Saskatchewan Crossing #2
With the grim weather outlook heavy on our minds we stumbled once again into the Jasper Backcountry Office on September 1st. We were reconsidering our start of the Brazeau Loop, an 80 km, 5-day backpacking trip in Southern Jasper National Park. Jeremy had already determined that it sounded like an unwanted experience in such wet cold conditions; I was a bit on the fence finding excitement in the struggle. The upbeat park ranger equally increased our energy towards tromping around in the wilderness with subzero temperatures, snow at the peaks, and rain in the valleys. With confidence, we were off to conquer our next adventure, even if it might only be celebrated once we successfully finished.
Approaching the Sunwapta Pass with the Brazeau Loop trailhead nearby, our energy came to a sudden halt. It was pouring rain even at this high elevation pass with no signs of deceasing and actively snowing at the highest peaks. The thought of being drenching wet in the valleys, then hiking above the snow-line to be frozen for 5 days put a damper to our excitement. Crossing into Banff National Park, the Rambler seemed to be incapable of coming to a stop as we slowly passed the trailhead. Silently agreeing that even though the toughest scenarios are usually the ones you remember most; sometimes you should just throw in the towel. Especially without the reward of beautiful mountain vistas covered by the ongoing storm. So what better way to feed your questioning mind (if you made the right decision or were you coping out) by returning to the known beauty of Saskatchewan Crossing. Deciding on another riverside location just down from our first campsite weeks before, we found joy in the view, opportunity to catch up on some writing, and the pleasures of baking. There is a certain comfort that comes from baking in the wilderness.
Canmore was our first stop as we merged back onto the Trans-Canadian Highway 1 from our beautiful adventures on Highway 40 in Kananaskis Country. Canmore reminded me a little of Jackson Hole, Wyoming with new development and sharp dramatic mountain peaks. Our stay in Canmore included a trip to the grocery store, a really crappy campsite (adjacent to the Interstate), and a bike ride in the area. Canmore is located on the edge of Banff National Park and seemed to be the more affordable option compared to the town of Banff. After some small talk with a local in line at the market we decided to ride at the Canmore Nordic Center because it had a wide variety of cross country biking trails nearby. The biking was pretty decent but nothing to get all aroused by; lots of fun sections but weird layout with confusing intersections frequently. Im not complaining as it was a welcomed morning to get back on the bike after time away from the mountains.