Yesterday was another warm day in the Rockies so Idel, Vern and I headed out to Jura Creek to check the canyon walk. The parking lot was full and there were people scattered over the countryside. Fortunately being 2 metres from people was not difficult as the alluvial fan is expansive before reaching the canyon. The canyon floor was packed snow and was fairly easy going with poles to dig in for traction when required. I took lots of photos so here goes for your enjoyment. Click on photo to enlarge it.
Many years ago when I was working in the Barrier Lake Information Centre in Kananaskis a couple from Florida came with a question. After I answered their question I had one of my own since they had told me they had been married for 27 years. My question was “What makes for a long marriage.” Here is the answer:
He: I don’t know. Don’t let the things bother you which should bother you.
She: My father told him he didn’t get her spoiled, so don’t spoil her because I won’t take her back.
Me: Did he spoil you?
He: And he wouldn’t take her back.
Well, that was disappointing.
Four of us headed north up the Baldy Pass Trail from the Wasootch Creek parking to Porcupine Creek. The uphill seemed to be longer than I remembered it, but we did get to the bridge over Porcupine Creek that we found two weeks ago. From the bridge we hiked up stream only to be disappointed because I forgot about the tricky spot where the creek ran into a rock cliff. Forty odd years ago I could scramble on tiny ledges to avoid having to get my feet wet, but at that time I was a lot steadier on my feet than I am today and my companions were not rock climbers, so we sat down and ate our snacks. Somehow that return trail was easier; maybe because there was more downhill.
Another day I shall have to go back and check out something that looked interesting. I did see a little American Dipper flitting over the water in search of food.
We are into fall colours and sun these days. Five of us enjoyed this easy walk through the forest. We crossed three little streams with moss and clear water, and discovered the wooden bridge that was destroyed by the 2013 flood has been replaced by a metal one that is further upstream. Thank you Diane and Olwyn for your photos.
The Troll Falls genius has not yet retired to Quebec. My friends Mike & Maria read my website blog and did exactly what I did – rushed off to Troll Falls to see the miracle trail. They met Alex working on the trail as it is not quite finished and learned that Jeff Eamon is still here performing miracles in Kananaskis. The little trolls can be found hiding in the trees.
It is finished and I couldn’t wait to hike the new, improved trail to Troll Falls and the upper falls. I knew those water falls were there because many years ago I had bushwhacked downhill to see all seven falls and the canyon above them. Since I found out Saturday morning that the new trail was done I just couldn’t wait to see it. In spite of Idel’s warning that it was steep I picked up a little pizza in Canmore and off I went to Kananaskis and the Troll Falls trailhead. I am impressed with the hard work and the planning that went into this project. It is nice to see barriers erected and moss and debris covering the rocks that used to have beautiful moss on them, but was destroyed by people scrambling over them. I don’t know who planned this, but they did a great job. In warning me about the steep trail to the upper falls Idel forgot that I don’t have 14 pieces of metal in my ankle like she does and I have climbed several mountains that are even steeper. I will admit that it helped that I increased my Parkinson’s medication so I had more energy than usual.
I first heard about the waterfalls from Chris Bearns who was the school teacher in the coal mining village of Ribbon Creek in the 1950s during the coal mining on Mount Allan. Mrs. Bearns would take the school children to see the seven waterfalls and teach them about the rocks and plant life. I first saw Troll Falls in 1973 when Don Gardiner was clearing a cross-country ski trail for the hostel association and came across the falls and ended the trail at the falls. In subsequent years I have bush whacked down past the various waterfalls to Troll Falls several times and even took one of my hiking groups on that bush whack. Now with this new trail we don’t have to bush whack to see them. It is even more popular than it used to be.
This week there were only four of us on the Wednesday hike. Duncan, Olwyn, Nia, the dog, and me, your intrepid explorer. We drove to Lake Minnewanka and walked through the picnic area to find the trail to the canyon. Since Mount Stewart is named after George Alexander Stewart (1830-1917) I assume the canyon is too. Mr. Stewart and his son surveyed what is now Banff National Park. The father was the park superintendent from 1877-99. The name was applied by Coleman in 1901 who was accompanied on two of his journeys by the son. (Source: Canadian Mountain Place Names) It is 1.4 km one way to the bridge over the canyon. That was as far as we went. That is the Cascade River in the canyon.