Alberta Day 6

This was the coldest of the pools. I got all the way under! Miette Hot Springs.
Utopia Pass where we ate lunch.
Warmest pool. What fun!
At the bottom after we did the wrong trail.

Today when we woke up at our camp site it was zero degrees.  The car (where we slept) was cold but it was warm under the sleeping bags. I really didn’t want to get up, but I had to go to the bathroom. Cooking eggs was challenging.  My hands were going numb. The light gloves I brought weren’t keeping my fingers warm.  But once we got water boiling for tea, the sun was higher, and we started to get warm.  It became a beautiful day.

By 9:30am we left the campsite and by 10:30am we made it the Sulphur Skyline hike.  I’m a little impatient to start hikes. I saw a crowd of people go to what looked like an entrance to the hike.  We asked if they were doing it and they said yes.  We started walking the trail.  At one kilometer the trail ended.  The group was confused so we started to doubt whether the entrance was indeed for that hike.  As we turned around a bit upset that we’d have to go back to the start, I saw a bridge and some hikers coming down a path.  I asked them if they reached a peak and they showed pictures of what looked like one.  It didn’t look like the view we were shown in the photo, but I was on a roll to get to the top.  A climb we did.  It was muddy and steep at points but nothing too challenging until we got off the trail by accident.  We started walking up a stream and slippery large rocks trying to find the trail.  Realizing after much effort and many stumbles that we were off the path.  We turned around and found where we diverged and continued.  At 4 km which was where the correct hike would have ended we got to a pass.  We were sure that the path would take us around and then up to the peak.  Instead we kept going down in a forest into a valley.  Disappointed we ate our lunch in the forest once we reached 5 km.  We went back to the pass and ate the rest of our lunch with a better view and then walked back down.  Arriving at 3:30, 10 kms later!  It was still nice, talked to some interesting people who also made the same mistake as we did.  We saw lots of different sized feces from animals but no animals other than very tame chipmunks that demanded our lunch.  The treat at the end of the long hike was a soak in the Miette Hot Springs.  There were 4 pools, one 40 degrees, the second 38, the third was 20 and the last was 13.  It was lots of fun going from hot too cold too hot to cold several times.  My feet and hands tingling.

After the swim my body felt refreshed and we got back in the car and drove to our campsite just outside of the town of Jasper.  It’s so quiet here.  The sun has gone down and it’s cold again.  But we’re hanging out in the car, reading, and blogging.  I cooked the eggs this evening when the sun was out, so I wouldn’t have to fiddle around with the camp stove when my hands are cold.  Though I found a better pair of gloves stashed in my bag.

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