ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
[personal profile] ilanarama
We crossed the border on Saturday July 26th, and it was a bit of an ordeal. Well, not compared to the officials tromping through our boat and hinting for bribes in the Dominican Republic, and the long forms that need filling out in St. Vincent, but still, we were Americans going into Canada and we thought it would be trivial. Alas, the customs and immigration officer immediately directed us to park and get out of our van while it was searched. I guess he saw our Colorado license plate and figured we were either liberals and therefore had weed, or conservatives and therefore had guns - and both are illegal in Canada. (He did ask some leading questions about marijuana!)

But they let us into Canada, and so that evening we rolled into Kootenay National Park and got one of the few remaining campsites at the National Park's Redstreak Campground. It was less than ideal due to the extremely loud extended family that partied all night next to us, but had the advantage of being hiking distance to Radium Hot Springs, where we soaked and enjoyed.

The next morning we drove into the main entrance of the park, waving the annual pass we had bought at the campground. It's a real no-brainer - unlike US national parks, which charge $10-$20 per car good for the week, Canadian parks charge by the day and by the person, and if you are going to spend a week or more in the parks, it costs less to just buy an annual pass (for slightly more than $100 US), so we did. It also means you can just wave at your pass and drive through while other people wait in line!

The road through Kootenay goes through the incredibly narrow Sinclair Pass:

Sinclair Pass Sinclair Pass

We immediately grabbed a camp at the Marble Campground and went hiking on the Stanley Glacier trail, which despite the iffy weather was fabulous. We had lunch in a cave behind a waterfall, out of the rain, then got up to a big ledge covered in trees to cross over the head of the valley and come down the other side. The view back down showed the classic U-shape of the glacial valley - so pretty!

Stanley Glacier trail Stanley Glacier trail waterfall

Cave behind the waterfall waterfalls

P1030973 Glacial valley

The next day the weather wasn't much better, but we hiked up to Floe Lake, which according to the guidebook is the most beautiful lake in Kootenay National Park...well, it was nice enough. I guess I would have been more impressed had the sky been blue! Actually, the most interesting part, for me was seeing the post-wildfire forest, with fireweed and new trees poking up through the snags and downed timber. One dead tree had fallen across one of the bridges, denting its metal framework!

Floe Lake trail Vermillion River

Floe Lake Trail Ouch

Floe Lake


Our final day in Kootenay NP, we visited a number of smaller sites. First we went to the Paint Pots, a place where water bubbles up through ochre mud that the native peoples used for dye:

Paint Pots area

Then we went to Marble Canyon, an impressively deep and narrow limestone gorge. There are a lot of these in the Canadian Rockies, as it turns out! The trail was set up very nicely, with lots of bridges and overlooks and explanation plaques about how deep the river was at various historical times.

Marble Canyon Marble Canyon

After visiting these short-hike sites, we left the park and drove to Banff, where we had a pleasant picnic by the river and bought some necessary outdoors gear (Britt got a new rain jacket, and I bought another pair of hiking socks). Then we drove to our next stop: Lake Louise.

These and more photos with captions but no other text at Flickr
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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Ilana

April 2017

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

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