Next to car camping, easy back-country camping would be my favorite use of my first real tent!
Taylor Lake is a 40-minute drive, West of Canmore, and is a popular trail/campsite/fishing spot for a lot of tourists and locals.
A local outdoor group, CHAOS (Canmore Hiking and Outdoor Society), organized an easy backpacking and fishing trip months back and I knew I had to get in on this pronto!
The hike is fairly easy. 6.3 km, 592m elevation gain, lots of flowers and interesting fungi to see!
An hour or so later, we are greeted by this view:Taylor Lake reminds of Lake O’Hara (which I will write about later). Taylor Lake is beautiful – crystal clear and aqua green in color. A waterfall at the far end feeds the lake. Mt. Bell and the Panorama Ridge serves as background. Mt. Bell catches sunlight so beautifully at sunset and the Panorama Ridge has a cool pinhole feature in one of the false summits which Brendan and I checked out — not.
There are just 5 spots and Paul, our organizer, reserved all of them – tent partaaaay! The campsite is also equipped with picnic tables, food hangs, and an outhouse.
Now, about food – I’ve noticed that I’m starting to get tired of the usual food I take on trips and how I get extra sick of it when on a multi day trip. Then, I start eye-ing my trip-mates food and wish I had their food. I asked Brendan if he felt the same, and apparently, a lot of back-country travelers experience it! Now, I think I have the habit of asking trip-mates what they have for food and make a mental note of having that next time.
My mental food note of this trip? A Ziploc full of pasta with pesto and grilled chicken slices. Yum! I was on a hike a few days back and thought I would really like some lots of carbs after lugging a heavy backpack.
After lunch, Paul initiated a hike towards Taylor Lake meadows and I am so glad I came with!
This area has to be one of the prettiest meadows I’ve seen. Bird vetches, Buttercups, Elephant Heads, Indian Hellebores, Cotton-grass (we were so curious about this – first time we’ve seen it on a hike), Campion moss, Columbines, cute Western Anemones (Hippie-on-a-Stick), and my favorite – the Indian Paintbrush of different shades and colors. I sound like I know all these flowers but I just Googled them, really.
There were lots of mushrooms, too. I can’t be sure of those that I saw but I think it was a Larch Bolete and another which I just can’t find on the internet.We ended the meadow hike on an interesting boulder where we pretend-bouldered. lol.
Back at the campsite, I had dinner quickly as I was eager to get my fishing on! Fasshaaang! Wooo!
20 minutes in, I start to feel some tugging, then saw some thrashing in the water.. I caught a fish!! Wooo!!
So stoked! Now I know how it feels!I don’t think I’m ever fishing in a National Park, though. I find it pointless that I have to release the fish back in the water. I mean, that’s just torture to the fish and somewhat a waste of time and energy to the fisher. I guess it is relaxing and meditative.. but, I’m in it to catch myself some food.
Anyhoo, on to the last point of my post.. Tent and sleeping pad mini-review!I’m really loving my Mountain Hardwear Drifter 2P DP! It is roomy (well, I’m tiny) and had me and Daphne sleeping comfortably. I notice there’s less condensation when it’s 2 smaller sized people inside. Much less when it’s just myself. It holds quite well in rain and wind although I haven’t had a stellar thunderstorm camping episode yet. It’s not the lightest tent but two people can manage hauling it. Super good deal at just $250! I got it on sale at Atmosphere for $179.99. This was the first time I used Klymit Inertia X-Lite sleeping pad – finally! I picked this up on the sale rack (but of course) at the Atmosphere in Banff and didn’t really think about it’s technicalities other than it will be super mega ultra lightweight – 6.1 oz! I’ve been camping without a pad all spring and summer and thought that this pad, even if it will be uncomfortable, will be such a big step up from having nothing that I’ll be happy with it. Surprise, surprise – it is comfy and kept me warm! I kept slipping off it though – so maybe I’ll have to get some Velcro straps to fix that, or just slip it inside my sleeping bag. The pad kept me off the hard and cold ground and I was sleeping so comfortably. The next morning – I kept talking about it during breakfast. Another steal at just $59.99! The next day was just all about breaking camp and getting out of there fast. Dark clouds were rolling in and we just made a dash for it towards the parking lot. I was kinda bummed I didn’t get to hike to the waterfall.. but, oh well.. I didn’t want my tent to get wet anyway. 😀 I know this post feels like it ended so suddenly. Actually, that’s how this trip felt like. Blame it on the rain! LOL!
Photos from the CHAOS Meetup Group