Saturday, June 24, 2006

I woke up a little on the late side today, likely because I had no plans. I always find it hard to get out of bed when I don’t know what I’ll be doing. As I have said before, sometimes even a good breakfast plan is enough to get me going, but today I had nothing.

Well after breakfast and an hour or so of internet browsing, I finally decided I could not spend another Saturday sitting around inside my apartment. Nor could I drag myself to the office on such a beautiful day. It seemed my only option was to flee the city and go for my first hike of the season.

I secured some provisions at the convenience store next door and was on the road somewhere around quarter to two. I arrived at the Little Elbow campground at 3 PM and set out on my hike.

I had chosen the Nihahi Ridge trail. I had been on the Nihahi Creek trail a few years ago, but had never walked the ridge. I am so glad I chose to do this today. The weather was perfect, and the trail was not too busy. I made my way to the top of the ridge, shooting a whole roll of film along the way. (OK, I confess, I made my way ALMOST to the top, the internet said the scramble to the top was for experienced scramblers only, since I have never scrambled and was on my own, I decided it was not worth risking my life.) About halfway up I turned around and there was a breathtaking view of the Elbow Valley below. I made a mental note to stop and take a picture on the way back down. Little did I know that from that point on at nearly every turn in the trail, and even more breathtaking view was waiting. Maybe that is why I was so out of breath by the time I made it to the top.

I stopped for a little break at the top and then turned to make my way back down. I stopped and chatted briefly with a few fellow hikers on the way down, encouraging them to get up as high as they could so they could be treated to the same views as me. I hope they all took my advice.

I made it back to the trailhead parking lot about 3 hours after I had embarked on my hike. It felt so good to have an afternoon of fresh air and sunshine. We here in Calgary are blessed to have such beautiful parks so close by. It is nice to know that no matter when you wake up in the morning, you can always escape the city for a nice day of hiking.


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