The Civic Holiday added an additional day without work to the last weekend, and we made the most of it by backpacking up to Ribbon Lake. We wanted to get in a backpacking tour to try out our new camping equipment out before we needed to rely upon it on the other side of the Atlantic. The weekend was very demanding on the body, but the escape from the city and the scenic vistas doubled rewards back on our efforts.
We left Saturday morning with full knowledge that photographic habits would turn the ten and change kilometer hike into a half day affair. Sure enough stops were made to take pictures of various water features, critters and landscapes. The hike to the falls is quite easy, with over eight kilometers knocked off on a very level path with little in the way of serious inclines. Soon after the falls, you start switchbacking up the <delete>hill</delete> mountain, until after over 300 meters of vertical in a single kilometer, you come to the chains. The final leg of the journey does sap the strength, but it wasn't long after the crux of the hike an we were at the campsite. We soon set up our site and were ready to dig into some dehydrated food. A meal of beef jerky and mushroom alfredo filled up the gas tank, and we were sleeping before the sun set.
Sunday morning we knew immediately why we put ourselves through the effort of climbing up here just to sleep on the ground. We had a nice breakfast before we scampered about the lake taking pictures and exploring weird rock covered in colourful fungus. We returned to camp for some lunch, and were pleasantly surprised by the arrival of Colin and Jessica. Colin was even man enough to add a couple of cans worth of weight to his pack just so I could enjoy a cold beer. After that kind of effort I think I owe him some fingers or something. We all went back to the previously explored falls for some lounging and goofing around. On our way back to camp we mentioned to Wayne that if he managed to catch anything with his duct-tape repaired fishing rod that we love some trout for dinner, and he delivered two good sized cut throat for us to fry up. Soon after, Colin and Jess were pretty tuckered from their trek so they retired early while we played a few rounds of crib to make use of the remaining daylight.
On holiday Monday the campsite was abuzz with people trying to hawk off the last of their food, and pack up every little bit waste that was generated over the last few days. Nobody was leaving anything behind, but no one wanted to carry down any more than was absolutely necessary. We seemed to be the only people that were not in a hurry to leave, as it wasn't even eleven and we had the campsite to ourselves. With the new found calm in the campsite we had a couple of visitors while we waited for our gear to dry in the sun. But, all good things eventually come to an end, so we slung up our packs and climbed back down to start the trek back home. We were back in the parking lot by four and in Calgary by half past five, which left us with the perfect amount of time to enjoy running water, refrigeration and plush Lay-Z-Boys before retiring to a very comfortable sleep.