Daily Miles: 20
Total Miles: 245
This morning started out with a beautiful walk above Marvel Lake. We walked the length of the lake and enjoyed views of its amazingly turquoise blue water. The trail started to climb more steeply as we made our way up to Wonder Pass. It was nice to have this climb in the morning when we were fresh and the temperatures were still cool.
Once we got to the top of the pass, we started to see a lot of day hikers. We were close to the Assiniboine Lodge and the Naisett Huts, and it seemed that people were coming up for several nights and then just doing day hikes.
We walked through the hut and lodge area and the lodge and little log cabin huts seemed really cool. It was in a beautiful location with meadows full of wildflowers, and with Lake Magog and Mount Assiniboine (a very iconic mountain) completing the perfect alpine picture. It would be a really cool place to come back and visit sometime.
We continued on the trail and came to Lake Og where we stopped for lunch. We also decided to wash out our shirts since we were feeling particularly stinky. The area around the lake was pretty exposed with only bushes and no trees for shade.
After lunch, the landscape changed a lot as we hiked through The Valley of The Rocks. It was aptly named with boulders and piles of rocks comprising the landscape. It was such a stark contrast to the green meadows and dense forests we had been walking through earlier.
We had another big climb and another tough pass near the end of the day. It has been so hot and humid lately, we were soaked with sweat before we even started. The weather changed quickly as we started up the pass…the temperature dropped, a strong breeze started and we heard a lot of thunder to go with the grey clouds that had come in. It definitely seemed like it was going to rain on us, but it never did. Instead, we just got the benefit of the cooler temps and the breeze as we were climbing up the pass.
We continue to be amazed at the number of hikers we see out on the trails. Most seem to be out here backpacking, whether for a night or up to a week. The campground we were aiming for tonight is a lot smaller than last night, with only five spots. We figured it was likely it would be full, but hoped we could still find a spot to hang our hammocks.
When we got to camp around 6pm, all the sites were full. The bugs are so bad, everyone seemed to be in the tents. We looked around and decided to best spots to hang were near one of the tenting pads. Luckily, we ran into the person camped in that spot and asked her if we could hammock near her. She seemed a little hesitant, but in the end said ok.
We tried to set up quickly, get our food hung quickly and wash our feet quickly. The bugs are so bad, we just wanted to be tucked safely in our hammocks and away from all the mosquitoes and biting flies.
Tomorrow has the potential to be a very short day. We are close to Sunshine Village, which turns out to be the main exit for Banff. We hadn’t realized that when we planned our resupply and instead had picked a highway crossing which is another 20+ miles ahead. We have come to realize that Sunshine Village might end up being the better option for exiting the trail and getting into Banff. But, we want to check in with Mace first and also the person we are hoping to stay with in Banff.
Either way, there is a breakfast place in Sunshine Village, and we are going there. We are also hoping to get WiFi, so we can talk with Mace and hear how he is doing. We hope he is on the mend…we have missed hiking with him and know he would have loved the last three days of hiking.