Moraine Lake, early morning – a perfect start to the weekend?

Maybe! It really was rather early, certainly earlier than intended. We’d dashed out to Lake Louise after work last Friday, with fingers crossed that the forecast for Friday evening and Saturday was accurate – sunshine and warm for September temperatures.

Quick, before Fall arrives!
Quick, before Fall arrives!

A chance to have a pleasant night or two in the tent before the chillier Fall nights arrive. The weekend following Labour Day has always been pretty quiet, so we didn’t bother with reservations…Hmm. We should have! Only one night was available, despite our pleading. (Memo to self – always make a reservation, even after Labour Day – and particularly if that has been a rainy holiday – because everyone appears to have the same plan).

Only one night? Oh well...
Only one night? Oh well…

We had hoped to have a lazy Saturday morning, nothing more strenuous than coffee by the fire, followed by a shortish PM hike up to the Lake Agnes tea house. Then get up early on Sunday to paddle on Moraine Lake before heading home. The tea house hike had to be abandoned for another day, and we started early on Saturday, packing up the tent and into the car before the sun had hit the campground. Might as well get to Moraine a little ahead of the bus parties…

Get here early!
Get here early!

Well. No buses, but when we arrived at the parking lot, it was over half full, and before 8am. Huh? High summer, maybe, but into September after the long weekend? This was not good! You can’t rent a canoe before 10am, so we strolled along the lakeshore trail, soon leaving most people back at the lot and near the cafe and store. The relative quiet restored me back to my usual chipper self (it can be hard to tell when I’m chipper, in truth) as we enjoyed the cool autumnal air in the shade of the trees, and marvelled at the clear reflections in the water.

It'll warm up shortly...
It’ll warm up shortly…
Upside down?
Upside down?
Right way up?
Right way up?

It is such a beautiful part of the Canadian Rockies, and well worth getting up early for. Arriving to see the sun come over the top of the peaks is quite wonderful. (Ma PlaidCamper experienced the sun up there a few years ago. She loved it, but has never quite forgotten how cold it was, even on a bright July day. She bought mittens and a toque from the gift store, wore them for an hour or two, and reminds me she hasn’t worn them since returning to the UK. A lovely souvenir, I like to think).

Cold, but clear!
Cold, but clear! You might need mittens…

Being later in the year, we didn’t see the sun crest the peaks in the early morning from the shore, but from our canoe, just after 10am. Pretty much the first canoe onto the water, and away we paddled, back down to where we’d been strolling earlier, but this time in glorious new sunshine, the rays bouncing off the water.

View from a canoe - aim for the sunny patch!
View from a canoe – aim for the sunny patch!

From chilly to warm in scant minutes, and it more than made up for a crowded campground, only one night, and an earlier than planned start to the day. A sunny morning in a canoe makes for a sunny PlaidCamper. A few hours of Canadian outdoor delight to start the weekend – probably the perfect start to a Saturday – and so we have our fingers crossed we can get out there for another weekend or two before the snow flies.

imageThanks for reading. Please feel free to write a comment or share a story about a perfect weekend start, real or imagined, and keep your guy ropes secure.

Saturday mornings should be like this!
Saturday mornings should be like this!

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

28 thoughts on “Moraine Lake, early morning – a perfect start to the weekend?”

  1. Hello PlaidCamper – thank you for this post and the excellent photos. Morraine Lake is one of my favourite places. On our trips to the mountains, we usually leave home quite early, when most in the city is still asleep. The drive is pleasant and relaxing, and it is a privilege to witness dawn as it approaches. We aim to be the first vehicle in the parking lot!

    Morraine Lake is so beautiful -any time of the year. I have a peaceful feeling whenever I visit this lake.

    Enjoy this last week-end of summer!


    1. Well I hope you get out to Moraine again soon – it is wonderful, and you’re quite right to be there early, best part of the day!
      Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a wonderful weekend!


  2. WOW! This looks awesome and I’m jealous, but it’s great if you had a great weekend. It’s how Saturday should be.
    I just went home and will travel a bit around Germany, so I’m quite excited for some nice Saturdays as well 😀


    1. Honestly, we do appreciate how fortunate we are to be living out here – I really should know better than to complain about a busy campground or parking lot…
      The photographs turned out that way because we got lucky. The enforced change to our plans meant we were at the right place at the right time, and it was hard to mess up – turn on the camera, press the button and let the scenery do the rest!
      Glad you enjoyed this one, and here’s hoping you have a great weekend!


  3. Wow! It’s a place I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. Maybe there will be a day when our American employers give us long enough vacations to actually make it to Canada again. And I agree on getting up early. I prefer to have the trails less crowded. I share my food, but I rather not share my trails. And morning gives the most beautiful light.


      1. I know myself: It’s easier for me to force myself up than it is to wait. And for my husband, easier to get up and not having to share the trail and wait with me. 🙂


  4. I enjoyed your post so much, pc, hearing about your discoveries and intentions, the temperatures and changing seasons. And the photos here are really wonderful — so clear and expansive, and such breathtaking vistas. 🙂


    1. I enjoyed part one…looking forward to the next instalment! Thanks for taking the time to visit OldPlaidCamper, I appreciate it. I’m not a photographer, but every now and then I get lucky with a picture or two because the landscape and light work their magic!


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