Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chester Lake

Let's take a hike.

As you can imagine, since both C and I tend to be a little left brained, that doesn't mean drive out and pick a spot and hike. It means, "Let's plan a hike for this weekend."

So WE planned. Chester Lake it would be, Hike 11 in WLH. It was billed as an easy hike of 9 km (5.6 mi) with 315 m (1030 ft) of elevation gain.

WE got the map. WE copied the info from the book. WE packed a lunch and jackets and a compass and a survival kit and we were ready to go.

We left early Saturday morning and after 2 hours of driving, including 25 miles of gravel roads, we arrived at our destination.

The parking lot at the trail head was huge, but there were only 8 cars there. A good sign considering the guide book said this was the most popular trail in K-County. So far so good. And there were pit toilets. Also good. Because I have an 11 yo boy and an 8 yo boy, and pit toilets are good for all types of humor.

So we hiked the trail. It was wonderful. I may not have called it easy, but then C and I did not take a 20 mile hike on our second date. And we are confirmed flatlanders. But, it was definitely doable. And it was the perfect introduction to hiking around Calgary.

And I am very sorry, but I was so busy looking at what was around me that I took absolutely no pictures on the way up. But when we arrived I managed to drag my camera out of the backpack for this:

And I did manage to take a few shots on the way back down. This is my favorite:

On the way down I also began to understand what the authors of WLH meant when they said this was the most popular hike in K-County. The trail was packed. We must have passed 25 groups who were heading up as we were heading down. I swear a tour bus stopped and let an entire load off at the bottom. The parking lot was full, !00 cars, at least. We learned a valuable lesson - go early.

What else did I learn:

A beautiful day in the Rockies may be better than a beautiful day anywhere else.

My camera lens is to heavy and bulky. I need a lighter one.

That rule about keeping your dog on a leash. Apparently, many Canadians think that is a suggestion.

Easy to the authors of our guide book probably means moderate anywhere else. If they say challenging, I will be expecting Everest.

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