We wanted to title this post the Agony & the Ecstasy, but we thought it might be a bit too dramatic. We planned to hike the Bald Hills trail on Thursday, a trail we have never done before, but it was highly recommended to us the day we did the Maligne Lake cruise because of the great views over Maligne Lake. We are glad we tried it and accomplished it, but it was a bit more challenging than we anticipated. It was billed as 6.2 miles with 1600 ft of elevation gain, but in reality to reach the summit of Mt. Baldy, it is necessary to do 8 miles with 1855 ft of elevation gain, somewhat beyond what we consider our maximum. Needless to say, we saw no one else even approaching our ages. Unlike most of the trails, this one just goes straight up, no flat parts. The first 2 miles of drudgery are an old fire road, then a trail of roots through a beautiful subalpine zone, and finally a scramble up to the alpine (no tree) zone, sometimes as steep as 45 degrees (remember one of us is a mathematician!). Can’t say it was the most fun we’ve had hiking, especially going down, but we did it. And the views were great although the photos can never capture the full impact.
Spirit Island (the photo we sent in our previous post when on the cruise) is the tiny speck way off to the right in the photo below. Maligne Glacier is beyond.
Friday was our reward – a trip to Miette Hot Springs pools. The day began with 6 elk feasting their way through our campsite. Note our guard cat in the photo below.
We loved soaking in the 103 degree pool and then jumping into the 58 degree pool. Hard to describe how it takes your breath away and how invigorating it feels when you get out. A beautiful day!
More goats – this baby was very cute baaaaing after it’s mom.