Wow. Jen likes the Rockies. Especially these.
We head out towards Kananaskis at around 10:30am, driving until around 1pm to get to the visitors' center to check for the bear warnings. Given that my knee hadn't been very happy since Vancouver, we decided to do a short hike in to a lake camp, and to day hike around from there.
The lake in question is Elbow Lake, a short 1.3km hike, and the intended day hike winds towards Tombstone (which is about 13km total). We drive south to the trailhead, dress up warm (it's gotten cold!) and pack up and head up! And I do mean UP. The first kilometer is amazingly steep. The next .3km leads into the camp area, where we are the only tenents, just off the edge of Elbow Lake. We make camp and head out along the trail to Tombstone, going just about 3km in and back. It turned out to be a very nice valley-type walk once you cleared the lake, following the Elbow River (funny, that...*grin*).
Here's a picture of the lake from our campsite
We get back to camp before it gets dark, and Theo introduces me to "Slum Gullin" (sp??), a wonderful mixture of New England clam chowder, tuna, corn, and lots of pepper. Yum yum yum!! We still have some time before dark though, so we head out to the other side of the lake and climb up. Up, up, up. Theo is a rabbit, by the way. We climbed about 1/2way up, to just below treeline, up and over small scrub and pines, rocks and scree and lichen, then stop and sit. I am just completely overwhelmed by the view, which has suddenly gotten much wider, and much more inspiring. From there you could see that Elbow Lake wasn't all that deep, it being so late in the season but before much new snowfall.
The descent was much faster...Unlike my previous assumption, scree will not totally come tumbling down on top of you if you so much as step on one rock. Theo's motto is "just keep pedaling"...which works remarkably well! He runs down, making it look a lot easier than I'm particularly willing to believe it is, but then I just get started and whoo-hoo! I'm not as fast but then this is my first time, and I'm still learning how to pick my path. *grin* What a rush! This was probably one of the first times that I just got through that frozen don't-know-if-I-really-can-do-this stage by realizing that fear wasn't an option, so you just do it, and then when it's over, or nearly over, you wish there were more. Or more time to go and do it again. Something to remember.
Bad Thing happens, my Thermarest has developed a leak between Yosemite and here. That sucks; the ground is really cold. So I forced Theo over to the other side of the tent. <*much thanks!!*>