While it wasn't the first item on the list, I've already accomplished one of the goals: Hike to the top of a mountain in the Canadian Rockies. I actually set this as a goal early this year when I began working toward a healthier lifestyle. We've traveled to Banff several times over the past twelve years, however we've never actually hiked along any of the trails in the area. We've always done a fair amount of walking, even up and down the mountain road to the resort, but this year I wanted to do some FUN nature hikes and reach the top of a mountain on my birthday.
We actually hiked four different trails (one each day) during our trip. The first of these was a relatively easy trail, 1.8 miles, mostly flat with a few small inclines, all the way around Johnson Lake. It was a beautiful day - the temperature was in the high 40s when we started out and warmed up to the low 60s before we finished. It took us a little over an hour to complete the hike, with lots of stops along the way for photos.
The views along this trail were beautiful - with mountains and trees reflecting in the lake.
Our second hike took us to the top of Tunnel Mountain and was the most difficult of the four trails we hiked. It took us 2 1/2 hours to complete the 3-mile round trip because we had to stop often on the steep inclines to catch our breath. (We don't have many inclines like that here in the DFW area . . . and the elevation difference between Dallas and Banff is 4400 feet!)
The views from the top of the mountain were fabulous!
I have to admit that I was pretty tired by the time we reached the top, but the sense of accomplishment made it all worth it!
Our third hike was the shortest and easiest - a 1.3 mile loop under a canopy of trees that took us about 40 minutes from start to finish.
Our last hike was my birthday hike - 1.3 miles to the top of Stoney Squaw Mountain! The temperature that morning was equal to my age (45!), but we set out with high spirits despite the cloudy skies.
This trail was very different from the previous ones: narrow, damp (due to recent rains), and crisscrossed with tree roots.
We had FUN on this hike and were thrilled to reach the top!
In fact, we've agreed that we'll return to the Canadian Rockies in the next few years and hike some longer trails and reach the top of higher mountains!
So, that's one item checked off my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list - 49 to go!
Do you have a Things To Do list? Is hiking to the top of a mountain on your list?
Be sure to check back tomorrow to read about some of the items on my list that I've talked about doing for many years but haven't done yet. (Click here to see all my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 posts.)