Sunday, July 20, 2008

Return to Skoki - Summer Edition

Aaaaaah. Skoki. Cozy Historic Lodge. Turquoise Lakes. Larch Trees. High Alpine Goodness.

Some of you may remember my forays into Skoki this past winter, back when the scenery was still jaw dropping, just whiter and fluffier.

Here's a couple of pictures from winter and summer. Play along and see if you can spot the difference!!

See the difference?? Notice how the little things have changed? Like snow and pink panties? But really, the scenery hasn't changed at all. It is still there, it is still awesome and it is still immense.

I just got back from a really, really, really good weekend at Skoki Lodge.

I took 180 photographs and I could have taken a lot more! The scenery was almost overwhelming. Everywhere we ran, just when you thought it couldn't get any better you would crest a ridge, turn a corner and BOOM!! An assault on the senses. Turquoise lakes, rocky outcrops, high alpine meadows and peaks as far as the eye could see!

On the first day, my buddy Miles and I ran in a long way on a trail, very well removed from anything. We ran for 30+ kilometres in the backcountry of Banff National Park and saw nobody. Zilch. Zero. Molar Pass was lovely and we had the place to ourselves!

Keith ran in to Skoki via the slightly shorter but just as scenic route and we rendez-vous'ed for dinner time. Nothing like ending up at a historic cozy lodge at the end of a long running day!! The feast on the table and my husband waiting for me were the icing on the cake.

After a good night's sleep, our second day evolved into a 2 part epic. In the AM, we scrambled up Fossil Mountain and ended up on top of the peak. Wow. I felt like I was on top of the world standing on top of that mountain! Keith was pretty excited to be there, too.

We headed back to the lodge, enjoyed some treats (can you say Jam and Brie on a home baked carrot muffin?) and then headed out for out afternoon run. Miles, Keith and I ran in to Merlin Lake on a sweet highline trail that was carved out of a big scree and rock slope. It was very cool and the lake was awesome. Actually, awesome is quite an understatement. It was stunning.

While we were lunching by the lake and admiring the view, Miles looked up to Merlin Ridge and says "We could tag the top and still make it back for 7:30 dinner."

So we did.

For the last day, we thought it would only be fitting to scramble up Skoki Mountain. When I was up on Merlin Ridge, you could see the mountain sitting in the middle of the valley and it really was calling to be climbed! After breakfast, we scrambled up, tagged the top and enjoyed some more time on top of the world. When we got back, we enjoyed a second breakfast packed up our gear and headed out for the scenic tour by the Skoki Lakes, Zigadenus Lake and Mytosis Lake.

After a plunge in the glacial fed lake, we climbed up and over Packer's Pass and ran all the way out and back to civilisation. But that's O.K. I live in Banff!

What can I say? I love where I live. One things for certain, I am going to continue to live, play and enjoy life in Banff National Park for a very, long time.

What a fantastic good time. Thanks for sharing in a weekend of fun Keith and Miles!





Backofpack said...

Every weekend, Leslie? Wow! You have boundless energy!

Jamie Anderson said...

That is seriously paradise. Awesome pictures.

Meghan said...

Holy crap! What an awesome weekend you all had! My goodness!

Also, you are so brave to run around on your blog in your undies. It's awesome! And, I love the fact that you left the arm warmers on? Touchie cold, sure. Arms, no way. ;)

I'm envious to the maximum right now!

CoyoteGirl said...

OMG! That is just astoundingly beautiful Leslie! Especially the pink panties LOL. What a beautiful place to live. I envy you. I must get out there and visit! : )

holly said...

Leslie, what an amazing weekend you had! I am almost feeling a touch jealous.

I do have some concerns about your GRANNY PANTIES though - what in the hell? Please tell me that they are actually the bottoms from a bathing suit you wore for your high school swim team.

Journey to a Centum said...

I can see why you will be around Banff for a while! I think Michelle and I need to make it up to the lodge when we are there in about two weeks.

I thougt your arm warmers complimented your undies quite well! That's quite a fashion statement for the wilderness. Like most trail runners in the PNW we typically run naked until we hear hikers or other runners coming then we quickly jump back into our running clothing. Oh yeah, that's right, we do it all the time. We just don't take pictures or stuff like that ;-)

Life truly is good!

Leslie said...

Ummmm.....hellllloooo??? You who races like a marathon every second weekend? Me?? Boundless energy?? I am just trying to keep up with your shenanigans...

Howdy! Congrats on a wicked run this past weekend. Yep! I do live in Paradise. But I only have a few months to explore Paradise before the snow falls!!! I'm on a tight many trails and such a short summer....

