Today I found myself lost in the trees and it was the best thing that could have happened. Running a business I am constantly planning and preparing for the next steps and adjusting as things pop up that need to be done, but traveling I am loving waking up and only having a slight plan for the day. A bit of research on anything fun around where I am to see, call it the touristy things, then a bit of just looking for trails to hike or finding that place that might be interesting to stop at.
Sure being a solo traveler and having no plan can comes with a bit of worry and some “what if’s”, but so many little reassurances have been popping up making me know that having no plan is going to work out just fine. Today was one of those days.
I found myself in the Canmore area and had my touristy things on my list to do for the day. It involved checking out Three Sisters Mtn (maybe find a good spot for a photo) and going to see Lake Minnawanka. The rest would just be as it was.
I pop into Canmore to take a look and attempted to drive to a few places for a good view of Three Sisters not really finding what I was looking for and deciding to just head on without checking that off my list for the day. As I headed down the highway on my way to the next stop, Lake Minnawanka, all I keep seeing in my rearview mirror is the most gorgeous view of Three Sisters. It is at the point where every time you glance up you think … “ah that’s it!” … but there is absolutely no way to stop and pull over, and if you did you’d really just be taking a picture of the highway. This went on for a good 5 minutes, every glance, every time a gorgeous view. Sadly though as I turned the corner down the highway I knew I’d just have to remember it vs record it on my camera.
I boogied on down the road to Lake Minnawanka and it definitely worth the drive if you’re checking out Banff. It was busy with about 100 other people all checking out the same thing, but it was such a big area I didn’t really mind. I’d never seen it before, which I’m not really sure how I hadn’t since I did grow up in Calgary about an hour down the road. In the winter the lake is frozen over so you can walk right onto it and get some incredible views of all the mountains around the lake. It looked like there was a boat dock, so I assume there would be canoe rentals in the summer, which I’d love to come back to do.
As we started to make our way back down the road I had seen a little side street which I hoped had a spot Baron and I could stop for a quick walk and take a moment for a bit to eat. As I got closer it was another small little lake and although there was a crowd, was much smaller than at Lake Minnawanka. It was perfect, so we hoped out for our quick walk.
We went down a little path and across a bridge and right after it was a nice thick forest with a single trail going through. Looked fun and since we really had nowhere else to be anytime soon we took off down it. It was the first time in a few days I had been able to hike through a winding trail of tall skinny trees. The rest of the time was more snow covered trails with big spruce tree. Don’t get me wrong I love those trails too, but it was a nice change and more effortless than hiking through 30 cms of fresh snow.
I had no clue where we were going and we just kept on walking, it was so nice and completely silent. After a good 15 minutes hiking up the hill I started wondering where the heck this path is going. Suddenly we are nearing the top of the path and the trees started to open up slightly. I could tell it was a steep drop, so I got Baron to sit and wait while I went over to see where we were and you’d never guess where this trail popped out. Right in that exact place with the most perfect view of the Three Sisters. I couldn’t believe it. All the photos I kept seeing in my rear view mirror while driving were right there. Who could have planned that out?!
I took a moment to take those photos I thought I had missed a few hours before and then Baron and I continued down the path. The hike in the forest was so beautiful and I couldn’t help thinking, “what were the chances that would happen?”. It was a nice reminder that sometimes you just need to go with the flow, have no plan and it will all work out perfectly. I was so happy this time it did and hope I continue to have the same luck. In the end I got the photo I originally wanted, but I actually enjoyed the hike and photos I got while lost in the tree more.
Another day, another unplanned adventure.