Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, August 31, 2013

(remember to breathe)

The slogan (remember to breathe) was featured on the sleeves of the people staffing the Travel Alberta information center in Canmore. When I commented on that wonderful slogan I was handed the newly updated Official Alberta Travel Planner; apparently it contains more word gems.

I had some ideas about what I wanted to see today. I stopped at the info center to verify that they were good destinations, to check that the trails were open (no bears!), and to explore ideas for more wandering. I thought that Peyto Lake was likely to be the northernmost point on this trip but I've changed my mind; I think I'll be driving past there at least once and possibly twice. Having more possible destinations than I have days here is a good problem to have, isn't it?

I left Canmore, heading north on Trans-Canada highway 1. It's a 4-lane divided highway running north from Banff before turning to the west just north of Lake Louise. I was fascinated by the overpasses that are fenced and vegetation-covered, existing solely to provide wildlife with a way to cross the road. I continued north on route 93, stopping briefly at the beginning of the road where park officials checked for current park passes. I was set since I bought an annual pass when I first entered Banff yesterday. It turns out that buying an annual pass was one dollar less than buying daily passes for the 7 days that I will be here. Hmm... maybe that gives me an excuse to head somewhere in Atlantic Canada next summer.

Soon after passing the park checkpoint a view of Hebert Lake on the west side of the road tempted me to stop. There wasn't a pull-off there but just after I saw the lake there was a sign for a picnic area. Awesome! I parked the car and walked close to the lake to absorb some beautiful reflections.

I stayed a bit longer than I expected, time well spent soaking up the beauty.

Bow Lake was my primary hiking destination for today. I headed down the trail, stopping often to look at the glacial blue color of the water, at the mountains across the water. The trail skirted the north side of the lake; I was heading to the west. I was planning to follow the trail to Bow Glacier Falls but I changed my plans when I saw the state of the trail past the end of the lake. The trail entered the woods, meandering up and down and becoming wet and very mucky. I decided the walk by the lake made me very happy; since I wasn't enthused about traversing a slippery trail into the falls I turned back a little early. Since the light changed as the day wore on I continued to play with my camera on the walk back out.

I ended my northward journey for today at Peyto Lake, walking up the steep hill from the parking lot to the viewpoint way above the lake.

I changed my route home just a bit, veering onto the Bow Valley Parkway from Lake Louise until just north of Banff. I stopped a few times along the way to see empty railroad tracks running next to the Bow River. No train today, just empty tracks...

It was another good day. It was quite chilly when I left this morning but by the end of the day I had shed my warm layers and was wearing summer hiking gear again.

reflections in Hebert Lake, along Icefields Parkway, Alberta
reflections in Hebert Lake