"You will know when to turn around. P.S. Don't wear Chacos."
If you have never been to Canada - it needs to be your next destination. It is that spectacularly beautiful. For our full day here, I planned for us to spend the day at Lake Louise. First up on the agenda - hiking the Plain of Six Glaciers trail up to a Teahouse, since it was billed as being the premier hike. Imagine my disappointment as we pulled into the parking lot and asked directions to the trail head, only to be told that we might want to pick a different hike due to recent avalanches. Notice - he did not say that trail was closed, only that we would probably want to do a different one. This is the story of not heeding that advice. We did the trail, and it was well worth it!
We walked to the stunningness that is Lake Louise. Seriously - I am not sure how it can be that gorgeous, with such brilliant colors. I took a lot of pictures this day, but not as many as I might normally, because we have Luke along on this trip with his photography genius. When I get a hold of some of his pictures, I will share more - though they will all look more like postcards. Here's mine.
John and I each had a girlie on our back. With a few very minor exceptions, the girls did so well on the 8 mile round trip hike.
We started the hike. We decided we would just go as far as we could. It was really easy-going at first. While trying to get this picture -
We ended up with this picture, which has infinitely more character.
And hiking we went.
We met another guy along the trail who was working for the park and asked him about the trail. He said there was snow covering parts of the trail and that we would not make it to the Teahouse at the end. He said, "You'll know when to turn around." He did not know who he was speaking with. We started seeing views like this.
And we started going through and over little parts of the path with snow on them. They were manageable, so we continued, and each one, we just decided, "Yeah, we can do that." Even when we saw paths like this.
The path up to the actual Teahouse was the snowiest. We felt a little crazy at times, but, it really was one of the most gorgeous hikes we have ever been on. It seemed a bit other-worldly at times.
And, it was worth it. The views were spectacular. The Teahouse has been there since 1927 and supplies are helicoptered in and hiked up, and the food is all made there with no electricity. The hot chocolate was a great little warm up, and the lunch was excellent. Having Ellen and Luke along on this trip is truly a blessing - they love on our girls so well and are so much fun.
And, the chocolate cake was delicious. These are the pictures we got leading up to the picture I wanted. That last one is as I was realizing that Bella was going to claim that chocolate cake as her own.
It should be noted that Ellen was wearing Chacos on this entire hike. Through the snow. And she was a champ about it. Even when she was literally knee deep in the wet, cold stuff. She gets a gold star for her awesomeness and lack of whining and mental toughness, though, it should be said she would not wear them again on this hike at this time of year.
After our hike down, we drove to Moraine Lake. I wanted to get a family shot, but Lily would have none of it. She actually earned herself some discipline with the screaming she produced here. It is another gorgeous place.
Then, we headed back to the hotel at Lake Louise to eat dinner and take a few more pictures (with Luke's camera). Everything there is so pretty. Here is the sucker I used to bribe Lily to take a nice picture. When we finished taking pictures, a group of Asian tourists wanted to take pictures of the girls. And with the girls. And our normally even-keeled, sweet Bella was not happy about it. It was hilarity.
Our first day here was everything we could have hoped it could be, and much more. We finished it by driving around hunting for wild animals to photograph with Luke's giant camera lens. We found a herd of elk on a golf course in Banff. You know, really wild elk that live on golf courses. Hopefully we will get to see more animals actually in the wild. John is really hoping for a bear.
We love Canada and are looking forward to more fun. Stay tuned!