I never gravitated toward winter travelling. It is ironic that I lived in a country, Canada, known for winter and cold for many years. The thought of thick jackets and wind chills just do not make me think about an enjoyable trip. The constant cold air would kill off any desires I have to go outside. Perhaps that’s why I “ran away” to Australia and Egypt for 2 years.
This past Christmas, I joined my family for a road trip to Banff. We arrived on the evening of Christmas day. The next day we head out to Lake Louise for some snowshoeing. It turned out snowshoes were not a necessity since there wasn’t a lot of snow and we can clearly see some ice cracking over Lake Louise. Walking across Lake Louise was refreshing in the sense that you’d never be able to do this in the summer without any kinds of boats. Mother nature made it possible for me to merely walk across.
It was a very very cold day (-20 deg Celsius), despite the sun. With my hand warmer in my gloves and many layers of jackets, I can still feel and taste the cold. The lack of elevation gain made sure that my body never generated enough heat to feel warm. That is something to note next time I pick a trail in the winter.
Although my fear of the cold was not irrational for the day before, it is a different scenario the next day. We went on 2 hiking trails around Banff – Johnson Canyon and Johnson Lake. It was a much warmer and a more photogenic day. I enjoyed the hike, just like any other hike I would go in the summer, with the bonus of the snow.
The last time I went to Banff was more than 10 years ago. I must confessed that I do not remember much other than vague memories of the hotel at Lake Louise and the hot spring. This time is definitely more memorable. I started to appreciate nature much more once I started travelling on my own in recent years. Winter travelling can (sometimes) be enjoyable. There we go, another fear conquered (sort of).