I'm starting to realize that people in this part of Canada are not reliable sources for gathering information about the strenuousness of outdoor activities. We really should have listened to the man at the dock who suggested we hitchhike the 10 miles up the gravel road to Kokanee Lake, but when Travis spoke with some other people about biking to the park, they said that it was "a grind". Travis took this to mean that it was totally doable without gear, and I FOOLISHLY went along with him.
We lasted a grand total of 1.5 miles before our speed dipped below 3mph and my lack of momentum caused me to lose balance and topple over. So we ditched the bikes in the woods, started walking, and stuck our thumbs. A nice boy named Braden and his mom Kathryn picked us up and drove us to the top parking lot, and we started our hike to the to Kokanee Glacier.
Now, the lady at the provincial park promised us that the hike up to Kokanee Lake wasn't so bad, and even though the guide book said it was strenuous, she said she did it when she was 5 months pregnant. Okay, this is good news. We started walking up the mountain, and soon heard someone gaining on us. It was a young couple carrying a toddler in a backpack, and they smoked us. Then, a 60 year old couple passed, and 70 year old man with a walking stick. We huffed and puffed. We have sea-level lungs, OKAY??
Fortunately our hiking shame was dwarfed by the beauty of the hike itself. As we climbed higher into the mountains we recognized some of the same wildflowers we saw in Colorado dotting the mountainsides.
Streams formed by the melting Kokanee Glacier tumbled down around us, and we stopped filtering our drinking water.
We finally reached the lake, and I'lll tell you what, alpine lakes are in a category of their own.
We continued on the rocky path beyond the lake, meeting marmots hiding in the boulders.
We reached a beautiful meadow crisscrossed with gently flowing streams fed by cliff waterfalls, and there was still some snow on the ground from the winter.
It was hard to turn around, but we didn't want to be the last ones in the park and be stuck without a ride back to our bikes. Luckily the members of Kokanee Mountaineering Club was coming back from their hike and were happy to give us a ride. We once again experienced hiking humiliation, because this over 60 group had not only completed the hike we did, but also bushwhacked to the peak of a mountain all in one day. Their calves were MASSIVE. They were such a friendly group, and we were almost sad to get dropped off to bike back to camp.