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Category Archives: Hikes
On our last full day in Canada, we packed the car and checked out of the hotel in Canmore. We wanted to do a short hike before driving back to Calgary, but I didn’t see any additional hikes in Banff that would fit into our allotted time. Upon doing some research online, I decided that we should attempt the West Wind Pass hike within the nearby Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park.
On Tuesday, we returned to Lake Louise, getting an early start, driving to the overflow parking lot and taking a shuttle bus to the lake. The sky was notably clearer today. It was a nice reprieve from the smoke, and nice to see blue skies. The mountain seen directly in the center is Mount Victoria, home to Victoria Glacier. On this day, we were hiking in that direction, to the Plain of Six Glaciers.
We spent Saturday (our Sabbath) in Canmore, enjoying a nice walk through downtown in the afternoon. When we had checked into our room on Monday afternoon, I noticed a black and white rabbit hopping around outside, and correctly inferred that it was a domestic rabbit, as wild rabbits are brown (other than the winter morph of the snowshoe hare). On Saturday afternoon, I noticed additional rabbits hopping around town, and saw some establishments that had placed pans of water out for them. I later learned that the rabbits date from the 1980s, when someone released them. They are considered undesirable, out of fear that predators will enter Canmore to eat the rabbits, and possibly then endanger dogs or even people.
We made sure to wake up early on Friday, as we planned to hike at Lake Louise, and also needed to be back at our hotel in Canmore in time to prepare for the Sabbath, which began at 8:40 p.m.
Wednesday was similar to the previous day in Banff, in that we got a late start, first intending one hike, and then switching to another. We drove to Lake Agnes, about a 45 minute drive north of Canmore, and arrived to find that all the local parking lots were full. We were then directed to an overflow parking lot located a few miles south on the highway. We waited in line for the free shuttle bus to Lake Agnes, until we heard that the last return bus would leave Lake Agnes at 5:30 p.m. As happened the previous day, I did not have confidence that we would be able to travel to Lake Agnes, hike, and return before 5:30.
We flew into Calgary on Sunday night, August 12, and spent the night there. We had rented a Mazda 3 from Budget in Calgary, and it was a comfortable car. The next day, Monday, August 13, we did some grocery shopping and drove to Canmore, checking into the Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge.
We drove to Ringwood State Park, which I had last visited over five years earlier. We parked in the northern parking lot at Ringwood Manor, and discovered that the wooden pedestrian bridge across the Ringwood River had a board across it, suggesting that it was not to be used. Nevertheless, there was no signage, and a couple carrying an infant was crossing the bridge from the other direction, so we also crossed it.
After spending the night in Medford, we drove northeast to Greenport on the North Fork of Long Island, where we caught a ferry to Shelter Island:
We decided to take an overnight trip to Long Island for Labor Day, and first drove to Shirley, to the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge features wetlands on both sides of the Lower Carmans River. While the visitor’s center is closed on Sundays, the refuge is still open for visitors. As we drove into the property we saw a few wild turkeys, but they did not wait to be photographed.
On Monday, we decided on a moderate 7.2 mile hike, the Catskill Escarpment Loop. We drove from Saugerties into Haines Falls, turning right onto North Lake Road and then right onto Schutt Road, parking at GPS coordinates 42.20105/-74.05807.