Alf and I decided to take our boys backpacking into Elbow Lake.
Here is the evidence of our outing.
My friend Alf agreed to join me to introduce our five-year-olds to backpacking, the 'real camping'.
I figured that having a friend along would decrease the whining, and I was mostly right. We started the
trip with lunch at Lorette Ponds, which the boys enjoyed simply for running around and throwing rocks in
Not a terrible spot to throw rocks in the water.
We got an absolutely stunning day to set off on our trip. That's Mt Lorette behind the boys.
We got to the trailhead and the boys were pretty excited to start heading to the lake, until they saw how
steep the trail was. Since it's only 1.4 km, I didn't think too much of it, but I suppose it does climb 140m
in that period of time, so an average of 10% grade I guess is something for little legs to deal with.
Alf and Rhys getting ready to hike in.
Henry and I getting ready to hike in. You'll notice his little Chase stuffy stuffed in the side of his
backpack. He has his clothes and his sleeping pad. I have everything else.
It's more obvious how much of pack mules Alf and I were in this photo.
After about 30 minutes of whining about why they couldn't have an escalator to go up the trail, Henry and Rhys
were REALLY excited about the rocks they found and their ability to throw them into the lake.
That's part of Mt Rae behind the boys. To their credit, it took them 10 minutes less time to
hike up the trail than hike down it the next day. So that's something.
He thought having a bob on his hook was a nice addition. It also kept me from having to wade into the
lake (freezing) and get his hook unstuck. This is on a bench on the north side of the lake.
The boys enjoyed this spot to fish from the best since it had a big drop off the shoreline and therefore
they caught less hooks on rocks.
Alf took the opportunity to get re-acquainted with fly fishing
When I asked Henry after this trip what his favourite part was he said 'climbing up on the rocks'. This is
Elpoca Mountain above him and he thought he was a genuine mountaineer when he ran up this slope.
Rhys practicing casting
Alf actually caught a fish!
Alf's fish was only slightly larger than a sardine. I don't think I had the tiny surgical tools to
fillet it, so it went back into the lake. I think it was a small brook trout.
Henry convinced Rhys to go 'rock climbing' up to the rock that Henry liked to sit on.
While I was a bit concerned for our boys about how cold it was going to be in the morning, it turned out
to be wonderfully calm and not too chilly as we woke up. A nice view of Elbow Lake in the morning.
It clouded in a little bit though, meaning the views up to Mt Rae weren't as good, but you can still see
Alf working on his fly fishing practice here.
The boys totally hit the jackpot though as this morning was the regular monthly helicopter visit from
Alberta Parks to transport full poo buckets and to bring up firewood. The boys, needless to say,
were thrilled to have a chance to see a chopper zipping around the mountains.
The boys had fun playing on the wood bridge as the Elbow turns from a creek into the river. Thankfully
we had removed Henry's hook and left a bob, and Rhys was still using the plastic fish for casting practice.
We still spent an inordinate amount of time unhooking and untangling their lines in the shrubs around the creek.
After we got out, we decided to do lunch at the Highwood Meadows since it's just a few minutes up the
road from Elbow Pass parking lot. The boys had fun listening to a chipmunk whistling at them and eating
their lunches. Alf is looking cool with Ptarmigan Ridge just above him.
The boys were pretty jacked as we stopped at Fortress Junction for ice cream. Henry called it
'Ice Cream Junction' and Alf got them 'kids cones', but the gentleman working saw their faces and
upgraded them to the largest cones he could make...