And we wake up another time under a gloomy sky, the weather is obviously not helping us.
It does not dishearten us, though. We jump in the car and go get a warm coffee with some incredible bownies with marshmellows, and since we are here, in the little town of Lake Louise, why not having a good bacon and egg sandwich? – by the way, Lake Louise is the most expensive place ever seen, they wanted to charge us 10$ for half a kilo of plain bread. While we are in line for the breakfast, it begins to rain heavily again, so we just sit and have a long, relaxing breakfast, hoping it will stop soon.
And we also have time to decide what to do today: we rule out the possibility of a long day hike, we really don’t want to get soaking wet, while the idea of an easy and short hike at a lookout point where we can glimpse Lake O’Hara or its valley at least, is interesting. We decide we will go to the Paget Lookout, still in the boudaries of Yoho National Park.
As it stops raining, we drive the few kilometers which lead us to the starting parking lot, a hundred meters more or less after the Great Divide Lodge towards Field.
We decide to bring just one backpack with us with some water and a snack, it is just a really short hike.
It is a damp dark day today, a thick layer of clouds is covering the sky during the first part of this hike. At the beginning we walk in a really dense forest, almost flat, passing over a lot of little creeks and rivulets.
We are deep in the green of this woods, sourrounded by tall trees and musk all over. Then, as long as we begin to go up, the trail become a bit more though, steeper and sometimes graveles, but not for a second dangerous or hard. We enjoy the view change while the forest is thinning out and we can glimpse the valley in front of us and the endless forest on the bottom.
In less than one hour we see our goal, the end of the Paget Lookout trail, a little white house on a rocky open space, down the wall which lead to the peak.
We already know we won’t even try to get to Paget Peak, the trail from here on is described as a steep slicky scramble up to the top and for sure today is not the right day to test our scrambling skills, with all the water of these days it would be too dangerous.
We have a quick snack, some fruit and some cookies, while we enjoy the amazing view from up here and decide we will take the detour towards the Sherbrooke Lake, that turquoise dot down there on our left.
From up here we are lucky to see also our dear red canadian train, which slowly cross the whole country, East to West and back again, carrying its really eavy burden all along the way.
We enter for just a moment in the little house, some kind of shelter from the bed weather, way different from our mountain huts. It is bare, just two rotting benches and a shelf with an old diary, nibbled from the mice and full of its scats.
Without even taking notice of it, we have already walked the switchbacks and we are again deep in the forest. At the detour where we turned for the peak on the way up, now we turn on the other side, towards the lake. We would have been to lucky not to be rained on, but after an hour or so, the storm arrives again, just while we are getting to the shore.
From down here, the lake, is not so bright as we saw from up above, but this gloomy light is not helping at all.
In minutes we are back to the car again. It is still raining, not too heavy for our luck. We had our snack up at th lookout and now we are quite hungry, but we don’t want to just eat something in our car. we decide to head to the Takakkawa Falls, the falls everybody advice us to go and see.
Once we get to the parking lot, we are greeted by big black crows, as big as cats, quite ominous but really majestic. We have lunch before to hike the short trail to the falls, which we already see – and hear – in the distance.
Our lunch is really quick, since it obviously begins to rain again and wet bagels are really uneatable. We put on again, for the hundredth time today, the waterproof jackets an begin to walk the kilometer to the falls. Of course, it is another one of those really touristic places, too crowded, but it is really worth spending half an hour here around.
Both for the rain and the crowd, we head back soon to the car. We are going to leave the Yoho National Park now.
Today we have not planned a long drive, just a scenic 60 km to Banff – we decide to take what once was the highway, now a secondary road, which is a little bit more longer but way more scenic, passing through woods and old little towns, the Bow Valley Parkway or 1A and a black furred friend is waiting for us.
We directly head towards the campground around Minnewanka Lake – we have chose this one since it’s the cheapest one, even though with less services, around 16$ per night per tent – but we discover we watch on the old leaflet and this year hte opening dates are delayed. So we head to a second, more expensive campground here around, but it is full.
Quite disconsolate, we try a third campground not so far, somewhere near Tunnel Mountain, and finally we find a place for us. It is a really touristic campground and its entrance is guarded 24/7. We are assigned a campsite without the possibility to chose and it nerves us a little bit – also because we ended up paying 27$ per night, without counting another 10$ per night for the fire permit – because there are no trees to tie our tarp to.
We discover shortly after, when the sky finally opens up a little bit, that we were given a good campsite, with an amazing view on the towering Mount Rundle.
We enjoy a good dinner with meat followed by marshmellows and spend a lot of time admiring the landscape around us. Even though is is a crowded campground, everybody is really quite and silent and it gives the feeling of being almost alone.
To end the day, we go to Banff town to have a walk around and a beer in a mexican pub – less that 10 $ each, wow, it is unbelievable! We are in Banff, we have seen it so many times in pictures and we desired so much to come here one day: today the dream come true, one of the many we have at least, and here we are!
We are not too tired, but after the walk we gladly go to sleep. Today is our last day of holiday, then we will go back again to our ordinary life and we need to be rested for both of them. Goodnight folks!