A “straight-through” hike is one where you start at one end and finish at the other, as opposed to our usual “there-and-back” where you retrace your steps. A straight-through hike can feel mentally daunting. When you hike 5 km and turn around, the going-back seems faster, and you see nothing new, except for the different perspective. A straight-through hike, however, feels like two hikes in one day. You go 5 km, have lunch, and then go another 5 km. At every turn, you see something new.
On top of that, Middle Coal Lake, has a physically challenging—but fun—section between Point Cooperation to Kjorlein Corner. Good thing we had just had our lunch and were energized for it.
Nineteen people came out for this hike—the highest turnout this year. Either it was a particularly fine day, or so many of us love challenges.
And what a day for natural beauty. We saw pelicans, loons, a patch of shooting stars, the rare wild clematis, loads of bluebells.
The storm clouds rolled in, rain poured down for about 30 minutes, then it was back to sunny and clear blue skies. The old comment about Alberta was demonstrated again: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 30 minutes.”
Thanks to Anita for leading the hike and to Lee for coordinating the drivers. You can find more photos on Flickr.