Diamond in the wilderness

Trip Start Feb 28, 2010
Trip End Jul 18, 2010

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Surprisingly, even though the town of Banff is insanely perfect it was extremely hard trying to find a way out, especially if youre looking for a greyhound bus service that doesnt have a sign showing its location...at all.

After eventually finding the bus and making it out to the hostel in Lake Louise, i geared up and made my way out to the famous lake that most of you see in any Canadian magazine.
An hours hike through the forest led me to my first glimpse of the turquoise still water lake which unfortunately had an overcast backdrop....hardly what you see in any postcard shot, but i was there to make the most of my time, so i decided to climb higher into the woods to get a better view and hopefully a better blue.

About an hour later i saw a glimpse of blue which looked a little too fake to be water, but sure enough it was and continued to climb so i could get a view of the whole thing from a spot the locals had told me to get to....the big hive! I was told getting there wouldnt be easy, but its doable.
About 2 hours past an w as getting closer to the ultimate view when i then felt a few drops of what felt like to be rain, no big deal just slip on the jacket and move on right.....well that would be the case if it was rain, but it was SNOW! Im out here in mid June and its SNOWING, i cant believe it but i guess after all this time of traveling through great weather, my 'elastic band of luck' finally decided to snap on me.
I wasnt about to let white flakes falling from the sky stop me from reaching my destination so i powered on until i reached a small log tea house at midpoint, where by this point it was snowing at a rate not safe enough to walk in......so i bunkered down and waited it out with a nice warm hot chocolate.

A half hour later the weather turned and the snow backed off, it was time to go only now i had the company of three girls from New Zealand and their dog Sandy who were traveling in the same direction...so we head off.

So here we were crossing lakes and hiking up trails which were now barely visible by the recent snow cover and this altitude, we were determined to get to the view top so we can see this lake in all its glory (if you want to know what i mean, just google pics of Lake Louise Canada') until we were stopped in our tracks.
The track literally ended, so i pulled out the map to find our route up the steep slope, but there was nothing.
All tracks were now snow covered and way to steep to hike up without cramp ons, so the only option was to abort the mission, and go back!!! Lucky the girls were there because if they weren't, im pretty sure i would have continued up which wouldnt have been the brightest of my ideas.

So we returned down the trail where we eventually split up because i decided to take a longer more rugged route back around the back where i could maybe find a way to view the lake from a high altitude.
Sure enough i did, about an hour trailing up hill in what was now soggy ground there it was, waiting for me to snap away. I must admit it wasnt the perfect spot to get it but considering i couldnt make it to 'that' spot, this was the best i was going to get.

Pushing on now deeper into the woods to get back home i made sure to make as much noise necessary to keep the bears at bay. This path soon led me to a few obstacles like frozen over waterfalls where i could hear it rushing beneath my feet, so i cautiously passed over those into more seclusion where i felt like there wasnt another person for hours.
2 hours of treking passed before i saw the first sign of people as i followed the river, which led me to the lake, which led me to civilization. I was home safe and in bed early to prepare for the following day.

Moraine lake, the postcard shot in every Rocky Mountain magazine, the less famous lake that brings more people here than Louise herself. Today was my day.
Unfortunately i didnt get that clear blue sky that finds its way into every photo up here, no it was the dreary grey specialy designed for my visit on this specific day, and so i wasnt in the mood to hike all the way from town to see it, so i took the next best option.....when in doubt (and only in Canada), stick out the good ol' left thumb.
An hour passed before i finally got someone to stop (i think its the beard) which was perfet timing becasue i started to find a few trees by the road with signs of bear scratching in them, which seemed fresh!
A German couple in an over sized RV gave me a lift for 10 miles till i reached the lake, these dudes plan on traveling from Canada to Alaska by the highway...im sure theyll have awesome time.
When i arrived i could immediately tell that the lake was far from its usual capacity but i was determined to make the most of it by trying to be creative with the greatest investment ive made on this trip.....my Olympus uTough 8000. I think i did OK with what i had to work with, but i know it would have been better with the signature blue sky and the lake filled to the max, just bad timing i guess.

Time to move on, i was determined to catch a break and find the blue sky of the Rockies, and there was one place left where i could find it, and that was further north in the small town of Jasper.
So i need to make it back in time for the next shuttle heading north at 12 noon, so the left thumb was in action again...this time with a smile, and sure enough the 3rd car pulled over this time with 4 Canadian girls.
At this point I could feel my luck beginning to change.

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mannie on

oh chadz the snow thing WAS coooooooooooool!! that was noy ur elastic band breaking..it's still stertching so WATCH OUT!!


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