Time for an old favorite: Grassi Lake (get all the details here). N had never done this hike and it seemed like a good morning for a drive to Canmore. The weather that had blown in for the Tunnel mountain hike the day before had stuck around, and it was a cloudy overcast day when we reached the Grassi Lake trailhead.
Here was our view of Canmore from one of the earliest viewpoints of the hike:
Compare that to the same view point back in June:
By the time we got to the recreation area around Grassi Lake, we were practically in the clouds ourselves:
However this might have been the only time in the history of hiking that we'd have the entire lake to ourselves. The mistiness and dampening effect of the clouds just made the colours seem brighter and the area seem more isolated. Not something you're going to feel in the height of summer when half of Canmore is there:
We headed down the old forestry road after spending some time looking around the lake. It's a nicer walk down and you miss some of the crowds heading up. It forms a loop and it can be a pain going back the way you came up, especially with the narrow paths and stairs. We passed by this old cabin. It's clearly been in this state for years, but with the rain throughout the night and morning, the logs gave off a woodsy smell that made it seem very fresh:
A little further down the trail, N and I had quite a surprise. I'd long believed there was little to no chance of seeing wildlife on this trail, other than the odd scavenger squirrel, mostly due to the high traffic on the trail. But this lovely misty morning, a pair of deer grazed right along the trail:
The other deer was skittish and ran away, but this one seemed relaxed and kept on eating as we took photos and went on our way.
I've done this hike so often, I never expected to have such a unique experience on the trail that day. A little bit of rain made all the difference!