Valley Of 5 Lakes & Bald Hills Hikes

Yesterday I completed two hikes in Jasper National Park; Valley of 5 Lakes & Bald Hills. I started my day off early at 6:30am by waking up and making a nutritious breakfast omelet and coffee before setting off on a 5 hour drive towards Jasper.

First stop was Valley of 5 Lakes, a short 4.5km hike with a mere 154 metres of elevation gain. The hike was amazing; it started through a moderate density forest and opened up into a meadow before going back into a forest with a view of five beautiful turquoise and emerald coloured lakes. The hike took roughly an hour to complete and was completely worth the visit.

2019-08-31 Valley Of 5 Lakes 12019-08-31 Valley Of 5 Lakes 22019-08-31 Valley Of 5 Lakes 32019-08-31 Valley Of 5 Lakes 5

It was nearly lunch so it was time to head into Jasper. I stopped at my favorite place; Jasper Brewing Company and had a cheddar burger with poutine, and a pint of their Rockhopper IPA, which is super tasty.

After lunch I drove to Maligne Lake, where I started on the trailhead to Bald Hills. It was a light misty rain when I started the hike, but over the course of the hike it started to rain more and more. About 1/3 of the way through the hike I met a wonderful woman named Susan, and her husband Steve. They had one of their daughters, and daughters friend with them. We spent the rest of the hike together, which made for a nice time. One of the kids made a hilarious comment when we were talking about religion. She said “Is a Protestant also a prostitute; we all burst out laughing! By the end of the hike we were all soaked. The hike was 13.2km with 701 metres of elevation gain; I definitely felt it in my quads towards the end.

2019-08-31 Bald Hills 12019-08-31 Bald Hills 22019-08-31 Bald Hills 3

After the hike I drove back into Jasper to fill up my Lexus with fuel, and get some coffee from Tim Horton’s before heading back to Calgary. I finally made it home around 10:30pm.

Lake Annette & Read’s Tower Hikes

Today I completed two hikes; Lake Annette & Read’s Tower. I woke up at 4:00am and had some eggs, brisket, and cheese for breakfast with some coffee and then set off at around 4:30am. I had to fill up with fuel on my way out of the city, but thankfully gas is only 95 cents/litre at the moment so it only cost me $23 for a partial fill.

My first stop was Lake Annette, which is near Lake Louise. The drive took about 2.25 hours. I arrived at 6:45am and got started on my hike. Lake Annette is rated as a moderate hike with 377 metres of elevation gain over 11.3km of distance. The hike took me just over 2 hours to complete. The hike spends the majority of the time in the woods, with a few spots of alpine meadows. I was the only one on the trail for the majority of the hike, except towards the end when I was nearly back at my car.

2019-08-30 Lake Annette 12019-08-30 Lake Annette 22019-08-30 Lake Annette 52019-08-30 Lake Annette 6

The next hike was Read’s Tower, which is in the Spray Lakes area near Canmore. The drive from Lake Louise took about 1.5 hours. There was only 3 other cars in the parking lot, so I knew the trail would be quiet. I made it about 2/3 of the way up the 6.8km trail with 855 metres of elevation gain before throwing in the towel. My shoes were not giving me any grip what so ever and I fell over a few times. It’s time for new hiking shoes since my tread is almost completely gone.

2019-08-30 Read Tower

C-Level Cirque, Wapta Falls, Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Lake, and Natural Bridge

On August 18th I went and explored Yoho National Park in British Columbia, and completed C-Level Cirque in Banff National Park.

I started the day early and left my place at 7:00am with a quick stop get to some coffee from McDonald’s. First stop was Natural Bridge, which was once a waterfall, but the softer rock that was below the hard limestone had eroded away until the rock widened enough for the water to flow under the outcrop, thus creating a natural bridge.

2019-08-18 Natural Bridge 3.jpg

A quick drive down the road had me emerging at Emerald Lake. It was full of tourists so I didn’t stay very long. Despite being full of tourists it was still a beautiful sight to see.

2019-08-18 Emerald Lake 12019-08-18 Emerald Lake 22019-08-18 Emerald Lake 4

The next stop was Wapta Falls, which you can get to from a quick 4.7km rountrip hike that has 126 metres of elevation gain. It took me about 1 hour round trip to complete. Wapta Falls is a waterfall of the Kicking Horse River, and is about 30 metres high and 150 metres wide. The waterfall averages 254 cubic metres of second of water flow.

2019-08-18 Wapta Falls 12019-08-18 Wapta Falls 22019-08-18 Wapta Falls 3

The next stop was Takakkaw Falls, which you can get to from an even quicker 1.4km rountrip walk (yes lets not even call it a hike), with only 36 metres of elevation gain. Takakkaw Falls stands at an impressive height of 373 metres tall, making it the second tallest waterfall in Canada. Takakkaw, a Cree word, translated to the word “wonderful” in English. The falls are fed by meltwater from the Daly Glacier, which is part of the Waputik Icefield.

2019-08-18 Takakkaw Falls 12019-08-18 Takakkaw Falls 2

The last and final stop was the C-Level Cirque hike in Banff National Park, about a 45 minute drive away. The hike is quite the huff at 9.2km with 755 metres of elevation gain. The hike mostly has you in the trees until you are greeted with an amazing view of Lake Minnewanka. At the beginning of the trail there is some old abandoned coal mine buildings and shafts. I was warned about a bear towards the end of the trail head but that didn’t deter me. I had my bear spray with me.

2019-08-18 C-Level Cirque 32019-08-18 C-Level Cirque 42019-08-18 C-Level Cirque 52019-08-18 C-Level Cirque 6

Willcox Pass Hike

A few weekends ago I had the wonderful opportunity to complete the Willcox Pass hike with my friend Ashley. We set off early in the morning with a quick stop at McDonald’s to fuel our bodies with coffee before continuing the 3.5 hour drive to the Willcox Pass trailhead.

