Canadian Rocky Mountains
Shadow Lake Lodge – Kids In The Backcountry Canadian Rockies
The junior travelling companions persevere with questions but it is obvious the answers do not benefit their trek up Red Earth Creek to Shadow Lake Lodge.
To the under eleven set, hiking uphill into the backcountry of Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains through mosquito infested evergreens on a plus 25 day is feverish and grueling, no matter that their pack is full of Smartie infested gorp and goodies of the same ilk.
Roughly every ten minutes, the inevitable verbal seesaw transgresses interchangeably between How Much and How Far? Seven minutes, three kilometers, two hours, nine kilometers, the response varies and so it volleys back and forth, the children more earnest and the adults seeking diversion. Usually, any response circumvents the tedium of the trail but only for increasingly shorter intervals. The made for adults’ slogan: “it is the journey, not the destination” does not compute in the small world.
Descending upon Shadow Lake Lodge, on the edge of the forest facing Mount Ball, with Shadow Lake tucked under its protective realm, is much anticipated and long overdue. With the older set fatigued by the questions and the kids fed up with the answers, the biggest spread of high tea this side of the British Isles easily lures. Save another day for exploration of the high country surrounds of Shadow Lake Lodge, which beckons more than enough recreation for two active youths – mirrored Haiduk Lake, Shadow Lake bridge (mind your handheld treasures, once dropped, the water below is swift and unforgiving), Gibbon Pass and Twin Lakes, all of which are accessible and beg discovery by young explorers and their intrepid accompanying adults. There are lake shores to plunge feet in, rocks to skip and hundreds of undiscovered mushrooms fringe the trails holding out to be catalogued by exuberant youth seeking points in a new game of seek. The intrigue of poisonous varieties allure little boys – how long it takes to die from one, does touch mean sudden death or slow demise, which ones require only the touch of a lip Juliet style, do the red ones kill fastest, are the grocery store look-a-likes safer? With almost as many query versions as How Long and How Far the adults aren’t ready to go down that path again on this visit.
By each days’ end, adults and children flop into the over comfortable beds (really, straw bedding would satisfy the rawest of muscles at days end with this fresh air mountain experience). Long forgotten are the endless How Far and How Long queries. Luckily for all, hiking has morphed from a chore into a journey. It is becoming less adult all of the time.
For more on Shadow Lake Lodge and other backcountry lodges in Banff National Park, see also:
Backcountry Canadian Rockies – Shadow Lake Lodge
Journey or destination? You know the query, edging into your brain at the most inopportune time, irritating your mental state, after you rationalized you just want to get there and you don’t care about the expedition.
Destination – Shadow Lake Lodge in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, just west of the famous resort town of Banff. ETA – impossible to determine as you beat off the most insolent members of the bug kingdom, weighty boots adding to gravity’s unwelcome pull as you slog up Red Earth Creek trail in Banff National Park. Your mind plays with how many more turns in the trail await before you can lie prone in those lofty pillow-soft beds, arms outstretched in angel position with legs released from the cast-like footwear, teasing you from taking pleasure in the moments that make the hike experience. Indian paintbrush and mauve harebells dance their mightiest to draw you, but even the beckoning creek side can’t pull your attention off the destination. At kilometer 14.6 the forest opens into a high alpine meadow and laid out across a west-facing corner is your home in the mountains. The discovery of Shadow Lake, Gibbon and Haiduk Pass await as you sip tea and drink in Mount Ball in the distance. The afternoon refreshment spread out in the 1928 CPR cabin tempts beyond the caloric intake of today’s ascent giving high tea a whole new meaning at this remote high country destination, an oasis of comfort and worth every step of the journey.
For more on backcountry lodges see:
Mother Nature Reveals Human Nature
Basements traditionally are damp. It is their main feature besides darkness which also keeps them damp. A lot of southern Alberta basements were more than damp last week when an unexpected flood swept down the Rocky Mountain fed creeks and rivers and gushed onto the Great Plains in an unprecedented surge, challenging and changing the lives of thousands. A part of the world that is far more familiar with drought than damp has discovered that Mother Nature can tip the water bucket over with outrage as well. Grey – brown, silty, slippery slime has defaced the world east of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, knocking farmyards, villages, cities and towns on their backs. A community in cleanup mode, generously coming to the aid of stricken neighbours, friends and strangers, has the city of Calgary and surrounds, still stunned in disbelief by flood waters and their path of destruction, heartened by the rally of relief. After a week when time had little meaning in the face of a disaster, now the height of summer creeps up with the promise of festivals that must go on (“come hell or high water “http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/calgary-stampede-will-go-ahead-come-hell-or-high-water-president-1.1339295 ) and lazy days ahead, but for now the cleanup continues to make tomorrow a better day and dry basements in the future.
For more on the Alberta Floods 2013 see: http://heathersimondsphotography.com/2013/06/24/glenbow-ranch-provincial-park-before-the-storm/