We could have been on a hiking trail in northern Minnesota. We traveled over well worn ground carpeted by pine needles, deep in a green forest with only the earliest spring wild flowers displaying their colors. Sunshine streaked through the branches, showering us with light only when the canopy allowed it through. Sounds of rushing water in overflowing spring streams were easily confused with the rustle of the wind in the treetops overhead.
But as soon as a broader vista was available, the myth was dispelled and it was obvious we were in the Canadian Rockies. All it took was a bit of a break in the trees to see the snow covered peaks beyond. But even better were the overlooks, where we could see mountains in all directions. And every time we saw them, it felt new to us all over again. An amazing vista.
Today we were blessed with sunshine, blue sky and a return to summer! It helped that we followed the knowledgeable advice gained at the Information Center in Lake Louise and chose a hike at a lower elevation, known to be snow-free early in the season. It was a 9 km hike to Glacier Lake, which was over rolling terrain with one long climb up to a high ridge and then down to the shores of the lake. The spring runoff overwhelmed the trail at times, sending us scrambling for footholds or into the surrounding brush in an attempt to keep our feet dry.