Archive for the ‘Canadian Rockies’ Tag
Don’t worry, I don’t actually feel like killing people. My six-year old on the other hand….
The title of today’s post was what I heard uttered by my six-year old in utter joy as she played Lego Batman on the XBox this afternoon. At least the people she was killing were the bad guys. Right?
If you haven’t played the Lego series, you might not know that ‘killing’ means breaking the other characters into their component Lego pieces. There’s no blood at all. I’ve been playing the Lego series of games with my older daughter for the past 4 years and (to my knowledge) she hasn’t turned into a psychopath yet.
For now, despite the glee with which they massacre fields of bad, bad, Lego men (and women) they seem relatively well-adjusted and not inclined at all to take their killing sprees into the real world. They still enjoy regular, real-world activities like hiking across streams with their friends.
If I wake up tonight with one of them standing over my bed, I’ll assume they’re just looking for a glass of water.
When we were in Canmore a couple of weeks ago, we went on a hike and eventually came to a river. Because of the low water levels at this time of year, there were countless river crossings to keep the kids endlessly entertained going back and forth across the river. It helped that the 10-year old in the family we were visiting was a dedicated rock hopper and was guiding my kids.
While it wasn’t a huge, dangerous, raging, white-water river (as you can see) there were some minor risks involved in the hike like maybe a twisted ankle. I don’t worry that much about the kids, but the older one’s arm hadn’t fully mended at this stage and the younger one isn’t nearly as sure on her feet as she thinks she is. That said, I tried to be brave and let kids be kids.
We lunched part way up before heading back down. Just as we got started, the little one (above) took a mis-step and ended up both feet in about 15cm of water. Enough to cover her shoes, but that’s about it. She just stood there a bit shocked unsure what to do until her mom and I started laughing and then she realized it was no big deal and laughed along with us.
Looking at this view at the summit of Mt Revelstoke, it’s hard to imagine how we didn’t notice the storm coming our way. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we were caught in a short rain/hail storm at the summit and had to run for shelter. While we were mostly well prepared (warm clothes, rain gear) we didn’t really have the right footwear. As a result, we got very wet feet. Bad if we were actually on a long hike. Merely inconvenient when our car was just over 1km away.
As I was saying though, looking at this view, we might have been a little bit more wise to stay a bit closer to the shelter rather than wander off. Perhaps it was just being a bit blind to what was coming. Maybe a bit careless. But, I think I’m going to call it pure optimism. There was a bit of rain starting, but we lived in Vancouver for four years – a little rain doesn’t bother us at all!
While a little rain doesn’t bother us, a lot of rain mixed with hail does call for a little running away. For the kids, of course. Not me. You have to protect the kids. If it was just me, I would have carried on. I’m not worried about getting a little wet, but we had to look out for the kids, right? You understand.
Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park is one of the places I tried to get to this past January as I’ve heard it’s spectacular in the winter. Speaking to the rangers, the trail was pretty unsafe when we were there and definitely not appropriate for kids (and we were travelling with the kids). The rangers told us it was pretty easy for someone to slip and just go shooting off into the canyon if they weren’t careful. Not wanting to lose the children, we decided to take a pass.
During the summer however, the whole area is much more accessible. Hiking trails, fences, etc. all make it safe for the whole family. There are even multiple access points for people who don’t want the long hikes. You can arrive at the top of the canyon or at the bottom. The path goes from bridge to bridge starting from “1st Bridge” and working down through “6th Bridge” and beyond. Each bridge offers great vantage points from which to view the cascading Maligne River as it wends it ways down through the canyon.
In the foreground is Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park. I believe that’s Chancellor Peak off to the right. This is a combination of six shots merged into a panorama. I was planning to return to this spot for some long exposures at dusk and after dark, but this ended up being one of the last shots I was able to capture before my camera failed just two hours later.
This scene is the setting for a really well-placed campground (Chancellor Peak campground) at the south entrance to the park. Camping in the national and provincial parks throughout BC is a real pleasure. The only drawback I’ve found is that if you’re travelling along the TransCanada Highway, you’re also following the rail tracks. If you don’t chase campgrounds well off the highway, then you’ll be regularly listening to freight trains rushing passed in the night.
As you head out of Jasper National Park, Mt Robson Provincial Park is the first major sign that you’ve left Alberta and arrived in British Columbia. While we had a beautiful day for our arrival and subsequent camping in the Mt Robson area, the peak (as you can see) was still veiled in clouds.
And so, today, with much reluctance I have parted with my camera. It’s on its way to Toronto in the hopefully gentle hands of Purolator to be entrusted to Canon for three to four weeks. Hey, fingers-crossed, it might be back in my hands in early September!
On the bright side, before my camera died I had shot about 1300 photos on our vacation so I have plenty of fodder for the blog until I am reunited with my camera.
The photo above is a 30-second exposure across the Columbia River looking back at the town of Revelstoke and the mountains that surround the city. I shot this from a single-lane bridge leading out of town to the south and just a five-minute walk from our campsite. Revelstoke is a ski resort in the winter. During the summer it’s more about the hiking and the boating. You can hike up Mt Revelstoke or, like us, you can drive most of the way. There are beautiful trails at the summit through sub-alpine meadows. Fantastic.
A shuttle dropped us off at the summit and we set off on one of the trails. Within five minutes it started raining, but pretty lightly. Five minutes later though it was bucketing down and then it started hailing. We ran for cover in the bus shelter with a German family. After about ten minutes of rain, they gave up and took the shuttle back down. We waited it out – it looked like it was going to burn off and it did. We spent two hours walking the trails in glorious sunshine.