White Silence >> Speaks Volumes

We have returned from adventures north! And, boy, were they some cold adventures. Temperatures hovered just above and below the 0*F mark (that’s -20*C for those north of the 49th.. As a Minnesotan at the core, we didn’t let this stop us at all, but I have no idea how Nicole does it so early in the year; it felt like January in November!

Anyway, the sun shone most of the time, and all the trees looked sugar coated and beautiful. The bigger lakes, like Lake Louise here, weren’t frozen over yet, so they were steaming and looked so magical in the light.

This is the hostel where we stayed. We’ve stayed here before and we love it. I love hostelling so much; I should do a post on the wonders of hostelling another time. This particular hostel is very special though, as it’s a wilderness hostel. No running water, a solar panel for electricity, and a wood-fired sauna for bathing and getting warm to the core. The one bummer is using an outhouse…in the cold. Needless to say, I was mighty grateful to use a heated bathroom after our stay.

Although it was very. very. cold, there is something so serene about the frozen world. Kind of like the desert, any living thing you see has adapted to life in those conditions. The snow dampens all the sounds, and there’s this dulled sonoric quality all around. And the stars! So many stars… that’s always one of my favorite parts about getting out really far from big cities. And in the cold, the starlight is amplified and looks like nothing else.

Piko loved it – of course. She was able to run around with a couple of other dogs that were at the hostel, and was a champ on the trail. We took her hiking and snowshoeing. It was so cute to see her fall through the snow chest deep and try and plow her way through! I love this picture of her looking like such an adventurer, surveying the horizon and eyeing up her next conquest.

I can't wait to go back....something to daydream about. :)

shanti >> sondra



  1. Next time come to Jasper. It's equally as beautiful, but it's not as commercialized as Banff. The downtown is smaller, the people are friendlier and there are lest tourists to get around on the trails, on the ski hill and just in town. I love Banff, I think it's gorgeous, but in all honesty, I think I live in the better of the Mountain Parks.

    I'm so glad to hear you guys had a good time. Your photos are gorgeous. It seems Banff has a bit more snow than us. We've had warm days this week, so everything is melting away.

    Also, outhouses in the winter are the worst. BUT! I discovered in Yellowknife that there is an amazing trick to making them more enjoyable. I went to a cabin when it was an average of -35 C and the only option was the outhouse. I held it in for hours before I finally bundled myself up for the walk outside. And then, I discovered a piece of hard foam insulation cut into the shape of a toilet seat. It was amazing. It doesn't get cold even in those extreme temperatures!! Brilliant, right? No winter hovering. Haha.

  2. abhaya_sondra11/16/12, 11:29 AM

    We actually did get to visit Jasper the last time we were up that way, and loved it! It was just a _little_ too far to go the extra distance (turning a 12 hour drive into a 16 hour one) for such a short time. Hopefully we can make it up to Jasper next summer - and visit you while we're at it!

    Oh, and GUESS WHAT I totally found that Hurrah! chai lip balm while I was up there! You better believe I've been slathering it on! :)

  3. Felicia Melendez11/16/12, 2:00 PM

    These photos are gorgeous, looks like you guys had fun!!

  4. That's awesome. That stuff is the bomb-diggity. Did you find it in a grocery store in Lake Louise. That's where I stocked up on three extra tubes. I don't know that I could live without that stuff now. It's AMAZBALLS.

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