Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What was I thinking?

Yesterday, we went on another snow shoe adventure. A bit longer than I anticipated and I guess I can hike 12 km but snowshoeing 12 kilometres is a lot more work. It was 6 km UP a mountain and 6 km down. I have to say when we got to a sign that said we still had 2.7 km to go I thought oh-oh we are no where near finished. We still had to reach the top and then do all the 6 km to return. We met a couple cross-country skiing down.... when we were about 1/2 way up the trail we saw fresh prints on their ski-tracks. I was certain they were fresh wolf tracks (not coyote) and I looked in my Animal Tracks book and it looks as though they may well be wolf. The area we were in is well known as the home of the Bow Valley wolf pack. I was praying all day that we would see them....but whatever made the tracks stayed far away from us. We do carry bear spray as advised by Parks Canada (no bears but cougars and elk and moose can be deterred with the spray).
If anyone can confirm that this is a wolf print, I would be grateful. 
I love the chiaroscuro effect of light - the mountains often look like an etching or a charcoal sketch.
You can see the sign at the Inkpots holding me up when we finally reached the upper valley (I think it might be what is called a hanging valley....a high valley in the middle of several mountains). At this point all I could think of was 6km still ahead of me....
The Inkpots are a series of three ponds created by hot springs. This area is above Johnston Canyon - probably one of the biggest tourist spots in the Rockies - closed in the winter.
A photo of a saucy Whiskey Jack talking to us. 
Then a heart of ice on one of the ponds.
Finally the road home. I was in bed with heating pads by 7 pm and all is well today...though I am not going very far from the couch.

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