“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than they seek.” – John Muir
Our second full day in Banff, Canada, and we woke up to drizzly weather… again. On the agenda was hiking Johnston Canyon and possibly taking on some other hikes in the area that were close to our campground.
When we arrived at the trail head to the canyon, we weren’t too surprised by the nearly full parking lot. Destination waterfall was only about a mile hike and it was labeled as “easy”, according to research I had done. As we shared the paved hiking path with people from all over the world, it became a bit congested in spots, but we kept on hiking, hoping that after we passed the waterfall there wouldn’t be as many hikers.
We were able to walk through a tight-fitting tunnel that took us up and just above, the very top of the waterfall . We took quite a few waterfall pictures, then started the steep climb to the Ink Pots; A thermal area of beautifully colored pools. As we had guessed, the numbers of hikers thinned out with the onset of thigh-burning inclines in elevation. Once we arrived at the top of the climb, we thoroughly enjoyed the mountain vistas and the river that ran through the valley. It was a great place to have a seat with a spectacular view, rest up, hydrate and consume some much-needed energy bars.
On our way back down, who should we meet but the young, honeymooning, German couple, Annette and Robert, whom we had hiked with at Lake Louise! Annette told us she had written about us in her diary and I told her she and Robert had made it into my journal. We chatted for a few minutes, going over our newest experiences in the Canadian Rockies. It was wonderful to see them again!
After eating a delicious, fish dinner at the Black Swift Bistro, which was at the bottom of Johnston Canyon, we decided to drive over to Moraine Lake to see if the crowds had lessened and we could get some sunset pictures.
We were able to find a parking spot since most of the crowds had left the lake. We walked over to a path that brought us to a rock scramble. This rocky trail led us up and up, until right before our eyes was the most perfectly colored lake, with the most surreal grandeur surrounding it… we were speechless... blown away by the incredible beauty of God’s Creation!! Snow-drizzled mountains formed a tight cap around the sparkling, turquoise water as we sat mesmerized by the strikingly, majestic scene before us. Truly awe-inspiring!
Nothing that we had ever experienced compared to this jewel of nature…
Pictures just CANNOT do it justice.
June 23, 2018 – Radium Hot Springs
Rain and cool temps were in the air this brisk June morning. Today, we had decided, would be a day of r-e-l-a-x-a-t-i-o-n and exploring the British Columbia side of the Canadian Rockies.
As we drove through the Kootenay National Park, we saw a Great Gray Owl perched atop a post. Phil tried to get a picture but as soon as we pulled over to the side, the owl swooped off of its perch and disappeared between the towering pines. We passed “Bears Ahead” signs, as well as signs with blinking caution lights that had pictures of mountain goats on them.
It was a spectacularly scenic drive to Radium and we took our time, pulling over to take pictures of the massive Rocky Mountains, and play in the river.
After a couple of hours driving, with intermittent breaks, we made it to destination “relaxation“! We were able to walk right into the Hot Springs building, no waiting, where there was a changing/bathroom/shower area.
This was the first Phil, or I, had ever been to any hot spring, so we weren’t certain what to expect. This “spring” was surrounded by cement and looked like an oddly-shaped, Olympic-sized swimming pool. The spring is a constant temperature of 111 degrees and as it flows through the two adjacent pools, it cools in temperature.
There was a “cool” pool that stayed at a nice swimming temperature, 85 degrees. The “hot” pool was nearest the spring’s source and was a relaxing 102 degrees, where we submerged and soaked for over two hours. At one point, Phil, feeling a tad bit dizzy, had to get out and cool off alongside the pool, but I was never uncomfortable in the water. Hallelujah!! Hot springs will be sought out at every vacation place in the future! Wonderfully therapeutic. 🙂
Only five days left in the Canadian Rockies…Our next blog will take you to the breathtaking, Jasper National Park and the Columbia Icefields, where we had the privilege of walking on the massive Canadian, Athabasca glacier!