Monday, June 4, 2012

Lake Minnewanka

Saturday was a good day for firsts.

First 10-miler of the year.
First whitetail.
First rainy hike.
First "gourmet" trail food.
First time with my new hiking poles.

Heck, I'll come out and say it.  Saturday was just a good day.

Despite the fact that snow has been gone in Calgary for weeks, the mountain areas where we really want to hike this summer are still mostly snow-bound.  There was record snowfall this winter, and it just hasn't melted yet.  This has forced us to begin our hiking at some lower elevations.  

Lake Minnewanka is Banff National Park's signature lake.  We could have paid $130 for the boat ride.  No thank you.  We chose to hike it instead.  Five out and five back.  A little long for this early in the season, but the trail was pretty flat.  

We started early before the crowds.  We always start early.  We like to be the first or second group on the trail and usually by the time we are heading home, the late-risers are coming out in force.  We saw two people on the outbound trek and about 25 on the inbound trek.  We also ran into her ...

She was so beautiful and sweet.  She stayed right there despite the noise and disruption.  I was over-joyed.  She might have been a better surprise than the first moose.  I've seen many deer, but not like this.  

We stopped for lunch here.  Right on those rocks as the clouds rolled in and it started to sprinkle.  Hey, but we are scouts ... be prepared.  We just pulled out our rain pants and our jackets and ate in the drizzle.  It looked ominous, but I am happy to report that we just got the edge of the storm.  If we had been on the other side of the lake, we would have been soaked.

Lunch made me a hero.  I usually pack a sandwich or a peanut-butter bagel.  Not today.  I was better prepared and finally tried one of the recipes from Backpacker magazine.  Sitting on the shores of Lake Minnewanka, we dined on my version of Quinoa Taco Salad.  Now I have raised the bar ... what will I make next time?

By the end of the day, with tired feet, the sun came out just in time for this shot as we headed back to the car.

Distance: 10 miles
Elevation: 200 feet
Miles hiked in 2012: 29
Miles hiked since arrival in Canada: 98

1 comment:

Amy said...

Wow. Gorgeous.

I've done some hiking recently too, over at my other blog: