"bLog means boring-Log"
day 19 in mountie-land, (0 comments)
extending our stay here in banff for another night was the first thing we did today
. fortunately the room was available, so we did not have to move. so that was good news, and also that the weather got better actually. thus we happily got in the car, and drove northwards.
after a few short stops to enjoy the great scenery and landscapes, we soon arrived at a lookout over peyto lake[008-017]. the colour of the water was turquoise, the surrounding mountain looked amazing.
also, several days ago, i have noticed that some trees along the street were having their needles[005-006] and branches only on one side. my assumption that it is the cold wind freezing the sap and thus killing the branches and needles was confirmed a few days ago at the icefield glacier when our guide explained that phenomenon. so far i have not been close enough to such a tree to take good pictures of it, but now i have.
on our way to to the next lake, we saw two cars that just had an accident; a passenger was still penned in. it was a horrifying sight, but there were already loads of people there to help. still, it took more than 30 minutes until we heard the sirens of the ambulance car heading to place of the accident.
but at this time, we already were at the bow lake[018-035]. another reminder that we are deeper in the wilderness than we might think.
from the lake one can also see parts of the glacier snout of bow glacier[037-039] up in the mountains. we walked a little along the lakeside, took some pictures, enjoyed the view and the pure water of the lake (we spotted loads of fish), and then took a short coffee break at the num-ti-jah lodge.
there we had a little snack and tea for nina, and coffee for me. then we decided to have a little hike at lake helena, but a big red sign said it was closed because of grizzlies in this area. yeah, sure, like anyone would believe that there are actually bears around here...
ok, to be polite tourists and keep up the myth that there are bears around, we did not take this trail, but instead we went to lake louise[041-065] and took the lake agnes trail[041-120]. this trail runs past a little ground squirrel[046-048], the huge and rather ugly fairmont chateau[051-052,113] hotel, and a little statue of a happy swiss hiking guide, that showed people round long before it was so touristy as it is now.
while right at the shore loads of people took strolls along the lake, they were getting less and less the further away from the lake and up the mountain we walked. also it was already a bit late, and we were not sure if we would make it to our destination - a teahouse in the mountains - in time. quite a few people were on the descent, and some had encouraging words for us, that we can make it, and that it is not so far to the teahouse anymore. that was really nice, because the trail was really really steep and i think we looked quite exhausted (and actually we were exhausted).
at two third of our way up we took a short break at the small, but wonderful mirror lake[066-068,104]. we were the only ones, and it was very quiet and peaceful there. a really nice break. according to all the prints in the mud, this must be a rather busy spot during the day.
but we had to march on, to get to the teahouse in time, because by now, we really were longing for a hot beverage and something to eat.
after one and a half hour walking, and about 500 metres of elevation gain, we arrived at the teahouse[081-082,086,119-120], and fortunately it was still open. they had several blends of tea, but one of the guys working there told us, that the kitchen was already closed, and there was no food left. so nina had a herbal tea, i had a hot chocolate. and although they were the most expensive beverages we had so far on our trip, they were also the best ones we ever had. the high prices are due to the fact, that the five young people working there have to carry all the stuff themselves from the valley up to the house. they do so once a week.
also they have two small cabins where all the five of them sleep. they hardly have any electricity, and no hot water. they cook themselves, and have to carry down all the garbage too. but basically, they all seemed to enjoy the stay (although one girl had a fight with one of the boys about something concerning the earth toilets, and seemed pretty pissed). still, the guy we talked with assured us, on the whole they get along together pretty well, and they like the work they are doing here.
warmed up again, we started our descend and took a different route[090-104] down. at the mirror lake we got back to the route we have been taking uphill.
soon we got back to our car, and drove back to our accommodation, when suddenly i noticed in the rear view mirror a wonderfully lit mountain peak and clouds. so we stopped the car, got our camera gear and took some pictures. it really looked amazing, and the colours were quite intense.
but within 20 minutes the sun was gone, and darkness started to surround us. time to get back in the car and call it a day.
at home we were happy to take a shower, have a cup of tea, eat some of our groceries and get to bed.
track for day 19