Page 2 of Two of Us Travel Blog Posts

We were staying in the Johnston Canyon campground on the Bow Valley Parkway just down the road from Johnston Canyon. For most of the day, (like most days) the parking lot and road at the trail head was cloged with vehicles, so we decided to hike the canyon later in the day. It was a good time to go as most of the crowds had left, and it was cooler. (Temperatures were in the upper 20 C to lower 30 C range.) Johnston Creek tumbles its way down the canyon in a brilliant display of blue, green and white waters. I’ve been on this trail several times, and today, David and I both saw a small fish try to launch itself up one of the falls!... read more
Johnston Canyon Fall
Johnston Canyon Fall
Johnston Canyon Fall

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff National Park August 11th 2015

Moriane Lake is one of the jewels of the Rockies. Like many high mountain lakes, it’s fed by glaciers resulting in stunningly beautiful colored waters ranging from a deep robin’s egg blue to emerald green. We arrived early and launched our sturdy canoe. (This required David getting his feet wet, as the only dock on the lake is privately owned and there are few easy places to launch.) However, once on the lake, we were rewarded as there were few other canoes and the water was perfectly calm. The mountains surrounding the lake bathe it in shadow for most of the morning, so we paddled up and down the lake twice waiting for it to shine. (It’s a very small lake.) After setting the canoe back on top of the truck (not an easy task), we ... read more
Beautiful View
Perched above the lake
Stunning Morine Lake!

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff National Park August 10th 2015

Today, as we were driving down the TransCanada Highway, a place I've been many times, David announced we were going, "down there" and pointed at the side of the road. I said, "There's no road down there. There's just water and trees." As we drove on, I kept looking for a road, but no, it was just more water and trees. I thought he was joking. Nope. There was a road "down there," just a wee bit off the TransCanada and almost completely obsured from view. Along the road are the Vermillion Lakes. These lakes are home to a variety of wildlife including, fish, moose, deer, and birds -- we saw ducks, some cranes and a bald eagle. And, of course, there's the mosquitos. The lakes are also provide a stunning viewpoint for Mt. Rundle, especially ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Blue River July 29th 2015

The last Day. We got up early as we did on travel days and did our regular 2.5-hour breakfast, struk camp, loaded the canoe, and headed out. The recent weather pattern was a westerly wind, which would have helped speed up the trip out, but today was calm. We did manage to keep an average speed of 5-6 km/hr with a couple sprints of 9 km/hr. We made the portage lagoon shortly after noon -- great time! Our last day was a16 km paddle before the 2.5 km portage that would lead us back to the truck and home. As we paddled east from Tropicana, past Leo and Fairyslipper Islands, we could see what we thought were some canoes coming toward us, but they were taking a really long time coming. Then we realized, we were ... read more
Murtle Lake Trip 2015-55

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Blue River July 28th 2015

Today I got to try out the kayak as we headed for McDougall Falls. It was a short paddle of about 5 km with a 10 km hike. This was the main outlet of the lake and there was a torrent of water flowing out. We found a rocky landing spot to start our walk. The path was even lusher than our last hike, plants along with blueberries and raspberry bushes galore lined the pathway. Matthew was in his glory sampling just about every bush we went by. We had been warned that the first km had vegetation that concealed the pathway and numerous rock and stump outcrops. It was slow but the pathway eventually opened up and travel became quite fast, at least for Mark and Matthew speeding ahead. My mind took the opportunity to ... read more
Murtle Lake Trip 2015-46
Murtle Lake Trip 2015-47
Murtle Lake Trip 2015-48

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Blue River July 27th 2015

Mark wanted to get to a place on the west arm called Tropicana -- just a "short easy 24 km paddle" with a dreamy sandy beach, mermaids galore and clothing, optional. Mark, as mentioned, is a master in getting one to do things they don’t think they can. I was unsure we would be able to do this whole leg (even with the promised mermaids) so in the back of my mind, I had several options for alternate locations along the way... just in case. The trip started out amazingly--the sun was out, very few clouds in the sky, and the water was a sky mirror. We opted to do as direct a route to the point where the north and west arms were joined. This meant a 12 km stretch down the middle of the ... read more
Murtle Lake Trip 2015-36
Murtle Lake Trip 2015-37
Murtle Lake Trip 2015-38

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Blue River July 26th 2015

New experiences. Mark offered Matthew a chance to pilot the solo kayak and he took it up. After some advice on getting in and getting out, Matthew was on the go and did really well in navigating the 19-foot long, narrow beast. His sleep must have reinforced the paddling and steering skills. Mark, in the rear seat of the canoe, sent out his fishing line and we trolled up the lake at a leisurely pace. He caught one small trout that he sent back to grow up some more. We continued to Murtle River, one of the lake's main sources, and proceeded to wander upstream a bit to a nice little beach on a sharp bend. Lunch! Mark was designated our fisherman for the trip, and how he was able to cast and catch fish from ... read more
Murtle Lake Trip 2015-26
Murtle Lake Trip 2015-27
Murtle Lake Trip 2015-28

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Blue River July 25th 2015

After chatting with some folks, we decided to head for Eagle Point, which was close to the end of the lake on the north arm. Sixteen km later, we arrived. The day was a mix of sun and cloud but generally, great paddle weather. We made a pit stop about 7 km into the trip, and I asked Matthew if he would like to try the rear seat--he was eager! Matthew has had limited canoe experience and this was his first multi-day paddle trip. We gave him some pointers, some strokes to try, and off we went--well sort of--we went in a few circles, a few wide arcs straight to shore, then off across the lake and back again. Now if you have paddled before, you know paddling from the front and back with the same ... read more
Murtle Lake Trip 2015-18
Murtle Lake Trip 2015-19
Murtle Lake Trip 2015-20

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Blue River July 24th 2015

Windy and wet was the theme for most of the day. We planned a hike to either Strait Lake or Wave Crest Peak (900 meter gain). I opted in my mind for the more gentle walk to the lake with only a 200 m elevation gain. (Yes I'm being wimpish again.) A short paddle was required to get to the the trail head so off in the tippy canoe the three us us went, wind whipping the waves from the side, we all thought "we're going in." From shore it must have been quite the scene to see three bodies flopping around as the waves hit the canoe, rolling it one way, then another. Matthew who was in the middle and no paddle decided enough of this and curled up to lower our center of gravity, ... read more
Matthew Looking Back
Lunch and Wet

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Blue River July 23rd 2015

With canoe and kayak loaded, food and gear in the back we headed out for an early start. None is us slept well with the excitement and were up early anyhow, no alarm clocks needed. Our travels were from Calgary through Banff, Jasper, Mount Robson and onto Blue River where we took a rough logging road into the east side of Wells Gray--the real start of the trip. If you have never travelled the Banff-Jasper corridor, do it! It is a wonderful road trip, and the scenery is remarkable! The kayak and canoe weight 50 and 40 lbs respectively, glad these boats were light for our first leg of the trip a short 2.5 km portage. We decided not to put a lot of gear into them for the trek to the lagoon, so Mark kindly ... read more
Starit Creek Group Camp
Fast Canoe

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