Sticker time on the hike is about 3 hours but we took closer to 4 because we wanted to take our time and we ran into some people and got chatting. The hike is 9.5km return with 522m of elevation gain. At the end of the trail you are greeted with a beautiful view of Athabasca Glacier (aka Columbia Icefields)

2019-08-04 Wilcox Pass Hike 12019-08-04 Wilcox Pass Hike 22019-08-04 Wilcox Pass Hike 32019-08-04 Wilcox Pass Hike 42019-08-04 Wilcox Pass Hike 52019-08-04 Wilcox Pass Hike 62019-08-04 Wilcox Pass Hike 72019-08-04 Wilcox Pass Hike 82019 iPhone Photos 1822019 iPhone Photos 183

After our hike we decided to go for some Montreal Smoked Meat poutine in Canmore at 514 Poutine, which is owned by a group of friends from Montreal. The clientele was mostly French speaking so we knew it was a good place. After our delicious dinner we drove back to Calgary. It was a 13 hour day all-in-all but an amazing one!

2019 iPhone Photos 1862019 iPhone Photos 1872019 iPhone Photos 185

Wings Over Springbank Air Show 2019

On Saturday July 27th 2019 I went to the Wings Over Springbank Air Show for the first time. My friends Hadrian, Nick, and his girlfriend Heather attended. The biennial airshow was celebrating Springbank Airport’s 50th anniversary. The Canadian Snowbirds,a CF-18 Fighter Jet, Brent Handy & Todd Ferrell (each in a Pitts Special), P40 Kittyhawk, P47 Thunderbolt, and Team Rocket (Ken Fowler & Eric Hansen), as well a female pilot I didn’t catch the name of (in a Vans RV-6) attended. A ground display of the reconstruction of the Avro Aero 2 was also present. Sadly some of the displays were cut short on the Saturday showing due to a storm that rolled on in. The show was cancelled early at about 2:30pm. Hadrian ended up going back on the Sunday, but I wasn’t able to attend. I still managed to get some great photos.

2019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 532019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 162019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 192019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 212019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 232019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 242019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 252019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 262019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 282019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 322019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 342019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 382019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 402019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 422019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 442019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 482019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 492019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 522019-07-27 Springbank Airshow 54

Lindsay & Michael’s Maternity Photo’s

My friend Lindsay and her boyfriend Michael are expecting their first born any week now. I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph them together in Big Hill Springs Provincial Park a few weeks ago. I was a bit sidetracked with Natasha and Tracey’s wedding so I hadn’t had the opportunity to post these photos yet. I met Lindsay and Michael about 7-8 years ago when I was working at Golder Associates as a Civil Designer. These two are absolutely hilarious together! I’m rooting for a girl, but I guess we will find out in a few weeks as its it’ll be a surprise for all of us!

2018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 012018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 032018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 042018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 072018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 102018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 112018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 122018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 162018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 172018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 292018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 312018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 402018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 432018-07-08 Lindsay & Mike Maternity 47

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Japan – Nagano, Matsumoto, and Nagoya

The next stops on my Japan trip were Nagano (for one night), Matsumoto Castle, and Nagoya. I stayed in Nagano for the evening after visiting the Jigokudani Monkey Park. I stayed in a very swanky hotel right at the Nagano train station. I had quite a bit of work to do that evening and I wanted to be close to the train station for the next day. I did a time-lapse video of the sunset and was pretty impressed how it turned out.

2017-06-25 Japan iPhone 0772017-06-25 Japan iPhone 0782017-06-25 Japan iPhone 0792017-06-25 Japan iPhone 0812017-06-25 Japan iPhone 0822017-06-25 Japan iPhone 083

The next day I boarded a train towards Nagoya but made a stop in Matsumoto. Matsumoto is one of Japan’s top four castles to visit, and during this trip I visited all four! Masumoto is unique because it’s a black castle, also known as the “crow castle”. The amount of engineering detail that went into the castle is breathtaking. They accounted for everything that you could possibly conceive, even earthquakes. Not bad for late 1500’s engineering! The castle still stands to this day, surviving multiple earthquakes, and World War 2. Over the years the castle was ruled by the 23 lords of Matsumoto representing six different daimyō families.

2017-06-25 Japan 3412017-06-25 Japan 3502017-06-25 Japan 3532017-06-25 Japan 354

After soaking up this magnificent castle I continued on my journey to Nagoya. My two favorite things about Nagoya was the Toyota Museum, and the MAGLEV museum. I actually learned that Toyota is one of the largest manufacturer’s of the automatic loom; apparently they started out as a textile machine company. Nagoya impressed me in some aspects, but disappointed me in other aspects. I was disappointed about the dirtiness of the city, and overall grungy feel to the city. It felt like the Las Vegas of Japan in a way.

2017-06-25 Japan 3602017-06-25 Japan 3622017-06-25 Japan 3632017-06-25 Japan 3642017-06-25 Japan 3682017-06-25 Japan 3712017-06-25 Japan 3732017-06-25 Japan 3772017-06-25 Japan 3792017-06-25 Japan 3842017-06-25 Japan 3852017-06-25 Japan 3912017-06-25 Japan 3922017-06-25 Japan 3932017-06-25 Japan 3942017-06-25 Japan 4262017-06-25 Japan 4272017-06-25 Japan 4312017-06-25 Japan 4362017-06-25 Japan 4422017-06-25 Japan 4522017-06-25 Japan 4532017-06-25 Japan 4592017-06-25 Japan 4762017-06-25 Japan 481

The next stop in my trip was Kyoto, one of my favorite stops of the entire trip. Stay tuned!

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here