Friday, July 4, 2008

Life is Good.

Does it ever occur to you, just how good your life is??
My friend Meghan was asking this question just the other day and the answer to this question is an easy one for me:
Exhibit A - Friday, Life is Good.

The Celebratory Sandwich - Plains of Six Glacier, Lake Louise, Alberta

Today, I did a "reminder" run, that is, I re-visited a place that I hadn't been in awhile, to remind myself of this fact. Why hello Lake old friend!

Lake Louise

I headed to Lake Louise for a little solo runny-run. I have had so many great experiences in the area over the years! I met my husband there, I've spent quality time with Keith, with Norman the Dog and with friends on both on the trail and at the ski hill in Lake Louise. It's a special place to me.

Lake Louise is the most popular place in all of Banff National Park and it is popular for a reason! The lake really is so gorgeous, that people come from all over the world to see it. I choose it today, because I couldn't find a trail buddy to run with and I knew that there would be lots of people on the trails in the area. Typically, in summer, I avoid these trails and seek out more remote places. But today, I felt like the company. As I ran, I said "Hi!" to just about everyone I saw. I met people from Holland, Belgium, Rhode Island, Seattle, Boston, Sacramento, Australia and Japan. I know because I asked!! Oddly enough, I met only one Canadian couple.

I was blown away by the scenery as I had forgotten just how lovely this area is! I hadn't been in a few years on these trails and I was awestruck! I was reminded that, Life is Good!

Mirror Lake and The Big Beehive - I climbed it twice!!

Looking across from the Little Beehive to Big Beehive

Yeah! I love this view. Lake Louise from the Little Beehive

Lake Agnes from the Teahouse

Lake Agnes from the top of Big Beehive

The Higline to Plains of Six Glaciers.

Big Honkin' Glacier!!

I want to go there!!

There is a whole bunch of short trails in Lake Louise, that you can link up as a scenic circuit to get a real bang for your buck. Most people, that are hiking (which is all of them, except for me) will go visit one of the tea houses for a rewarding day trip. For a lot of these people, this is maybe their first time in the mountains or the first time they have walked up a mountain. There are people of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities sweating and hyper-ventilating their way up a mountainside.
It was quite the reality check for me to see these regular folks working soooooo hard as I ran by. They in return, were quite amazed and bewildered by me. Most of them assumed I was running up to the Teahouse (2.6km up a mountainside) and were quite impressed with this. I didn't have the heart to tell them that actually, I was doing this:

In a nutshell, I went and ran to 2 Teahouses, 3 lakes, 4 peaks and the Glaciers. The distance wasn't huge.....maybe 25k?? But the elevation gain and loss was pretty significant. For those of you who care, here's my little circuit of the Best of Lake Louise:

Ran up to Mirror Lake. Ran up to the summit of Little Beehive. Descended back to the Lake Agnes Teahouse. Descended to Mirror Lake. Highline across to Big Beehive trail. Up the summit of Big Beehive. Down the Big Beehive back to the Highline. Across the Highline and up to Plains of Six Glaciers Teahouse. Up to the glaciers. Turnaround. Descend. Back across the Highline. Climb to the summit of Bigh Beehive (again). Descend to Lake Agnes. Climb to the summit of Little Beehive for one last view. Phew. Descend all the way to Lake Louise.

Another revelation: Life is Good! How fortunate am I to be:

1. Physically able to do this.

2. Do this for pleasure. That confuses people.

3. Enjoy some great scenery like this daily.


On the return trip, you can see Lake Louise down in the valley. I still have to make my way back up to summit the 2 Beehives before ending up on the shoreline.

Lake Agnes Teahouse

Last gasp before descending - Summit of Little Beehive - second time.

See all photos of this quintessential Lake Louise Circuit here:

Exhibit B - Saturday, Life is Good.

My husband rocks and I have great friends!

On Saturday AM, Keith and I went for a great 20k run on Lake Minnewanka. He did so well and we had so much fun!

On Saturday PM, our Banff friends Pam and Jeff got married, down by the Spray River.

This is a fifteen minute walk from our house. I wore bug juice and under stated browns and greens. The bride looked fabulously gorgeous in white of course and had her Teva sandals well hidden under her long gown!

Exhibit C - Life is good and the flowers are coming out!!

Summer is so short, just like the flowers in the Rockies, you've got to go get out while the goin' is good. Get it?? Stretch out those arms, reach to the sky!!

In conclusion, yes, it frequently occurs to me just how good my life is. I'll try not to gloat about it, but sometimes I just can't help it!! It's better than good....

'nuf said!!!


Journey to a Centum said...

Way to stir up the bees with all those great photos of my favorite spot on the planet!

Life truly is good! We just don't take the time to step back and really appreciate all that we are blessed with.

Thanks for that reminder.

Anonymous said...

Leslie: just to let you know, your site has now become my favourite News station. It's everything we don't get in the press - positive interesting adventures by great people! I especially appreciate the extra time you put into your bogs: plant names, mountain and lake names, and technical terms to help us along (like "big honkin glacier". Keep it up please! Doug

Meghan said...

Awesome blog entry, Leslie! Thanks for sharing how great your life is.


Bob - said...

Wow amazing !! I really need to move west :-)

Leslie's Keith said...

Yay for Doug Lawson!

(Hi Doug!)


Laura H said...

Wow chickee!! Life is more than good - and thanks so much for sharing yours! I get my dose of outdoors whilst at my desk, checking all your awesome photos...and good vicarious runs to add to the mix. Thanks!!

Backofpack said...

Maybe Eric and I'll get in that Lake Louise run while were up there. I sure hope so!

What a lovely spot to have a wedding!

Leslie said...

Hi Eric and Michelle-
Eric should be good to go to Lake Louise post-Death Race - no problemo! He is Superman! Nothing like a little recovery walk/run with the wife to stretch out the legs. Of course, I hope to see you when you come to town, so maybe we can visit the fine Lake Louise for a run!

Hi Meghan-
Life is Good!

Hi Doug-
I am a highly technical person. Big Honkin' Glacier is a technical term. Really!

Hi Bob-
Yep, it sure ain't Florida!

Hi Laura-
You could just come to Lake Louise and hang out lakeside and knit and people watch. Now that would be cool!!

Matt Hart said...

so sweet. banff just moved up the list of places to train!

holly said...

That Keith is getting smaller by the day!

Leslie said...

Hi Hart,
Don't ya know?? You could drive here in one day from Idaho. One looooong day. There is 1000's of km's of backcountry trails, some of the most gorgeous scenery you have ever seen and nobody on the trails. It's pretty super-duper.

Leslie said...

Hi Holly,
Yes, that's My Incredible Shrinking Husband. He is wee.
See you this weekend!!

Deanna Stoppler said...

So cool sister. Thanks for the photos. Love it!

P.S. Yes, we're in Shelburne for now until we get a better place. This is too urban for me!

Gary Robbins said...

God I miss it out there!! I only wish I were a runner when I lived in Banff, but I did appreciate some great hikes and may be exactly right about me needing a good Banff running getaway though...gonna have to work on that this summer!

Leslie said...

Hey Deanna-
Welcome back to the real world, to funny you ended up in Shelburne, this is the only corner of Vermont that I have been to!!

Hey Adventure Gary,
It's just different, right Gary?? I do recall you raving about how wonderful it is YEAR-ROUND in North Van for recreating....and hey, I'm sure you are waaaaaay better in a Sea Kayak than I will ever be!!

Donald said...

Wow - you've got me convinced. Life is good, indeed. Thanks for the reminder.