I remember just one other month since the COVID-19 pandemic started that it's been so essential to get out and play, for our physical and emotional wellbeing. So it's a lucky coincidence that October is a great time to get out and play in the Bow Valley and surrounding Canadian Rocky Mountains. It's possible to enjoy summer, fall or winter activities, depending on the day - or sometimes all on the same day!
Between the return of major league sports, peak hiking/biking season across Canada and medical officers asking all of us to be good sports about wearing a mask, there is a wide range of subject matter for the August 2020 photo blogging challenge.
An out and back hike starting from the parking lot at Emerald Lake, the relatively steep trail to Hamilton Lake in Yoho National Park traverses a patch of Western Interior Cedar-Hemlock Rainforest, follows a stretch of Hamilton Creek to the base of a lovely, multi-stepped waterfall, then climbs through more typical forest, crossing a couple of avalanche slopes where wildflowers bloom in abundance, before finally reaching the brilliantly-turquoise Hamilton Lake. We opted to carry on past the lake, up a long talus slope to the base of Top Hat Peak. Looking down on Hamilton Lake brought back fond memories of hiking the nearby Lake O'Hara region of Yoho National Park.
A long day hike from the Elbow Pass Day Use area on Highway 40 in Kanananskis Country, the route to Piper Pass skirts picturesque Elbow Lake, crosses expansive meadows where abundant and colourful wildflowers bloom, includes the option for a short side trip to Edworthy Falls, requires fording the Elbow River, passes many waterfalls in Piper Creek Canyon, leads to an expansive alpine meadow and ultimately to a challenging, steep scree climb to a pass with amazing views both north and south.
September is one of our favourite months to get out and about in Alberta. We absorbed doses of Vitamin N(ature) at a concert in the park, on hiking and biking trails and on our usual active transportation walks to pick up groceries, stop at the library, etc.