Because our weekend walk had gone so ‘well’, we decided to up the ante with an actual, bonafide hike in Kananaskis: the 7-8km (roundtrip) hike from Upper Lake to Rawson Lake.
This time, the professor and I decided to forego the pleasantries, and cut directly to the chase. ‘If you do this hike [without complaining],’ we told the boys, ‘you can play computer games when we get home. For a very long time.’ ‘Like 75 hours,’ the Hen joked-asked. ‘Sure, 75 hours,’ I relented, fully prepared to become a newspaper headline: ‘family found passed out after playing computer games for 75 hours straight.’
The joke was on both of us, of course. I knew there was no way they would hike for 5.5 miles (if the professor’s phone GPS is to be believed) without complaint. And they knew there was not a snowball’s chance in Hades that I’d let them play computer games for 75 hours.
So we embarked on our walk and my first sentiment was disappointment. We should have picked a longer, more ‘serious’ hike, I thought. To myself. And my second sentiment was ‘I’m not sure we’ll make it to Rawson Lake today.’
Sure, there are crazy people on the internet (I checked) who will say this is an ‘easy’ hike. And maybe it is, compared to Mt Everest. But as we pounded along the rather-steep-in-parts trail, I couldn’t help but think we should have just parked the car in the parking lot, walked the few steps to the shore of Upper Lake and sat down on the rocky ‘beach’ for two hours.
Or maybe that’s what the professor thought. ‘I’m going to compare pictures,’ he threatened through clenched teeth. Meaning, he was going to look at pictures from accessible via parking lot Upper Lake compared to pictures from accessible by lengthy, steep hike Rawson Lake.
And if Rawson Lake was not obviously more breathtaking……..I was going to be voted off the island.
Tun tun tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun.
Even with the promise of computer games, there were tears and complaints and not just from the children. I realize the youngest member of our family is not yet three, but it would have been awfully nice if this could have been one of his ‘run ahead of the pack’ days instead of a ‘be carried by someone at all times’ day.
Scratch the bit about the running. Bad idea. Since our boys can’t seem to walk (much less run) without falling over the exposed tree roots dotting the trail. ‘Why do trees even exist!’ the Gort despaired after tripping and falling down for the fifteenth time.
‘This is way worse than the hike to the tea house,’ the professor insisted. ‘That was a much longer hike,’ I refreshed his memory, ‘it was 11km and this one is 7 or 8’. Ish. ‘Well it feels worse,’ he countered.
Possibly because he had 35 pounds of fun strapped to his back. ‘Are you licking my hair?’ he asked Percy at one point, slightly outraged. ‘Nooooo,’ our youngest replied, ‘I’m just feeling it.’ ‘With your mouth?!’ ‘No, with my nose.’
After what felt like hours, we made it to Rawson Lake. It was lovely.
Was it worth it? I haven’t yet had the courage to ask the professor.
When we got back to the parking lot, our fearless leader who’d carried a conked out Percy on his back for most of the descent, abandoned us. ‘I need to go stick my feet in the water for a bit.’
We followed him to the rocky shore of Upper Lake.
Maybe it’s prettier?
On the drive home we saw three or four rainbows. ‘That means today was a lucky day,’ I enthused.
No one else agreed.