August 4, 2011

Taking a Walk on the Wild Side

It's rare for Nadine and me to get a day off  together in the summer, but two days ago the stars aligned, and we went for a walk on the wild side, going beyond the end of the formal trail into one of the many great valleys in the Lake Louise area.  It was a very memorable day.  The wildflowers were great, we got to walk along the top of a long and serpentine moraine crest, and we enjoyed a close-up view of one our favourite hanging glaciers.

But what we'll probably remember most is our turnaround point at the top of the valley.  We were planning to right to treeline, but our forward momentum was halted by a close encounter with grizzly #72 and her two cubs.  We'd been making plenty of noise, but we came over a little rise and there they were, feeding on the lush grasses and plants in the meadow.  I snapped a couple of quick shots on my maximum telephoto, and then we retreated.  From 150 metres away, we enjoyed about five minutes of binocular time watching three of the most famous citizens in all  the Lake Louise area.

They were beautiful.  It would have been great to have Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, so we could watch them some more, but we felt these bears needed to be on their own, so we quietly slipped away.  It was a day to remember.