Saturday, January 04, 2014

Johnston Canyon and the Inkpots

It's amazing that I lived in Calgary less than 1.5 hours from this amazing spot and never visited this place - It was an AWESOME day and we got to see some amazing sights up in the mountains of Johnston Canyon in the Canadian Rockies.  We drove out into Banff National Park and found this gem.  It is actually the busiest of all the attractions in Alberta because of it's friendly trails many of which are man made and wide - the first part of the trip is actually very user friendly as you hike to some of the waterfalls.  it is only the second part of the hike where we ascended to the ink pots that was a challenge.

The hike started off with lots of support - everyone except Libby, Sean and Braydon and Nina were able to come - Brayden still had an injured ankle from his Heritage Park Trip and couldn't walk that far - they eventually made it to the falls but turned around.  Nana was awesome and helped Taylor and Charlotte make it to the falls as well.  Nana has recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and has some problems with burning in her feet especially with lots of walking so she made it to the falls with the little girls and then turned around - she is a real trooper.  The rest of us were gone for many hours on a a wonderful hike.

The view over the edge was awesome - the pathway was built into the side of the cliffs and as you can see it was some 30 feet or so over the base of the canyon where the blue/green waters rushed.

 That water is so cold - it burns to be in it.

Check out Hotty Mom - with Liz and Carleigh.  this is one of the many waterfalls that we saw.

This was the upper waterfall - it was all hiking form this point on.  Bri was an excellent leader - he seemed to always be in a competition with Drew and Caty - At this point we don't have many pictures of Caty Lynne - I think that's probably because she was upset and pouting.  

We couldn't get Lizzy to stop smiling - well until we got to the ink pots - about 10 minutes before we got there the kids all started to get whiny!

Bri and Mom - leading the Pack

Finally made it to the upper valley where the Ink pots are - evidently there are these water pools that are natural springs and have such intense colors from the nutrients in the spring water that they are bright blues and greens.  The valley was beautiful.

Frolilcking in the mountain grasses.  This is a scene from The Sound of Music!

Caty-Lynne finally turned it around as we were able to sit down and bust out the trail mix - She even smiled and enjoyed herself.  Brian and I pose in front of the river in the valley where you can see that the bridge was washed out.  There was such heavy rains and flooding that the whole valley had been changed - the bridge used to cross the river but had been total moved to the other side - there was no way to cross.

This pretty much sums up the rest of the trip - once we reached the apex of the mountain valley, no one wanted to walk home.  I think they would have been happy with a chartered helicopter to get us down. The truth is that there some storm clouds coming in and daylight was waning - we needed to get down quickly - as you can see dad's shoulders are the easiest way to go when you don't want to wait for little ones and short legs.

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