September 9, Kananaskis -> Calgary

Ooooh does it get cold up here!

We get up, eat nectarines and oatmeal and broke camp -- during which we met a talkative ranger who was checking out the campsites and looking to see what the stocks of firewood and conditions of the outhouses were in...apologizing all the time for the "state" but we considered it pretty luxurious as it was. Apparently there are fewer people to help stock/keep up the parks, which hasn't been a surprising trend overall. <*sigh*>. Theo was out looking at the water, and the ranger commented on how peaceful the lake looked, and how peaceful Theo looked...(turns out, he gave Theo the creeps, I thought he was just being morning-quiet. But then, I wasn't done rolling up my sleeping bag and was half inside the tent when he'd originally come up. ,*shrug*).

Just as we finished packing up it started raining, but that wasn't too bad with all our gear knee did not like that downhill one little bit; the scree skiing was Much Easier on it, but then, that doesn't really give much of a hard impact-jolt. Ouch.

We take the road north to Canmoor, and see the north end of the Kananaskis Lakes, more mountains and valleys with Theo pointing out the ones he's climbed. We pass the Spray Lakes, which Canmoor uses for water power. The lakes' average altitude is about 5700', and Canmoor is only at 4500'. The lakes empty into an underground river, which is caught in huge pipes right above the town, so instead of a waterfall they have a huge source of hydroelectric power.

Canmoor is apparently the place that Canadians go while tourists go to Banff and Jasper; a mid-sized mountain town and in an area where it's free to camp. We got food/coke there, and headed to Bragg Creak for what Theo said was Most Excellent Raspberry Pie. Denied!! The place was closed mondays. We then headed west to a cave in Canyon Creek, an ice cave that Theo thought I might like. It's damp but no longer raining, we get our gear on and I bring my camera this time. We head up (and up and up) a narrow twisty trail through brush/trees, which then opens to rock and scree, at which point we scramble up to the cave entrance. Even the entrance is Huge, several people high. Theo hands me his head light (cave gear) and he uses a mini-mag (being more used to the cave!). This is my first cave; it has a huge block of ice along the side, small for this time of year, and the floor is icy as well. I concentrate on walking very very centered. We get to the back of the cave (where the ice has blocked it off) and Theo turns off the headlamp. Wow, is that *dark*. Dark dark dark. But really cool, too. We're steaming, too, as I notice when the light comes back on.

We head back out, and down the mountain -- my least favorite surface, packed dirt w/ loose rocks, with fresh raindrops to make it fun. Theo runs down this too but this time I don't follow suit; I just take my time and pick my path back. Nowhere near as much fun as scree. *smile*. I eventually make it down, and we head back to the truck, and I am just ecstatic -- having a great time, doing things I've not done before, and just overall happy. But very very tired too! As is Theo. We head back to town, get Malaysian food for dinner.

Which was all well and good until Theo got sick, so he just hacked for a while and I went out to get coffee...Theo walked with me for that. Then I updated my journel, to catch up from the Seattle days. After that....Sleep!