Lady! We Ain’t No Ordinary Tourists

Superman and I are on our next adventure in Banff, Canada.IMG_6454-0.JPGGORGEOUS!

After a lonnnng travel day of cancelled flights and hours upon hours of waiting in airports, we made it here late in the night. Because there’s no rest for the weary, Superman had us up bright and early the next morning for an “easy” hike.

Me: So how long is this easy hike?
Superman: Its a 6 mile hike. Shouldn’t take us long to do.”
(I even made him show me the trail on the map.)

IMG_6443-0.JPGWe had a wonderful breakfast, then headed out to the trailhead. About 20 yards onto the trail, we see this sign. Must have 4 people in your group! Punishable by fine of $5000! Jail time…blah, blah, blah. Huh. There’s only two of us. Do we wait for more to come? Now, if you know Superman, he looked at this sign for about 2.1 seconds and moved on. And if you know me, I saw it and started shaking in my boots and ever so quietly asked him if maybe we should rethink this idea. He just kinda looked at me like I had three heads. I guess we were moving on. (Who are we going to call for bail money?)

IMG_6466.JPGGlad we did. Look how pretty!

IMG_6462-3.JPGThank You Superman! Is there any other husband out there who would do this to his sweet loving wife?!?! He thinks he’s hilarious! So there you go…when a girl has to go, a girl has to go.

IMG_6464.JPGWe come to this beautiful lake. This is where the trail is suppose to end for us today. We meet up with four older ladies and their leader asks where we are from.
Us: South Carolina.
Lady: Wow! So where are you guys hiking to?
Superman: We’re going through Sentinel Pass.
Me: (?????)
Lady:Wow! Most visitors don’t hike this route. Have you done much hiking?

Lady, we ain’t your ordinary visitors! Have we hiked before? Oh brother, now it was time to show her how a couple of rednecks from South Cackalacky do it. (Needless to say, I had no idea what I was getting into, but there was no way I was going to let four grey haired ladies show me up!)

IMG_6465.JPGTrust me. Superman was not going to let them get ahead of us.

IMG_6451.JPGWe’d take quick breaks to fuel up on delicious nutritious snacks.

IMG_6453.JPGThe larch trees just blazed.

IMG_6450.JPGWe made it above the tree line to see this! See that spot wayyyy up there? That is where we were going. And Yes, it is as far as it looks.

IMG_6512.JPGDo you see the larch trees in the background? Yup, that’s how far we had climbed so far. Can I just be honest with you? It was steep. It was rocky. It was long. It was sometimes scary for me. In some areas there were large rocks and boulders that needed to be scrambled over and other areas where there was hard scrabble. The hard scrabble could sometimes be slippery with the small rocks giving way.

IMG_6511.JPGThis is me climbing up. Oh wait! You don’t see me?

IMG_6513.JPGThere I am! Superman-aka Mr. Mountain Goat, of course, shimmied right up the mountain, while I struggled for footing, strength and breath.

IMG_6457.JPGWe made it. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like Superman too much. I was in pain. When I looked bak on what I had just accomplished I felt pretty proud of myself. But I knew I was not going back the same way I got here. This is what it looks like on the other side of the mountain. Do you see all the people? There was even a dog who made it up to the top. Surely this was an easier way to go. I knew what I was going to do! I was going to hike down this way and wait for Superman to pick me up if I had to.

IMG_6468.JPGLuckily, he agreed.

IMG_6459.JPGCan you say flat?

IMG_6458.JPGYup, I can do this.

IMG_6441.JPGBut the adventure hasn’t ended. Since we came down the other side of the mountain, we are going to have to hitchhike back to our car or walk 6 miles away. We stick our thumbs out. I feel like we’re Bonnie and Clyde breaking so many rules!

IMG_6448.JPGMike graciously gave us a ride.

IMG_6447.JPGWe drove to Lake Louise for a celebratory refreshment.

IMG_6446.JPGJust gorgeous.

Thanks for dropping by!

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P.S. The “easy” 6 mile hike turned into a 13 mile epic adventure. I like to think that I can add a few points due to the steep elevation and crazy terrain we had to traverse.

P.S.S. Superman is a Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!!!

Day Two in S.D.: Custer State Park and Mt. Rushmore

Yesterday I told you about our first day in South Dakota. The weather has cleared and the temperatures are in the cool 80’s. We started our day checking out Custer State Park, looking for wildlife.IMG_6155.JPGThe traffic slowed for deer, but we made a u-turn and hung a left onto a dirt road to see these two cuties up close. IMG_6157.JPGThe grass was high, so we only saw their long ears. We did exactly what the park service asks visitors not to do…we got out of our car to say hi.

IMG_6156.JPGThis is Myrtle. Isn’t she beautiful?!?

IMG_6159.JPGThen we did the No. 1 NoNo…we pulled some apples out of the cooler and began feeding Myrtle and Pablo slices. I think Myrtle had a crush on Superman. DO NOT DO AS WE DO!

IMG_6162.JPGThese burros were so sweet! They loved the apples and seemed to really enjoy being scratched behind the ears, too. (Maybe we got what we deserved, because we ended up with chigger bites.)

IMG_6167.JPGFarther down the road we spotted a pack of burros under the shade of a tree and beside the cool water of a stream.

IMG_6166.JPGBabies nursed their mommas.

IMG_6168.JPGSome crossed the stream and rolled in the dry dirt to help fend off the flies.

IMG_6171.JPGThomas made a friend.

IMG_6172.JPGI’m not sure if it’s Superman’s good looks or the fact that he has a delicious apple in his hand. This burro followed him closely, nudging other friends out of the way in order to snag the next slice.

IMG_6177.JPGContinuing around Wildlife Loop, we hit a traffic jam of buffalo.

IMG_6181.JPGWhy did the herd of buffalo cross the road? To get to the other side , Silly!

IMG_6188.JPGSome were huge! Some walked right by the side of our car. It was crazy to be so close to them.

IMG_6190.JPGOf course, the widdle babies were just precious keeping up with their family on their trek. (By the way, we were good little visitors and stayed in our car!)

IMG_6233.JPGNext stop…Mt. Rushmore. After 14 years, four hundred workers climbing 700 steps to the top, the use of dynamite, sitting in chairs which were hung from the top, amazingly no one died.

IMG_6206.JPGThe sculptor, Gutzon Borglum was not only a designer and artist, but also a mathematician. He figured out a way to transfer the studio model to the historical mountainside gem by creating a pendulum for measurements. It is almost impossible to truly get a feel for how huge this monument is. George Washington’s head is six stories high. His eye alone is eleven feet wide.

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The purpose of the memorial is to communicate the founding, expansion, preservation, and unification of the United States with colossal statues of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. permalink
Gutzon Borglum – inscription at base of Mt Rushmore

IMG_6220.JPGI know this country isn’t perfect, but walking around this national monument I am, again, so thankful to call myself an American.