I am always fearful when I start walking or driving on an unknown mountain road. Will the road be bumpy? Is it well maintained? Is there danger? Is there any telephone in case we need help? The answer to all four questions was yes.
The scenery was stunning with wide blue lakes bordered by mountains covered in dark green forests and high mountain snow. There were only two cars on the road in four hours. Wilderness at its finest.
Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NASB
We drove south from Canmore until the sun had hidden behind a mountain and the temperature dropped precipitously. There was a small trail to the lakefront of Spray Lake with beckoning picnic tables in summer warmth. The trails were still on steep hillsides above the water, so we began the search for waterfront.
The campsites were all closed for the winter, but the boat launch was open. The gravel road was deserted except for one lone coyote. He was making his way back from the locked trash bin and paid us no mind at all.
The lake water was liquid ice and my fingertips were soon frozen. Winter was not here yet, but the isolation, wildlife, snow, and temperatures were indicators that this is not a safe place to be in the winter without proper equipment and preparation.
How do you prepare for a winter hike? What is in your bag for safety or first aid? When have you feared a hike and did it anyway?