Part of the mad scramble for campsites means taking what you can get in terms of dates, or in terms of campgrounds. My second priority was to camp along the Icefields - there are so many cool hikes but they are too far to get to from home. So, for this week of vacation we spent 4 days at Two Jack, came home for a night of showering, laundry, and repacking the cooler, then set off for 5 days at Rampart Creek.
First hike: Wilcox Pass. Supposedly beautiful views, and I can believe it. We did spend a bit of time playing in a patch of snow we came across, and when Terry and I took a short detour to a flowing stream the kids watched a prairie dog scamper about. There were pretty wildflowers all along the path and in the distance.
Second hike: Parker Ridge. Similarly probably beautiful, lovely wildflowers, similar extreme smoke.
Bear: There were signs up all over the campground alerting folks that there was a bear in the area. According to the chalkboard by the water source, it had last been seen 5 days ago. But apparently all the good berries are now ripe because between 9:30-10:30am each morning the folks camping in sites closer to the water than us has sightings. One day on our way back from a hike we passed a car with its hazards on, pulled not-quite-over enough on the shoulder a couple of km from the campsite and Terry noted there was a bear the car had pulled over to watch. I only saw a dark blur as we drove past. It's probably the same bear.
Sunsets: It was a lot like Goldilocks' lunch. The first night we waited too long to wander over toward the creek to get a sunset photo and the sun was already behind the mountain by the time we got there. So our second night we went extra early, but got so bug bitten we had to give up before it got the real fiery reds. Third night was just right, and Terry was able to capture some pretty pictures.