewhere from here as the trails were closed due to bears.  I spent a little more time at the Canyon and went down into it to be up closer with the red rock.  While there was no one at Bellevue when I was there, there were only five others here at the Canyon during my stay.  After leaving Red Rock Canyon I invested time at many of the pull offs just to take in the beauty.  Lunch time was picnicking at Coppermine Creek, it was a quiet sweet little spot just off the road with tasty views.  It had been years since I ventured down this road, long enough ago that today felt like a brand new experience!  July is absolutely beautiful here, I wonder what it looks like in September?