#ERT_2015 Day 6 – Kootenay, Glacier, and Mt Revelstoke National Parks – 08.01.15

We started off the morning with a brief little excursion to Lake Louise, which is impressively close to the campgrounds.

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The most amusing experience of our morning was when I noticed a half-empty cup of coffee sitting on the edge of the sidewalk which ran around the lake. I picked it up (it was cold), held it sort of in the air, and asked the area in general, “is this anyone’s coffee?” No one responded, so I walked about 10 feet and threw it in the trash. (No, literally, it was 10 feet from a trash can.) There was a tour bus of retired folks all sitting on benches enjoying the morning view, and several of them said, “thank you!” I just sort of shrugged, and told them it was my pleasure, and my obligation as a human to keep my earth clean. You could practically feel the ‘see, not all of these young whippersnappers totally suck’ radiating off of them. Hahaha. It was awesome, and I’ll admit that it made my morning to feel appreciated for doing something as simple as throwing away someone else’s trash. (Which, by the way, after every hike I usually accumulate a pretty decent amount of trash, and this trip’s hikes were unfortunately no exception.)
Anyway. After that, we headed off on what was a bit of a driving day (5/6 hours total) but had quite a few sights mixed in as well. First on the docket was Marble Canyon in Kootenay National Park. It was freaking AWESOME, and I sincerely wish the pictures could have done it justice. They can’t!

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Marble Canyon Pano 2

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Marble Canyon Pano

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Pondering how I got so lucky as to be in such a gorgeous place.
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The color of that water was unreal.

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After Marble Canyon we scooted off to the Paint Pots (the two hikes are actually technically connected, and I had originally thought we’d do them both in one swoop, but it was ultimately faster to separate them and park at each place). The Paint Pots were awesome! Brady and I went all the way up to the actual paint pots, which were crazy bright and colorful. The Native Americans in the area used to use the ochre beds formed by the paint pots to make their colored war paints. It was pretty rad.

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Oh, Canada, you are freaking beautiful.

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Paint pot froggie and war paint!
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No filter here! It was really that vibrant. Seriously.

The Paint Pots were followed by a relatively long stretch of driving. (I want to say about 3-4 hours?) We stopped at a roadside rest stop (with picnic tables, come on!) for lunch before heading to Canada’s Glacier National Park. We crossed a time zone boundary here, which I’ll admit I had completely forgotten about, so we got a little skiwompous with time. But we did a brief hike in Glacier called Meeting of the Waters. Glacier used to be a thriving tourist area during the railroad boom, but has since fallen a bit by the wayside, even though it’s popular with mountaineers. Apparently grizzly sightings are extremely common (!!!!!!!!), and there was a sighting reported right before we showed up, though it was much deeper into the backcountry than we were going. Because of these frequent grizzly encounters, it’s actually required by law to hike in groups of no less than 4 (other than on the short little nature trail we went on) and disregard of this law can result in a pretty hefty fine! Crazy stuff. Unfortunately, we didn’t see a grizzly 😦 😦 😦 but we did see a lot of beautiful nature. (As usual.)

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The actual “Meeting of the Waters” for which the trail was named, the confluence of the Illecillewaet River and Asulkan Brook. Don’t ask me which is which because I honestly don’t remember… whoops.

From there we headed to Revelstoke and the Giant Cedars and Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk Trails. I’ll admit it, Skunk Cabbage was lame, and we probably should have skipped it, but the Giant Cedars trail was awesome!

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They aren’t kidding when they say giant, those trees are massive.
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A tree fell on the boardwalk, so they rerouted the boardwalk. It was built out of untreated and unstained wood, so now it’s simply returning to the ecosystem. Canada’s totally on the sustainability train. I dig it. A lot.

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I’ll be straight, the following is the only picture I think any of us took at Skunk Cabbage. Hahaha. It was a fun little stroll and there was a kid catching frogs having a blast, but if I’m being real, I could’ve skipped it.

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Our final trek of the day was supposed to be to the very top of the “Meadows in the Sky Parkway,” but of course, they made it so you could only walk to the top to see the great view. I was pretty freaking frustrated that they hadn’t mentioned that AT ALL anywhere online or even at the bottom of the drive! It was a long drive with a lot of switchbacks, and while there were good views, it wasn’t what it was supposed to be. Plus because of the time change a lot of people were ready for dinner and patience was wearing thin… it was rough. If I had known we couldn’t have gotten to the top, I probably would have skipped it, but it’s definitely on the list for a future trip, when I have the time to really dedicate to it.

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Marmot friend!
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It wasn’t all bad- this view was lovely, and there were other good views that I couldn’t focus on or photograph as the driver.

After that small fiasco we went out for pizza, courtesy of our awesome friend Eric! Thanks Eric!

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A cool one-way bridge we had to drive over to get to our campsite! You had to wait at a stoplight to go across. I’m sure that’s a normal thing in many places, but I found it fun.

Finally we got to our campground, where we got to do some laundry and take showers (not the first of the trip, I promise, but they were the hottest of the trip, and it was awesome) and relax. It’s the little things in life!

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