20150327-Life is a Paradise

The lyrics to Ace of Base’s Lucky Love might not make very much sense but if you “grew up” with it like I did, you might be inclined to linger at the Canadian Brewhouse just a bit longer when the track comes up on the playlist. Even after the tab’s paid. Even after a long day of work and a long flight back from northern BC. Life is a pa-ah-radise…whoa-oha-yeah!! I believe life could be paradise once again…

So here’s what happened in March. Other than submitting my tax return.

I did about half the treadmill kilometers as last month because it’s warm now! Got back out on the trails and during our 34k Minnewanka Lakeshore/ Aylmer jaunt that turned into a bit of a death march, J lay down on the trail in a mock nap. Someone on Facebook was offended (was it the word “vagrant”? was it the ensuing discussion about his beard? we might never know) and the photo got taken down. Then reinstated about a week later.

The offensive photo
The offensive photo

p.s. because I didn’t know that you can drive up the Two Jack side to Minnewanka, we walked the road up from the winter gate (but let’s pretend we did it on purpose). And ran into the war memorial and church ruins in the ghost town of Bankhead. Incredible! I never knew how much history was hidden in the trees even though I’ve done the C-Level hike and driven this road so many times. There are some great photos from Ben Gadd’s book about the town.

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Down in the States, it seems, the National Parks vandal was apprehended and she is remorseful for having graffiti-ized trails in something like eight (eight!) parks across the West. What’s going on with Casey Nocket.

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Closer to home, the Banff bison reintroduction debate continues. Even closer to home, at Nose Hill we ran into a woman anxiously half-dragging her dog in the opposite direction, breathlessly explaining the short collar moves by saying that three coyotes were trying to lure her pet away, presumably with the aim of having it for dinner. Yep the animals and are out and about.

The lead dog-lurer
The lead dog-lurer

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Speaking of wildlife, the sheep are about to give birth and the impending spring trail closures pushed me to head to Centennial Ridge on an opportune evening ahead of the restrictions. Dry mostly, to the point of purposely wanting to walk through snow, then some knee-deep snow up around the top rock band and of which I quickly tired. Windy as heck. Nice views of Wind Mountain and Sparrowhawk.

Sun starting to set
Sun starting to set
Made it halfway up in a tank top, it was that warm out. Then I hit the wind and had to pull on a hoodie to shelter my ears from the incessant blowing.
Made it halfway up in a tank top, it was that warm out. Then I hit the wind and had to pull on a hoodie to shelter my ears from the incessant blowing.

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The next day, it snowed/ rained. The first sign of spring was the single bug that got squished on my windshield as I headed to the Bow Valley Parkway and “tried” Mt. Cory. Though as I am now looking through other peoples’ photos online and wondering how on earth I missed seeing a huge cave, possibly I was actually on Mt. Edith..??

Nice curvy lower trail, no bikes allowed!
Nice curvy lower trail, no bikes allowed!
Try another day. Live another day. This wasn't even the pass yet. Eh, no harm waiting for summer; guaranteed to be a way faster ascent.
Try another day. Live another day. This wasn’t even the pass yet. Eh, no harm waiting for summer; guaranteed to be a way faster ascent.

Earlier in the month I’d seen a video of a massive grouse attacking skiiers (where else but Facebook). The one I saw that day kind of looked at me but didn’t seem to concern itself much with what I was doing.

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Excuses: It’s cold out. The drive’s too long. My tips are frostnipped. I’m too short. I’m too fat, man! Well, send we did, on Guinness Gully, which was my last climb of the ice season. Nice drive out to Field BC in Yoho NP via a pastry & tea stop in Lake Louise, but probably will not do this one again unless continuing the extra hour hike onto Guinness Stout (we didn’t have avy gear with us. plus we started late, if 6:30am is late, ha). B smashed through the slush on rappel down the second pitch and swung into the “shower stall”. Hoods up!

The shower stall
The shower stall
B's GoPro shot of pitch 3.
B’s GoPro shot of pitch 3.

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There’s still one weekend left in March. What to do, what to do.

To end how we began. Not with the introspective stream of consciousness a la new style of nature writing but with the energy and pop-iness of Ace of Base:

You can do what you want to, just seize the day
What you’re doing tomorrow’s gonna come your way
Don’t you ever consider givin’ up, you will find, oh

It’s a beautiful life, oh oh

Let’s give that a growly whoa-oha-yeah!

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