December 27, 2013 (Johnston Canyon)
After our amazing elk encounters at Johnston Lake we decided to head north to something highlighted by our GPS that appeared like a potential place for Johnston Canyon.
We found out about Johnston Canyon only yesterday. This tourist gem was mentioned in one small guide we purchased in a local bookstore. The featured pictures were enticing and made us check out the attraction in person.
I don’t car-handle snow well
Bow Valley Parkway turned out to be rather a narrow strip of road surrounded by snow-covered tall dense evergreens with peaks of Rocky Mountains showing through. I was happy Andi was driving. He knows how to handle snow, slips and slides under tires. I don’t. That’s why I have him.
Johnston Canyon exists!
Local signs were helpful. They pointed us to the actual Johnston Canyon this time. There were already a few cars on the parking lot.
The welcome sign at the entrance announced that we have two choices: ½ mile walk to Lower Falls or 1 ½ mile walk to Upper Falls. I decided on Lower Falls. I am good in math. 1 ½ miles times two, back and forth that is converted to kilometers, converted to walking time uphill and downhill in snow equals… too much walking!
There goes my math
Half an hour into our uphill struggle and surprise… we met the same couple who were dog sledding with us just the day before. “So, how is it up there?” I asked. “Well, lower falls are nice, but upper falls are outstanding”. They replied.
There goes my math. They ruined my careful calculations for distance versus time and most of all physical exertion, but I guess we were heading towards the Upper Falls instead now.
Some mental focus, redirecting my inner chi and maybe even tapping into Andi’s unexhaustible enthusiasm, I bravely embraced the idea of an extra mile uphill. Although, I must admit, there was a conflict brewing inside pulling me between avoiding Rudolf’s red nose and being a health example for my patients.
After a short debate I convinced myself that a red nose may actually be cute and even fashionable as it well matched the stripes on my snowsuit. This is what I do for you people! So please feel inspired and motivated to move about. I risked it all for you, lol.
Health has benefits
The falls were nice. Gallons of frozen water hanging from cliffs and patiently waiting for our arrival. There was nobody around. No surprise. Most people do not have the grit, stamina, or temperature tolerance to venture to the Upper Falls in the midst of winter. Too bad. Health has benefits, including travel benefits. Stay healthy and you will not miss a thing.
Going back downhill was an even a bigger challenge. My shoes turned into skates and I DON’T skate. Bum ride was an option and I took it on “as needed” basis. Yes, I know it is not the most age-matching way to spend time.. but it is sure was loads of fun. The proof in the video
To be continued…
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