Friday, August 10, 2012

Helen Lake

Superlative.  Spectacular.  Beautiful. Satisfying. Amazing. Breathtaking.

This is why we hike the Canadian Rockies.  This hike.  I don't need to hike any other trails.  Ever.  Again.

I could just drive back to Helen Lake week after week.  I will traverse the side of this mountain.  I can stroll through those alpine meadows.  I should linger by the lake.  I can ascend to that ridge.  I can wonder at the beauty of God's creation.

And I will thank Him for giving me chance to see this view while I live in Canada.  For my health, for the family that I get to spend time with.  For my (almost) teenage son who loves this as much as I do and who exhibits no teenage behavior on these trails.  For my younger son whose small frame carries him as far as it does everyone else despite the fact that he has to take twice as many steps as the rest of us.  For my husband who comes alive again after a crappy week at work.  Thank you.  Thank you.

This was on the way up.  Will you believe me if I tell you the photo does not do it justice?  I was almost in tears contemplating the beauty of this place.  

Because these filled the alpine meadows.  Well, these and it seems like a million other flowers.

This was the view from the ridge.  No one wanted to leave.

So we built this.  

So what is it?  Our very first inukshuk!  We had never built one before, but we finally found a place that was worthy of leaving a piece of ourselves behind.

What does it mean?  The mysterious stone figures known as inuksuit can be found throughout the circumpolar world. Inukshuk, the singular of inuksuit, means "in the likeness of a human" in the Inuit language. They are monuments made of unworked stones that are used by the Inuit for communication and survival. The traditional meaning of the inukshuk is "Someone was here" or "You are on the right path."

Even the way down was wonderful.

Helen Lake:
Distance: 9.5 miles
Elevation: 1800 feet
Miles hiked in 2012: 59
Miles hiked since arrival in Canada: 128

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