It was a last minute decision to take the week off work for a little stay-cation which turned into a lot of hiking and adventures. I was having a rough week so a friend of mine decided to take a few days off as well and take me on an adventure!
We headed out on a Tuesday morning while everyone was at work downtown. It felt so nice driving through downtown, and NOT parking to go to work, but instead pick up my friend – and head to the mountains.
We hit the TransCanada Highway and eventually hit highway 40. Onto the Kananaskis we went! We didn’t know EXACTLY where our stopping point was as we were just following another persons story about the hike they had done and we got the directions out of a hiking book. We did a few turn arounds on the highway and eventually found our starting point. He said “Usually people will mark trails with red or orange ribbons, something bright so people will see them” and all the sudden I slam on the breaks, pull over and say “oh, like this one”? So, we found it finally and pulled over into the ditch and started to get ready for our hike. We checked out the start of the trail, saw a big rebar pole sticking out of the ground that looked kind of red, as it said it would in the book with some pink/orange ribbon on it – this was definitely our starting point. We put on our hiking boots, sunscreen, made sure our packs were all together, and strapped up and headed on our way.
It was COOKING! So, so hot that day! – and the hike felt like it started out so steep! We started out in the forest and eventually made our way to an opening where the trees opened up and it became more meadow-y! Always concerned about bears in these types of areas – we sang most of the way! It was a really nice hike, as it felt like it changed a lot on the way up and once we got to the ridge, we could see both sides and such different views each way we looked.
It was so windy and the grass was so long that when the wind blew the noise of the grass whipping around sounded so loud. We decided to rest there for a few – run around without our packs, look at a few different areas and have a snack.
These parts make me nervous, having a barely made trail and going thru big rocks and shale, slipping, hoping not to get your foot stuck or …. Slide down the mountain and not be able to re-grip. But – I get over it fast with the excitement and challenge of it all!
As we got higher, the more rocks we had to climb thru, and we finally reached a good spot to set up our tent for the night. It was the last flat spot we could find that still had a nice bit of grass on it. We set up our tent and let our packs so we could go on and explore a little more. Much easier to climb and be comfortable climbing or coming down with out a pack on, shifting your weight around – in my opinion!
I ended up getting to nervous, as the sun was setting and we were not on any kind of trail at this point. I knew I could get up the steep parts but I just was not confident in getting down and I was tired, hungry, nervous, and definitely didn’t want to be trying to get down the mountain in the dark. So – after adventuring around for a but we made our way back down to our tent and busted out the Jetboil and had some dinner!
It was a pretty clear night out, you could see SO many stars, you could even see the city lights from Calgary where we were, it was pretty cool! I don’t think I have ever seen so many stars, or that clear of a night while being in the city, or even in the country. It was by far the best night to look up.
The next morning, I wake up to my friend, “Kristina, Kristina, do you hear that? I don’t know if there are people walking around out there or if it is mountain goats”, and for some reason, I don’t know why and cant believe I didn’t jump up and wake up instantly all panicked. If he had said that to me at night, I would have freaked, but apparently I was in to deep of a sleep or just to tired to even be bothered. I think I just ended up brushing it off and sleeping for a little longer. Once we woke up, we yet again used the Jetboil – best thing EVER and opened the tent for a little sunrise breakfast and coffee! We goofed around for a bit and tried to take some fun photos, enjoyed the silence and fresh air and eventually decided to pack up and make our way back down. As we packed up our things and folded up the tent, my friend picks up gloves and notices that one of them is absolutely chewed apart! HAHA! Sorry, but not sorry – it was hilarious! Apparently that noise we heard in the morning was a mountain goat snooping around and eating his gloves! Lucky it wasn’t the rubber off our boots or anything like that, lesson learned for next time! Not only do you need a bear bag to store and hide all of your food, but you need something that the mountain goats cant chew through either ha-ha! On our way down, once we got through all of the rocks and sliding parts, we got to a bit of a trail and took a rest. I think we killed about an hour on the side of this mountain, bowling down large rocks and seeing if they would stay in once piece and make it to the river bed, It is really funny and silly how amused we were! How the smashing and exploding of the rocks hitting others on the way down would just make us cheer! Again, we did this for far to long and had a great time!
Again, we continued our trek down the mountain, approaching the meadow part, hoping we would see no bears. My friend LOVES to sing I think and busts out a whole bunch of old school songs and I am sitting here singing Lamb-Chops – this is the song that never ends! Goodness, that stayed stuck in my head for ever. After that – I left the song selection’s up to him. (does anybody remember Lamb Chops? – any one)?
Till next time!