Monday, June 25, 2012

Bow Falls - May 5, 2012

It was a banner moment for the HipHiker household. The moment when our family hiking group no longer consisted of two pairs of feet along the dusty trail... but four.

Ok, so at 14 months (at the time), the boys weren't going to be kicking up too much dirt in their Stride-Rites, but it was time to see if they wanted to come along for the ride, so to speak.

Buying child carriers was a foregone conclusion for our family until a couple of friends mentioned their kids did not take kindly to the backpacks. Dropping $200+ (times two!) for something we might never get to use wasn't terribly appealing. I was lucky enough to find out the local twins club (Twins, Triples and More Association of Calgary) had loaners. We borrowed them for a few weeks, and started light.... Bow Falls in Banff.

Despite being twins, my boys are nothing alike. Benjamin is my outdoorsy kid, he'll giggle in a snowstorm and turn his head to smile into the wind. But he has never liked any carrier contraption we've put him in. He hated the wrap and barely tolerated a Snugli. Joshua on the other hand doesn't seem to relish the elements as much, but is good to go with any mode of transport. I was curious to see what this combination of personalities would bring to the trail.

Though they began with a lot of crying, once they were lifted onto our backs and realized how much they could see and touch, they got into the hike. Once they reached out and started touching trees.... nothing but smiles.

Not a bad way to start your hiking career... and not a bad view either...

Hitting the trail! Benjamin was already mesmerized by the view...

Now we just need to find time to buy child carriers of our own.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A drive along Highway 66 -- July 11, 2010 (from the archives)

Not every venture out to the mountains is for hiking. Sometimes we just want to take in the scenery with friends.

I didn't know it at the time, but this would be my last hike pre-babies, and it wasn't even a hike. Some friends were here from Winnipeg. One had grown up in Calgary and wanted to see some of the old sites. So Elbow Falls, Forget-Me-Not-Pond, some rock skipping into the Elbow River, and a memorable day was made...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ford Knoll - July 2, 2010 (from the archives)

We rarely ever see anyone else on Ford Knoll, even though it's right next door to a very popular campground. We never see a single soul on cloudy and rainy days. But the world never looks as vibrant as it does on a rainy day....

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tunnel Mountain - June 26, 2010 (from the archives)

Banff National Park tweeted earlier this week that a number of Banff area trails are now snow free, including Lake Louise Shoreline, Glacier Lake Trail, Johnston Canyon, Bow River Loop, and Castle Lookout. This got me thinking about Tunnel Mountain Trail, a good trail for getting the hiking blood flowing and getting your first good views of the post-winter Banff landscape.

It's a great short hike, especially if you haven't warmed up those hiking legs yet. Even if you're not in peak form, it takes about 45-60 minutes to reach the top without pushing you beyond your limits, and gives you a little bit of rocky terrain near the top to whet your appetite. There's lots to room to stretch out in the sun at the top and enjoy the views.

I can never get enough of the views of Mount Rundle... right next door.