It is time again for our loyal mountain boots, one of the many trails in Jasper National Park is waiting for us. We have chose one not out of the blue, we decide for the one with a particular meaning, the Bald Hills Trail…can you guess some link to one of us?!?
Se we head towards Maligne Lake, we go to the parking lot and the beginning of the path is well signaled right in front of us on the other side of the road, a well signaled one, quite crowded.
We begin to walk at our usual time, more lunch time than starting-a-hike time, we are some weird mountain people. The first part of the trail is really easy and wide, almost flat, used by horses too, something so typical here in Canada, where the distances are pretty big.
Once we get over the first flat part, the trail begins to climb more steeply, going in and out of the forest which in not too dense and populated by a really huge number of mosquitoes. And more, it seems they really do like our bug spray, which should be meant to take them away.
In a steeper part of the trail, in the shade of a tree, we meet a man totally dressed as the perfect hiker, taking some rest. We chat a little bit, he is retired and come from Ontario, alone – it does not seem nice to ask more about his family since he is not talking about it – and he is travelling around Canada with his RV and his motorcycle, hiking and discovering the mny amazing things this country has to give.
In a empathy moment, he offers us his bug spray, clearly better than ours and not even this one can totally solve the problem.
The man – whom we don’t know the name – walk with us and while chatting, we get to the only really demanding part of the trail. Suddenly, after a really flat part, the trail gets steeper and narrow, climbing up the hill almost straight to the top, with no bends at all.
It is not too long though, it just takes us more or less ten minutes to get to the top, but the really hot sun and the fact that there is no wind, they don’t help at all.
Step by step, here we are on the top. A fresh breeze finally arrives, which was first covered by the hill, and it finally bring the mosquitoes away, while we are rewarded with an amazing sight of Maligne Lake, huge, covering the whole valley.
But we are not arrived on top yet. We take just some moments of relax to enjoy the panorama of the valley opposite to the lake, a totally wild one, cut in the middle jut by a silver string which is the river, nothing more. Amazing.
The trail stops a little bit further, the official one at least. But there is another track which goes on a higher top of the Bald Hills, these really baldy little mountains which overlook the Maligne Lake valley. We have left our new friend a little bit back, since he is taking it more slowly than us and the only other people up here are a couple a little bit more further than us. We go on to the top, the vegetation is now quite gone and we are walking between rocks and gravel.
In the end, we reach the top too, we take out something to eat, obviously bagel and hummus, but today we have something different also: tiny carrots and bananas. During our pause, we chat with the couple up here, discovering they are french, from the city of Chambery, quite close to our home so. It seems to be back home, on our beloved Alps. In the meanwhile, our new friend arrives too and take his well deserved rest too.
Everyone take his turn talking about our travels, all together, as we know each other since a long time.
We are really pleased to talk with a person of this kind: retired, he travels as much as he can and nonetheless his age, he does not refuse to take a really proving hike or thousands of kilometers, he takes his time and do whatever he finds is a good challenge to take. So, such a good model to follow, for all of our home retired people – just don’t talk about the fact that his retirement wage is probably way better than ours, I know this is the main problem!
It is now time to turn around and go back towards our car. We say goodbye to our friends with the promise to write each other soon to mail the photos. A last glimpse back down, towards a tiny turquoise pond which says hello from down there, and we are ready to go again.
We decide to walk the other trail, the one which turns around the hill, better than not going again in the wood and walk the same road of the way up. It is a little bit longer, but we promised ourselves not to walk or drive two time the same road or trail, if possible.
We take our time and go back to the parking lot. We have left our new friend back because our boots are too hot, they are actually winter boots, and we really look forward to take them off. It is a real relief when we finally take them off once we get to the parking lot.
We put on some comfier shoes and while we are seated in the car, tired but not too much, we have the chance to say a goodbye to our unnamed friend, just arrived and finally seated on his shiny motorbike, ready to dive in another adventure.
We want to give a special greet to all of you who follow us, you who have some spring more to carry on your shoulders, but who still have that adventure spirit, in loved of the nature!