Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Johnston, Louise and Agnes

Yes those names all sound like they could be characters on Downtown Abby, but no, they are the names of some of the most incredible locations in Banff. We started out the morning with a hike up Johnston Canyon, which thankfully had been cleared of the fallen trees. The cliffside walkway overlooking the roaring river below was spectacular, as were the falls. That sentence sounds a little too proper. Let me just tell you, it was legit. 



Next we took the Lake Louise chairlift. It boasted to be the best place in Banff to spot a bear. I wasn't too worried about it since we already had our bear sighting. We just enjoyed the view. What I was worried about was the growling and snorting we heard coming from a cluster of trees while walking around at the top. Jason was 110% convinced it had something to do with water going into a pipe since the premises was protected by an electric fence. Other people who happened to walk by heard the same sound and weren't buying the whole gurgling water story either. We asked the chair lift attendant about it as we were getting ready to head down, he casually responded "oh yeah, they can get past the fence. It was either a bear or a wolverine." Pretty convinced it wasn't Hugh Jackman hiding in the trees (winky face).


Lake Louise was our last stop for the day. As much as I was hoping for sunshine to illuminate that ethereal blue water, the overcast skies gave it a mystical beauty that I couldn't be too mad about.


We looked into rooms at the Fairmont Chateau just for kicks. They started out at $900 a night. We settled for hot chocolate from their cafe just so we had an excuse to walk in and gawk. But I'll tell you what, that hot chocolate sure hit the spot on that freezing cold summer day.

Jason taking a picture of me taking this picture. You've got to do what it takes to get the right angle!

I had researched a cool hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House on top of the mountain. It was a 3.6 km hike one way, the tea house closed at 5:00 and it was already 4:45 so we decided to forget the tea house and just hike a little ways up to get a better view. We should have known once we set off on the trail we were in for the long haul. One of those, "let's just got a little ways more", "just until the next lookout", "we're already half way there", "we might as well go all the way" sort of deals. But we had things working in our favor, the first beauty is that we had no kids begging us to turn around and the next beauty was that the sun didn't set until like 10:00, so we kept on trucking up that hill and I'm so glad we did.

Mirror Lake was an unexpected beautiful pit stop. And then we found ourselves trekking through snow and ice the rest of the way. In case you forgot, it's June. And it's 120 degrees at home.

We finally made it and it was absolute serenity. A nice croissant and cup of steaming cocoa from the tea house would have been nice, but the view alone made it worth it.




You can't see it but there is a huge waterfall cascading right below Jason. So much beauty everywhere you looked up there, I'm so glad we decided to "just go a little bit farther" and made it all the way up.

We made it down and admired the view a little longer. Usually when we're on vacation without the kids I can't help but think how much the kids would love to be there, this time was different. I can say with complete confidence that the kids would have hated all the long drives and scenic hikes (we logged 32,559 steps, 13.88 miles and an equivalent of 240 flights of stairs that day). The only thing Kylie would have loved was the chance to spot her star crush Cameron Boyce who just so happened to be at a few of the same spots we were at on the same days. We did run into a group of well dressed teens at the bottom of the trail who were staying at the hotel. I was wondering how they could afford to stay somewhere so nice. I told her it was Cameron Boyce. It made her entire year.

And the only thing that could make this day even better was another bear sighting on the drive home AND a rainbow. And like our 4th attempt at Doctor Strange next to the fire.


1 comment:

Just me said...

Heavenly. I know that feeling of "just a little bit further" - always worth it. You are very brave to walk in snow and sit near ice covered lakes wearing SHORTS! :-)