Sunday August 9th, 2015, 4:30am (Yes, AM) I am up and at it! Everything packed the night before, Nolan’s carrier pack, water pack is in the carrier, diapers, clothes, blankets, rain stuff, lunch bag is full with a freezer pack and I have figured out how to hang it on the back of the carrier. This pack doesn’t even have Nolan in it yet and it already has a good weight to it, how on earth am I going to do this? AH!
Nolan is up, sort of – haha! Has his bottle, a changed bum, new clothes and is stuffed in the car by 5:15am and ready to continue sleeping while mom drives around looking for an open Starbucks so I can have some caffeine on the drive out! Only takes me driving 45 minutes around Calgary to 5 different Starbucks to finally find one that is open at 6:00am. *hand in face* – NO! I did NOT want Tim’s!
We finally pull up to the Lake Louise parking lot around 8:00am. Was a nice drive, light traffic, just the way I like it. I would MUCH rather leave early in the morning, avoid traffic and get a good spot. AND! – Easy drive for Nolan to, he slept the whole way! As usual, we set up in the trunk of the Jeep and have some breakfast, make sure everything is packed up properly, we are dressed accordingly, boots on, all sun screened up, and Nolan gets stuffed in his pack and we head out at about 8:30am!
I am a little nervous, as I am doing this by myself with Nolan, but so excited at the same time. I didn’t realize how heavy all of this was going to be! I have him in his pack, and I sit down on the cement and start strapping myself in. My goodness – I cannot get up! I cant possibly do this! But – I did get up off the ground with him on my back, and we make our way to the trail. Every step, my legs just shook! I definitely said to myself a few times I was going to turn around but no – I just kept on going. Nolan was chatting to EVERYONE as we passed them, sticking his hand out to the side and even getting highfives as we went along.
We started out at the base by the hotel, and continued to the right side of the lake, towards the back. I think that was about 3.3km or so. Once we got to the back of the lake, it was another 3.4 up to the Tea House. The morning started off pretty cool but as we started making our way up and it got harder – I got hotter and hotter! Nolan kept me going though! I am always more cautious with him on my back as I never want anything to happen to him and wouldn’t want to go on anything to crazy I wasn’t comfortable going on even my self. As it got steeper, it got more rocky and I felt more and more unstable on a lot of my steps. the rocks got bigger and I got slower but people kept telling me I was close. I also was able to keep up with these two couples, one who I think was roughly around my age and another were older but – they were on a mission! ha-ha. We kept catching up to each other and taking photos for each other which was nice, but I felt good in my pace as I was able to keep up with them.
He must have just fallen asleep as we got to the top. When we got there, there was a couple with a little girl and a little boy that they had each carried up as well. I remember seeing them in the parking lot at the bottom, and thought if they can do it, why cant I! They offered to help me get Nolan off my back and have lunch with them, so we did just that. There son was about a year and the daughter was about 3, but she was just a little girl. They told me about all the hikes they do, how they pack, little accessories they find helpful for their kids, sitting and chatting with them really made me feel more comfortable and confident in what I was doing with Nolan. They even pointed out a few things on how to adjust my bag so I was much more comfortable carrying Nolan, Which I wish I would have figured out on the hike up! *Hand in face!*
We ate, chatted, the kids ran around, the FAT over fed chipmunks stole our food, and jumped in our packs. After we finished our lunch, they invited me to go one more km and a half to the look out with them, but my hips and back were so sore, I didn’t think I could really go another km uphill! I had no idea what to expect, and at the end of the day, I really wished I had gone with them! I ended up waking Nolan up so he could eat because it had been a while and I felt he should try and have some thing at least, so needless to say – trying to stuff him back in the pack by myself was a task! I had woken the bear and he did not want to be stuffed back! lol but once I DID manage to get him back in – he was happy and we started to make our way back down. After adjusting my pack, with the advice of the couple I met, the way down felt so much better and I immediately regretted not going that extra 1.3km with them. I definitely think poles would have also helped on the way down, it was a lot of weight on the knees and a little hard to control a softer step the whole way down.
The way down was nice, although it meant going home. It was nice to see people going up and feeling a struggle and they were not carrying anything! ha-ha, it was super motivating to hear all the “good jobs” and wow look at what she is carrying, maybe it is silly but! – It sure made me feel good. It was definitely a LOT quicker with a little less SWEAT! ha!
We got to the bottom, to the car and I sat down on the cement with Nolan on my back and un strapped him. People were laughing at me watching me trying to get down without falling over. You gotta do what you gotta do! I opened up the trunk again and we had a bit more to eat and drink, Nolan LOVED the new liver we bought for water, the whole hike I think he drank more water than me! “AGUA AGUA AGUA!” he would say over and over again. I thought it was the CUTEST thing that my baby was able to drink from here when ever he wanted. Before I would just take water bottles and it was so hard for me to reach by myself all the way back. He loves the liver!
I felt so proud of this hike with my boy! I cant wait for the next one!