During the Canadian segment of my road trip last May, my aunt spent the day with the best weather in Kootenay National Park. Kootenay National Park is located along Highway 93 which is a scenic route that is divided. There is a north and south segment of the route. The north segment of the route is called Icefield Parkway while the south segment is just Highway 93 which runs from Banff to Radium Springs.
The weather on the day before was awful, as I chronicled in F for Field. We thought we would have another of those bad weather days and we couldn’t be more wrong.
Kootenay National Park is a relatively small park compared to Banff and Jasper National Park. However, it is slightly larger than Yoho National Park, at least if you count the scenic stops. Our first stop of the day was Marble Canyon.
Marble Canyon was surprisingly bare. Many of its trees had been burned off due to wild fires in recent years but as we hiked higher, we noticed new trees were sprouting from all over the place. As pretty as Marble Canyon was, it wasn’t an easy hike as some spots were icy while some were muddy and slippery.
When we finally made it back to the parking lot, two hours had gone by and miraculously, the clouds had parted and the sun had come out to shine. My aunt and I continued our journey southward and less than five minutes later, we arrived at the next site – Ochre Paint Pots – and that’s when the trip became messy.
Due to the recent storms, the ground had soften and muddy. Taking each step required additional calculations, whether you will land on solid ground or soft earth. The trip back to the parking lot was when I got in trouble. On one of my steps, I landed on soft earth and immediately, I felt like I was sinking. “Help!” I shrieked and frantically grabbed my aunt’s arms as she pulled me out. My shoes were ruined and the ankles of my pants were dyed red with mud. Great, well, at least we were heading back to the Vermilion River, which will have water to clean my shoes.
After the paint pots, we continued heading south and before we knew it, we arrived in Radium Spring. We grabbed a quick bite before turning back to see more sights.
Our final destination of the day was the hike to Dog Lake. Unfortunately, we didn’t complete the hike. After cleaning my muddy shoes with the icy water of the Vermilion River, they had become rock hard as they dry. Walking in them was like dragging around bags of stones. However, I got plenty of pictures of the sunny afternoon. That was where I got the first picture, along the hiking trail.
Oh well, next time.
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