Now this title you might think comes from no where, some magical wording to make this all sound better, well maybe just a little. It was grey and cloudy and generally just blah outside, but that wasn’t going to stop us from heading out to explore.
We took off down the Icefields highway in Jasper/Banff National Park. If you’ve never done this drive it is seriously one of the most beautiful drives you could ever imagine. Put it on your bucket list. Every corner you turn there is another absolutely breathtaking view. If you ever want to feel small to Mother Nature, just take this drive. The mountains you’re driving through are nothing short of amazing.
My only goal for this drive was to see Peyto Lake and end up in Banff National Park after hanging out in Jasper NP for a few days. Even though I knew Peyto Lake would be frozen over I just had to see it. This is the lake that looks like a wolf and you see on all the calendars of the Canadian Rockies. Instead something even better happened.
We are about 2 hours into this gorgeous drive and all of a sudden off to our right on the shoulder of the highway there is a dog wandering up the side of the road taking a leisurely stroll. At first my initial reaction is, “OMG someones dog I must save it!”, but as it got closer I started to see this dog is not small by any means and is Baron sized, nice and big. After a slight pause I realized this was no dog at all and it definitely wasn’t a coyote either. It was a fucking wolf!!! Yes I feel the need to swear. Holy shit!!
It was beautiful and had this snowy white fur with little streaks of grey and looked so happy to just be doing its own thing. We caught eyes for a quick moment. I was so happy Baron was sleeping at the time we drove by. I never thought for a second I’d ever see a wolf in the wild, and even though it was on the highway I was happy to see if from the comfort of my van. I wish I could have stopped, but Baron would have definitely perked up and I didn’t need a run in happing on the side of the road through our van window. Don’t mess with nature people! Either way I had my little moment as I drove by.
We ventured on to see Peyto Lake and there it is, the sign 2 km away! As we pull over and hop out of the van it just starts to snow, which I am excited for. Snowy hikes are simply the best and both Baron and I love them. Soon into our hike I realize every other person has either snowshoes or is touring with their skis and split boards. Here I am the idiot just hiking up with nothing. Luckily the snow was packed down enough we could walk in the middle of the snowy trail, but one step a little left or right and you were up to your knees. At this point in the hike the snow is coming down! I couldn’t believe just how much snow was actually falling and so quickly too. I had to pull out my camera, but I had maybe 1 minute to fire off as many photos as I could and at that point my camera was covered in snow, which would mean I would just have to record it to memory instead. I had no problem doing that.
Sadly we had to turn back because the snow was just too much and we just weren’t prepared for what might come further up the mountain. Even though I didn’t get to see Peyto Lake and not sure if we kept going with how heavy the snow was falling we would have seen it anyways.
What was a grey morning turned into a day that could only be as it was once in a lifetime. Simply incredible. Who would have guess when I woke up I would experience this amazing snowy hike (just look at the photos) and even though I didn’t get to see a lake shaped like a wolf, I got to see a real one instead! A day I will be remembering for sure. What a way to start our trip!
Get outside and go explore!