I woke up about 7am and snapped this picture of a bird outside of my car
I walked across the street for breakfast at the Fireside Lounge and Bar
After a decent omelet I walked over to the outdoor retailer Tamarack where I would catch a shuttle to Cameron Lake (indicated by the number 5 on map linked below) and then hike the 12 odd miles back to Waterton Townsite on the map.
Waterton-National-Park Map Download
There were about 12 of us on the shuttle for this late season hike. We pulled out after watching some foxes frolicking in the brush (animal BINGO!). I grabbed a few quick shots of the lake in the cool morning frost and hurried up the trail to put some distance between me and my competition.
Here is a link to the trail description Alderson-Carthew Trail Description
I had been doing a fair amount of cardio training before leaving for this trip, thereby making the uphills at the start of each of these hikes fairly pedestrian. Within an hour of plowing through switchbacks I reached the ridgeline and stopped for a breather at a glacial lake
I kept going and my feet began to cry out. Since I picked up these latest boots at a REI garage sale for $8 I have had few blister problems. Before that I would have to wrap my entire foot in athletic tape before heading out on a hike over 5 miles. I made it a few hundred feet more and stopped on an exposed part of the trail to gain some warmth from the sun
When I took off my boot, I saw that my heel was pretty torn up on each foot. In the process of taking off my boots I kicked my boot of the trail and it tumbled about 20 ft before getting caught behind a rock. It could easily have kept going over the edge for a few hundred meters (feet to the American out there). I am not sure what I would have done at that point, most likely made duct tape shoes and kept going. So, I put some antibiotic cream and second skin on my heels and hot spots on my toes and then wrapped them in tape
I was actually pretty proud of my work as they did not bother me for the rest of the hike, but it did mean I would be treating my feet for the rest of the trip pre-hike.
A couple guys had passed me in the process of fixing my feet, so I had to start moving a bit quicker to catch then as we continued our ascent. After all, if you are not hiking to finish 1st what else is the point? Commune with nature, please.
Above is a shot of a point that extended off the trail at our highest elevation of the hike. I dropped my day pack and walked over there to snag some shots. Below is my first look at a Marmot (BINGO!). They are described in the link as a large ground squirrel. I can attest to that as I have seen some pretty fat squirrels in my backyard that must have done some cross breeding with one of these on a trip out west.
I grabbed a few more shots and picked up my pack and started back down on the trail back to the town of Waterton
I bounced from lake to lake as I finally caught the lead hiker
I took a side trail to the Lake shown above. It had a nice campsite and would make for a great overnight. I think it was called Diamond Lake, but I probably just made that up
I got into a groove and worked my way through the last 5 miles
The below shot is my first view of the Waterton coming around the last corner
The trail ends at a waterfall
I got lost a bit on the streets, but eventually found my car and began to make my way back out of the park. I made a quick stop at Red Rock Canyon and then headed north towards Banff
I saw a shortcut from the freeway that looked to bypass the freeway heading East towards Calgary and would create a straight shot to Banff. I turned off the road and was immediately on a dirt. I was flying along at 75 mph and came across this guy who actually kept swerving in the road ahead of me making it difficult to pass. I guess he was just bored and wanted some entertainment and I was happy to oblige.
My shortcut turned long and I was in Banff about 8pm.
I have not been to Vail Colorado but Banff is what I imagine it to be like. Lots of rich sorts strutting through the streets in their fashionable outdoor gear. I was in a struggle to get cleaned up and hit a brewery but at the same time wanting to flee from the trappings of decadence. I parked the car and found a Laundromat to wash my clothes, but when I went in they said they were closing and I would need to return tomorrow. Well that sucked. I thought about just hitting a bar, but decided if I could find a cheap bed at a hostel where I could wash my clothes and be on my way early tomorrow then it would be worth the expense.
I drove back down main street passed all the 4 star hotels and parked at the SameSun Hostel Seemed decent and I scored a dorm bed for $35. A little high, but that is good for Banff
I was multitasking in maximum speed to get showered, set up in room, clothes watched, beer from the bar in order to be ready hit the town by 9pm. I got it all done, making sure that all my clothes were all ready for tomorrow so I could just wake up grab the pack and bolt out the door before anyone awoke.
I walked downtown and met some local Rugby players and such. We hit a few places and ended up upstairs at Rose and Crown Pub. The dance floor was jammed by the end of the night and somehow I kept myself restrained and my break dancing skills in check. I disappeared into the night when no one was looking and walked back to the Hostel.
Tomorrow was some local Banff hikes and then off to Lake Louise.
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