Curiosity takes me to Prairie Creek and endorphins, finally!
We did two hikes in the last few days and I finally managed to get that endorphin exercise high without too much pain, yeah 😀. I have been trying to heal a sore knee, so that was a good thing!
The first one was the Sandy McNabb trails west of Turner Valley into Kananaskis. Most of the trails are for cross-country skiing but there is only a bit of ice left so we could walk on them. I have never been out to this part of Kananaskis and I really enjoyed the flatter trail, the little frozen streams zigzagging through and the more open forest that reminded me a bit of Europe. Definitely an easy hike of about 8 kms (many different options to go further or shorter if you want) and it was a gorgeous day to get out of the city.
On Monday we went to Elbow Falls and did the Prairie Creek loop. I have always loved the area around Elbow Falls – when the kids were young, it was a good place to bring a picnic and throw stones in the river (we never really made it past the river, they weren’t big hikers then, but that was alright with me). It is pretty popular so we tend to go later in the day (cue the head lamps) when there are fewer people.
This time we started on the frozen creek bed, which was kind of nice as we missed the climb at the beginning. I’m not sure that you would be able to do that too much longer as the ice was getting thin in places but it gave a different perspective to the hike. The river got more snow covered in spots “where the sun don’t shine” and poor Chester was having trouble so I had to pop him into the backpack.
I think this is partly why my partner likes to hike later in the day when there are less people around as he prefers real dogs (his yellow lab), not the “outdoorsy pocket dog”. I don’t mind bringing him as both dogs love getting out and it gives me some upper body exercise too (for about six of the twelve kilometres).
I’m not sure if it was Chester in the backpack, or I was just having a good day, but once we started more of the uphill climb, I really enjoyed it and the feeling of those endorphins. It was another beautiful, sunny day, so hard not to I guess. Our yellow lab loves being in the mountains too and runs back and forth between my partner and me until she gets tired.
We ended the hike not quite in the dark, and the light was pretty. I was reminded of a quotation by Dr. Seuss:
“You’re in pretty good shape for the shape that you’re in.”
I’ll remember that if the next hike is a little tougher. Enjoy whatever adventures you get into this week!