Sunday, September 30, 2012

Canada Vacation–Post 4

On Friday, September 14 we hiked up the Iceline trail. The first few hundred yards was tough climbing, but the view across the Valley to Takakkaw falls was stupefying and the glaciers and glacial melt and pools struck awe in both of us. By this time, perhaps because we were starting to feel the crunch of half of our time gone, we were getting jaded and merely expected to continue to see the high, rugged peaks we had seen every day since entering the National Parks and this trail did not disappoint us. We had not only the view of Takakkaw Falls, but up and down the valley and despite the trail kicking our butts we gaped at the spectacular views until we finally had to descend down into the trees again as we took the trail to Lake Celeste. The lake was beautiful, really, but the creek leading to the lake and the Yoho River in the Yoho Valley at the bottom kept our spirits up.

Iceline Trail


IT 6

IT 5

IT 8

IT 22

The next day we hiked back up the Yoho Valley to Twin Falls. It was an easier hike and didn’t have the valley views, but we had a great day all the same. The river and all the tumbles of water were gorgeous. I could hike this trail many times and never tire of it.




Twin Falls


Laughing Falls

Twin Falls Chalet

Twin Falls Chalet. The single story part was built in 1904, the two story part was built in 1923. This sits near Twin Falls and is accessible only on foot. During the summer season it is open for coffee and tea, as well as backpackers who wish to stay in nearby cabins overnight.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Canadian Vacation–Post 3

On the 12th of September, the next day after my last post, we hiked from our campground a short distance to Silverton Falls, then circled back and hiked up to Rockbound Lake, an eight kilometer hike that was fairly steep until the last half mile, which turned very steep. The payoff, though, was a stunning place to eat our lunch and enjoy the view.

Silverton Falls

Silverton Falls


RLT 12

Tower Lake, which is just 1/2 mile below Rockbound Lake


RLT 24

Rockbound Lake

RLT 17


The next day we drove to Lake Louise, an extremely popular lake with easy access and, as a result, a huge resort and hundreds of people. Lake Louise is truly beautiful, but we hiked up to Lake Agnes and both Ben and I liked Agnes much better than Louise. The hike was steep and fairly intense, but well worth the time, energy and sweat spent to get there. We stopped there long enough to have a tea latte in the tea house of Lake Agnes. After the hike we drove to Moraine Lake and then set up camp at Kicking Horse Campground in Yoho National Park, British Columbia. It was a wonderful campsite with a great deal of history, being the original campsite of railroad workers when they first put the railroad in.


LL 6

Lake Louise


Lake Agnes Trail

On the Trail to Lake Agnes


LA 4

Lake Agnes


ML 2

Moraine Lake


By this time we had been in Canada for five full days and were feeling a sort of glee as though we still had a lot of time to hike and see many more mountains. The following day, however, we had been away from home for an entire week and were beginning to feel a panicky sense of having to leave much too soon.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Canadian Vacation–Post 2

Johnston Canyon and Boom Lake

The Morning of September 11 we hiked up Johnston Canyon. It was a terribly crowded trail, since many tour buses let their patrons out to hike up to the falls, but the canyon is (pardon me, please) truly spectacular. Johnston Creek is bright turquoise with just a little turbidity from glacial rock powder.

JC 3


JC 27

The Lower Falls


JC 17


JC 7


JC 13


JC 1

The Upper Falls


People from all over the world hiked this trail. Almost all of them were friendly and pleasant. Even though we hiked with the crowds the canyon was so beautiful we really didn’t mind being among so many people. The crowds did thin considerably after the first falls, so we were able to speed up considerably. We ate lunch in a little hidden spot just off the trail parking area, then we hiked up to Boom Lake.

The trail to Boom was a little over five kilometers and was a bit more of a challenge than the Johnston Canyon Trail, but wasn’t a difficult hike. We saw only a few people at Boom Lake, in contrast to the hordes in Johnston Canyon. The lake (bear with me) was so beautiful we had to hang out on the lake shore just gazing at the water, the mountains and the sky.


BL 6


BL 4

Monday, September 24, 2012

Vacation in Canada

We just got back home from a camping & hiking vacation in the Canadian Rockies.


I have always loved the Rocky Mountains down here – have almost always lived in them – and I still do, but the mountains up there are so rugged, austere, and majestic that we both fell in love with the Rockies all over again. I am in great danger of severely abusing superlatives in describing the Canadian Rockies, because of their harsh beauty, that I may sound overly subdued out of caution. In reality I was so profoundly awe-stricken the entire two weeks we were there that I was on overload.

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting highlights and pictures of our trip. One of the people we met up there (we nick-named him Edmonton because he was from Edmonton and though we talked with him two or three times every day we were in the same campground we never found out his name) said that pictures never show the magnificence of the mountains so he never takes pictures; rather, he just goes back to the mountains to get his fix. Easy for him to say, he is so near the area he can go a few times every year. We took nearly three hundred photos. No, they don’t show the magnificence, not even close to it, but they do show enough you can understand the scenery; and that’s as close as I can show or explain.

We left home on Friday, September 7, 2012 and drove to the Kalispell area where we stayed overnight with friends Dave and Linda. They have a lifestyle very similar to ours with gardening, canning, making fruit leather and so on. Dave is now building a greenhouse/chicken coop like Ben and I have dreamed of for years and envy. Dave and Linda are very resourceful people and had to buy few of the supplies they needed to build it. Sorry I don’t have a picture of it, I just spaced that out. We had such a good time visiting with them that we didn’t leave until nearly noon on Saturday.


Not long after we entered Canada, we were in awe of the mountains.


We camped at the bottom edge of Kootenay National Park and then on Sunday we drove up to the north end to hike up the Stanley Glacier Trail and officially began our adventure. It rained so much that day that even with raincoats we got soaked, sloppy soggy and cold, but we had a great time on that hike and met people from all over the world.