May is a challenging time for hiking in Alberta. With the thawing a number of trails are avalanche risks. Other trails are still closed for the winter season. Others are newly closed due to awakening bears. Some are too muddy or still icy. And yet others are simply too steep for our family to tackle (this one has nothing to do with the season).
It's a loop, so we had first to decide which way to go. We chose clockwise, although in hindsight I would have done it the other way - when going counterclockwise you run through the destroyed-by-fire part first and have the prettier part to look forward to. Early on in the hike we saw the first wildflowers of spring. We are looking forward to the wildflower season in the Rockies.
We think we've realized that the high elevation is part of why the sun feels hotter here. I mean we started dragging at 70 degrees. There were a number of shady spots in the first part of the hike where snow still lay on the ground, so we grabbed handfuls to melt along our necks and arms to cool off. I tried throwing a snowball but it disintegrated before reaching its target.
* Terry has requested the disclaimer that the hike had about 300m (1000feet) of elevation so it was far from flat, but that's flat for Alberta and especially compared to what we've been trying to hike lately.