Hi Meghan and Holly!

Don't you know? High waisted sports panties and arm warmers are the latest, super-fantastic trend in the fashion world. I am avant-garde. This is cutting edge fashion people.

Hi Coyote Girl.

Hope your out there howling at the moon. I did a little of that this weekend, like when my head hit the glacial fed lake. oooooWoooooo!!


Put some clothes on! sheeeesh!
Or at least some arm-warmers!!

The arm warmers make me feel like Super Woman, particularily when I am lacking in clothing. As this was a spontaneous clothing ensemble, I was lucky to be so well coordinated with my tres-chic "all-black" ensemble! Makes me feel fast! is paradise. The unfortunate part of paradise is it sells out every summer. When I phoned 3 weeks ago, this was the only days they had all summer! That and when I told them I wanted to run around their meadow half naked, they said they would be "thrilled" to have me.

Anonymous said...

OMG Leslie.

You're hilarious. These photos are awesome. Pink panties for the win.

Journey to a Centum said...

So is it confusing running with a person named Miles? Do you always say "we ran 30 kilometers" when you run together rather than we did 30 Miles? Wait I thought you were only running with one Miles. You mean you had like 30 people running with you? Yeah, you better stick with the metric system around him. It will save a lot of confusion.

Leslie said...

Aaaaah, yes. Miles with Miles. Good thing we live in Canada, eh?? Less confusion, fo' sure.

Leslie said...

Hi Sonya-
The pink panties read:
"Dancing Queen" and feature a silk-screened disco ball on my backside.

Mike said...

Man, I live here and I know how beautiful these trails are yet I'm still blown away. To think that 99% of the people that visit never get to see any of this. I'm not sure if that makes me happy or sad. Actually it makes me selfishly happy :)
Anyway, when it comes to living every day to the full, you rock!
Thanks for inspiring the rest of us to get off our butts and out on the trails.

Billy said...

Hey Sunshine.....How in the world did you stumble upon my blog? You seem to live a pretty good life out there. Good luck at TR this year. The Flying Monkeys are taking a break. Wild horses couldn't keep me away from Hardrock. It's like Cristmastime. Seriously the greatest assembly of souls on the planet. You should check it out sometime. Anyway, enjoyed checking out your blog.


Deanna Stoppler said...

Great photos! Thanks for the advice: I applied with Burton today. Ya! Send POSITIVE EMPLOYMENT WITH BURTON vibes my way!

Sandra said...

Just a wee comment from Deanna's mom .... I think the word for your adventure photos is "Majestic" I remember the very first time driving thru that area and I actually cried, took my breath away. Canada for sure has the best side of the Rockies!! Love your blog

Laura H said...

Although I really like the chic black ensemble, don't you think pink panties would have picked up the color of the flowers in the summer pic much better? Plus, I thought you weren't supposed to wear black until fall, but what do I know? It's all I can do to pick something out at the local resale shop...beautiful photos and beautiful life!

Leslie said...

Hiya Billy!
I think I discovered your blog through Olgas' blog, but I can't recall. I did however, recognize your face and name from last year's TransRockies where I too, was a last-minute, spontaneous attendee! Read your blog, love your attitude. You seem to know what's important and how to keep it real. That's nice!

Leslie said...

Hi Mike! Thanks for the love!
Yep, I'm still blown away on a daily basis, that's what keeps me running! And I do looove having the trails to myself all of the time, it makes me selfishly happy!

Crap, I'm busy again this weekend, we are going to have to try and run together mid-week or something!

Deanna and D's mom-
Hi ladies, hope all is well! I'll send the vibes your way...

Hi Laura!
Ya know, I seem to lose a black arm warmer every weekend. I'm going to have to bust out the Day Glow Neon Green armie-warmers that I got at Miwok. Now those are something. Me thinks they will look fabulous with the pink skirt. Sadly, the pink party panties have been retired. You don't want to know that story. I will be shopping for replacements.


Sat Sandhu said...

Hi Sunshine Girl,

I just caught up with your blog - wow, you're doing the TRR again. Excellent - look forward to seeing you there.

Your photos are (as always) breathtaking (how do you run while being breathless from the views!?)

You're an inspiration because you epitomise what a runner's attitude should be - all about the love for it (rather than speed or achievements).

Regarding the TRR - can you remember how big/small their duffel bags are? Also how far apart were their aid stations?

Keep showing us your backyard - it's beautiful.

Journey to a Centum said...

Email us! We need details for Grande Cache!

Leslie said...

Hi Sat!
Thanks for the compliment! The scenery around here is what really inspires me.

Look forward to meeting you at T.R!!

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