Friday, May 30, 2008

Favorite Places in Yoho Part 2 - Emerald Lake

On Friday, I decided to "get out of town" and drive one hour down the road to Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park. I just felt like a little drive and change of scenery. I also knew that Emerald Lake is a little lower elevation and it is South facing, so there might actually be some flowers up, some dry trail and as always, some awesome scenery. There are so many trails to explore in the area, but the higher trails are still snowbound. This time of year it is all about experimenting and seeing how far you can go before hitting snowline. I hadn't been there since October, when we had an amazing run/walk in deep, fresh snow.

Check out these photos from Octobers snowy run, it truly is jaw dropping beyond words.

So, I had a lazy start to my day and on the drive to Emerald Lake I pulled over at a fantastic viewpoint of Castle Mountain, just to take a photo. Keeping in mind, this is a place I drive by frequently and never stop at, but I thought, hey it's a beautiful day, I'm not in a hurry and I want a photo of Castle Mountain for my blog. It's one of my favorite mountains! Well. I get out of the car, my new-ish Ford Focus wagon and in my haste, leave the keys in the ignition. Afterall, my last car the VW Golf had a very Leslie-friendly feature. You leave the keys in the ignition and it will never lock. Ever. Well, with the Focus does not have that feature. I get out, take the photo and simultaneously hear the sound of "autolock", yes, the sound of all 4 doors locking. Aaaargh!! The sound of me being stuck in the middle of nowhere on the side of the highway with no cellphone. My buddy Dave was my saviour, I flagged down the first tourist I saw and borrowed the cell phone and Super Dave saved the day!! He swung buy my house, picked up the keys and made the 20 minute drive out to the highway to save my butt. Thanks Dave! While I was stuck there, I took some great photos!


The Castle - Castle Mountain

The Sawback Range and the Bow River Valley

Even after being rescued, I had only lost an hour of my day with the Leslie-blunder, so I continued on for a leisurely drive to Emerald Lake. I made a quick stop at the Natural Bridge, took my car keys with me and took a quick photo. The water was raging!

Emerald Lake is a very special place and is sort of the Gateway to Yoho National Park and all of its treasures. I just go because it is one of my favorite places! The last time I was here, we saw a full size moose in the lake and then had it crash through the bushes right in front of us. That is pretty special!

Almost immediately, Emerald Lake impresses. It is the most incredible color and is surrounded by glaciers, peaks, rocks and a gorgeous hotel/lodge. On this day, the Glacier Lilies were in full bloom and littered spots of mossy grass and in between patches of receeding snow. It was a grey day, but the temperatures were warm, the lake was calm and I was feeling very fortunate to be running happy and healthy! I climbed upwards towards Yoho Pass, before hitting the snowline where I decided to call it a day, descend and continue my run around the lake.

Climbing higher and higher!! Glaciers, waterfalls and rocks....and even flowers!

I have never seen a little spruce tree have a bud with a color like this! Anyone know anything about it? It was really bright pink! Emerald Lake is in the background as I climb, climb, climb.

I spent some time lolly-gagging by the lake, I didn't feel the need to rush home on this particular day. I took it easy on the run because tomorrow, I am very excited to be running a race with my husband and my friend Holly for the first time ever!! I reckon I shouldn't trash my legs before race day, but it was so beautiful I wanted to just run and run and run and run.....

No worries because tomorrow I am running in another completely different but very gorgeous place!!


Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

I'm not sure if you'll ever fully understand how mind-boggling those pictures are for me. There is NOTHING like that here in the South. Maybe I need to leave and live somewhere different. Oh wait, I AM :)!!

Leslie said...

Hey Dave -

Did you look at the snowy run photos as well?? That was a frickin' gorgeous day, I love that place. Congrats on your own excitement! Change is good.

Backofpack said...

If you keep posting pictures like that, my husband is going to start lobbying for a move north! Don't let him know you posted them, okay?

Leslie said...

Wait until you see the pictures from Nipika!!