What is happiness? Is being happy a stand-alone goal? A by-product of crafting a purposeful life with a strong social network? An impossible dream? This Photo Blogging Challenge post dives into some of the habits and practices I use to tune into happiness.
Signs that spring has sprung in the Canadian Rockies: migrating birds, colourful wildflowers, foraging bears, and cyclists on roads still closed to vehicles.
Cirque Peak via Helen Lake trail is a challenging day hike along the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park. It's not for everyone: there are a couple of scrambly bits, there is a bit of exposure to stree drop-offs and it's very steep. But for those with the experience and skills to summit the views of Bow Lake, Bow Glacier and Dolomite Peak are absolutely stunning. The summit is small and the hike is popular, so leave early to beat the crowds.
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.
As a long-time blogger, I regularly notice how there's something about translating thoughts into letters that makes the brain slow down. It's a form of meditation, where the object of focus appears in black and white as fingers depress computer keys. On really good days, I enjoy a flow state from the time I click "start a new post" until I click "publish". Those days are rare. For the photo blogging challenge, the process lasts a month!