Saturday, January 29, 2011


The first time I set out to Reflection and Louise Lakes, I had trouble finding the start of the trail. I was so intent on snowshoeing that I waltzed right past the sign and stared up at a monster slope above Narada Falls. Taking a deep breath, I gripped my trekking poles and started my ascent. It was slow going, carefully kicking my shoe into the steep bank and keeping a pole firmly rooted in the ground while climbing the slope. It wasn’t until I reached the top, some 20 minutes later, that two men who had stopped to watch me very helpfully pointed out the half-mile trail that I had just bypassed. Live and learn.

The beauty of the day was that it was truly a whiteout. There was so much snow blowing around that I couldn’t see, but I continued forward. I paused briefly at the first lake to share my snack with a solitary jay and then kept on until I hit the second lake, which looked more like a white circle in the midst of trees. After passing a small waterfall along the road and pushing myself around one last corner – just in case there was something inspiring to see – I glanced at the time and forced myself to turn around.

After reaching the hill above Narada Falls that I had so tediously climbed hours earlier, I shucked off my gear and sat at the top, contemplating the earlier climb. Then I set my pack in my lap and gleefully glissaded down.

The only sign of life I saw that day? Mr.Fox.