Somewhere new…

…although it was always there! Sometimes you arrive at a place and it surpasses expectations. But is that really important? Maybe it is simply enough to enjoy it?

Lake Minnewanka is just such a place. I’d heard of it, but always dismissed it as being too close to Banff, therefore likely to be overrun with coach parties and best avoided – this might well be true into the warmer spring and summer months. We’ve driven past the signposts dozens of times on our way out to Lake Louise and beyond, but recently decided we would take the turn. I’m so glad we did!

A promise of snow?

The parking lot was less than a quarter full. This was likely due to the threat (promise?) of snow later in the day, and relatively chilly temperatures compared to recently. Whatever the reason for few hikers and trippers, being a sociable sort, I was quite happy that only a few hardy souls were out and about.

Never taken for granted

It might sound strange, spoiled even, but I do have to guard against complacency. It isn’t that you get to take the mountains for granted, because for me, that’s not true. It’s more a sense of “oh yeah, another lake, another mountain, not as good as Lake X or Mountain Y, but not bad, quite nice…” Not bad, quite nice!!? Come on!

Away from the mountains, I’m guilty of having mountain or lake preferences, as if that mattered or was important. I’m fairly sure the mountains don’t much care for my opinions, or even that I have them. Actually out in the mountains, the idea that I have a mental list of preferences becomes quite absurd. Simply be there and enjoy it (and perhaps ponder human insignificance?)

Significant? Insignificant? Both! Can you see the tiny couple?

I mean really, “the Oscar for best mountain goes to…” Quite ridiculous, this need we have to compare apples with oranges, and find a winner. Or in the case of the Oscars, compare grapes and raisins. (With all the time spent outside, I’m less grape and more raisin these days…)

Simply enjoy!

Anyway, a brief post this week at being delighted to visit a new place near to home, and have it surpass unimportant expectations! I’ll write a little more another time about the short yet icy trail we hiked out at Minnewanka. Rein in those expectations…

DSCN6438Thanks for reading, and please feel free to share a story or leave a comment.


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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...

26 thoughts on “Somewhere new…”

  1. Beautiful, beautiful…it makes me want to visit there. Much like you, I never take it for granted, but I do find myself being like…”eh, it’s nice, but…” and I try so hard not to. It’s just so hard not to have favorites, I think. I also do try to plan my trips when I know an area is less likely to be swarmed, but it doesn’t always happen that way. Have a beautiful weekend.


  2. Beautiful place and stunning photographs. It is impossible to pick a favorite. As a follower of your blog who only encounters a mountain of snow in our local Target parking lot I will always enjoy the mountain scenery you share, even if the mountain is number 25 on your “mental list of preferences.”


  3. Hello Plaid Campet – thank you for the post and the beautiful photos. Lake Minnewanka is very beautiful. We hiked there on a beautiful day in December and thankfully the trails were not icy. Icy trails are very challenging!


    1. Thanks for your comment – I’d like to hike there on less icy trails! There’s been so much thaw, freeze, thaw again, that trails are tricky at the moment.
      Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


  4. Your post reminds me that when we compare apples to oranges we can find some delicious fruit in our own “backyards.” Wow, another rock we almost take for “granite” (so to speak) but beautifully dazzling just off the open roadway to elsewhere. I’m also reminded of my recent post of (more modest) Gillespie Point in PA which I’d bypassed for so long but then was so pleased to”discover” when I took the time to stop and climb. Terrific photos, Plaid, and important reminder.


  5. As rewarding as seeing a new mountain is being surprised by a familiar one in a new light or robed differently: moonlight, a spectacular sunset, winter garb on a peak you have seen only in summer. The mountains are an ever-changing scene, and every time I go, I feel that I am seeing them for the first time.


  6. It’s always tricky to explore new places yet pay homage to the beauties right in our “back yard” — so many beauties, so little time. Loved the photos here, pc, as usual; such a magnificent mountain is Minnewanka. Thanks for taking us along.


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