|Day 14 - Waterton Lakes
||[Jul. 4th, 2008|07:42 pm]
Well, I've had a lovely lasty proper day, despite everything the weather has thrown at me - and it has used most of its arsenal too!|
I slept surprusingly well in my tent - it was nice to have a room to myself for a chanfge! It was quite cold when I woke up at 5am, but snuggling back into the sleeping bag did trhe trick. And having showers on site is more civilisation than we had at Maligne Canyon hostel!
Some very black clouds in teh sky as I went into town (about a 2 minute walk!) for some breakast, at the same cafe (Zum's) as last night. And jusr after I'd got in, it hailed. That had stopped by the time I'd eaten so, after buying some lunch, I walked back to the campsire, as my walk started from there.
The walk was a climb to Bertha Lake, past Bertha Falls. An 11km round trip, with a 460m elevation gain (quite signivifcant). We clikbed gently to the falls, and then things got a little more serious, witha long set of switchbacks - up hill nearly all the way, but quite gradual.
Bertha Lake is a lovelty little apline lake, and there was still snow on the shore at the bottom of the surrounding moutnains. I'm not sure how, as the walk up had been through very lush plants, feeling almost tropical at times with th sun out. We are, of course, fuerther south here than up at Banff.
I had a little sit tyhere, then started back down again. A few rumbles of thunder in the distance alerted me to get my waterproofs on, and sure enough the rain came soon - and hard. The storm passed very close - strikes within half a mile, one of which hit the hill opposite me in a giant fork.
By the time I got back to the campsite (whjich was where I was going anyway) it was sunny again. My trousers are some clever material, so after a short time in the sun (eating my lunch) I was completelty dry again. So that didn't affect my plans at all.
My other plan for the day was to drive along one of the roads in the NP, the Akamina Parkway, which leads 15km to Cameron Lake. Which I did, and went on a lakeshore walk there. MOre beautiful snowy mountains at the far end of the lake. Quite busy with people on canoes and pedaloes.
Just as I got back to the wstart of the walk - more thunder and more heavy rain, by which time I was safely in a shelter there (some sort of exhibition buildilg about the NP).
That storm only lasted anout 15 mins, not coming as close, and when that was done I went on a very short walk (one km round trip) to Akamina Lake.
Going back to Cameron Lake, it struck me that this was the last thing I would See in Canada. But no! As I was quietely sitting by the lake, word spready around that there was a (female) moose just around the corner. Soon, a fairly sizeable crowd was watching it from a safe distance and taking lots of photos (me included!). It didn't seem at all perturbed by us, calmly having a drink, munching some grass and wandering around a bit in a marshy/lake area just off the car park. An extremelt fine creature, and a very fitting way to end this last day here.
So yes, a lovely day today, with lakes, waterfalls, and moose!
Backj to the campsite, to make sure my tent hadn't blown away. It was in fact trying quite hard to do so, so I pegged it down tighter. Completly dry inside - this has been a good test of it!
Dinner at Zum's - pork schnitzel with mushroom gravy, fries, vegetable and bread roll. Tasty. I'll be using the internet there in a moment (now!) too.
TOmorrow, more driving, as I go back north to Calgary. Shouldn't take more than three hours according to Google Maps, but I shall allow rather a lot more, especially as the Calgary Stampede is happening this week!
Narnia books read: 6.
I was going to say in an earlier post, but it was one of the 3 that got typed very fast. David: you would be advised to take a torch with you when you go hostelling. Not really in case of powercuts, but it can be handy if you're trying to find something in your bag when the main room lights are off because people are sleeping and you don't want to disturb them too much.
Another little competition: how many photos do you think I've taken over the course of this trip? THis is made more fun because I don't know either (as I transfer them off the camera's flash card onto my hard disk backup device at the end of each day, and this can't tell you how many it has on it). I've made my guess, which I'll keep secret of course!
Finally, just to day I sahll post some reflections on my trip sometime after I get back to the UK, when I can think (and type) rather more clearly than when a clock is ticking down money in the corner of the screen. Suffice it to say for now that I've had a simply wonderful time, and seen some amazingly beautiful places. To borrow a word once more from the Cree tribe, who lived in this area: Yoho!