This past weekend I also got to meet my blogging friend– Keenan in person. Just over 4 years ago we first started exchanging emails…I was living in Pangnirtung and he had recently moved to Colorado. He totally had switched up his life and had taken on a 52 hike challenge for the year!
We became friends over the years as we exchanged info on the how to’s of blogging and just random stuff happening in our lives. At the time we started talking Keenan was just setting up his blog. I think we exchanged emails for almost two years before becoming Facebook friends. He’s even done a guest post here on Sarah on the Road when my mum and I went to El Salvador.
Back up to the middle of May, we had a random FB chat about him coming to Ontario to do a marathon… but he had committed to one in Banff and one in New Brunswick this year. (He just has completed running marathons in the 50 states (in just under 3 years!) and now is working on the 10 Canadian Provinces…plus some other international destinations…) So Ontario wasn’t in his plans for 2016.
I asked him when he was going to Banff for the marathon…and luck would have it that it happened to be the SAME weekend I was in Canmore for Meghan and Todd’s Wedding so we decided to meet in real life!
Friday night when he got into Canmore we met up over his dinner to discuss our plan of attack for the next day. Our mission was to explore and have fun in Banff National Park—see as much as we could! (I had to duck out around 12ish to get ready for the wedding…and he had to pick up his marathon bib for the following day…but he met up with me later for the reception!)
We got on the road extremely early—anyone who knows me knows I am NOT a morning person. But here I was Saturday morning of my holidays getting out of bed at 5:30am–quick shower then drove over to Keenan’s hotel to head out onto the road leaving by 6am.
As much as I grumble about early morning starts…I totally learned something Saturday morning… early mornings are awesome, because the lakes were less crowded and the sunlight was FANTASTIC!
We headed towards Lake Louise…with a stop a Moraine Lake before getting there… it was so peaceful and gorgeous. A few hikers in the parking lot getting ready for a serious day’s hike… and a few photographers catching the morning calmness of the lake.
A much different scene from when I was there with my mum the day before around 11!
Look at that view the perfect reward for an early start to the day.
Our next stop was Lake Louise…such a calm & wind free day (not like the day before!) No clouds on the mountains… reflections perfectly clear… and the colour of that water– breath taking!
So when I was there with my mum I heard about the Lake Agnes Tea House. It’s been serving tea since 1905…at an altitude of 2,135 m… and about a 3 1/2 km hike from Lake Louise. I was like…I’d love to go there, but knew mum wasn’t up for that kind of hike. So I put that idea in the background. Fast forward to Saturday morning–I suggested to Keenan we head there.
Almost immediately as I started sucking air heavily I regretted the choice. But I continued on… laughing and chatting all the way up that bloody mountain to the tea house. Sometimes just rambling nonsense—and wondering in my head —are we there yet? Actually this might have been out loud and not always in my head!
It’s a really well maintained path–and only the last little bit is shared with horses (so have to watch out for the horse poop!) A perfect hiking trail.
I’m so glad we started hiking early…because there wasn’t many people on the path. By the time we were coming down—the path was full of groups! Honestly, it was so much nicer of a climb because at times it was just Keenan and I on the path, rather than a HUGE group of people in front and behind us!
We finally arrived at Lake Agnes…and saw the tea house! I was so shocked I actually made it up that bloody mountain but then again, sometimes it’s the company you are with that makes the time fly!
My view from the tea house… gorgeous lake and mountains and SNOW!
So many tea choices… I had the Lady Agnes *something* berry… and honestly, I can’t remember what Keenan had–Though it was the first on the list! LOL We also had soup to warm us up.
The view toward Lake Louise—it’s in the clearing around my elbow!
Isn’t Lake Agnes pretty? Here’s a view towards Lake Louise. (—the Chateau Lake Louise can be seen just to the left below my water mark on the photo!)
Then we were heading back down the mountain… that was a fun it was all downhill! The first groups of people that came up via horseback had arrived—so it was fun to see the horses!
Some of the people that were hiking had all the gear—I prefer to hike in the Rockies with my jean jacket and black pashmina scarf… gotta have a bit of style!
It was a perfect idea–thanks Keenan for joining me on that adventure…and sorry if I did grumble a wee bit on the way up! We left the day for hiking at this point…with me rushing back to Canmore to get ready for the wedding–and Keenan picking up his race bib for the race the next day!
Sunday morning I headed up to Banff to see Keenan start his 56th Marathon…and his FIRST in CANADA! You can read about the run from his perspective on his blog!
While Keenan was running… I headed back to Canmore to pack up & get mum so we could come and do some exploring around Banff! It’s so touristy–and so many fun shops to window shop in.
Keenan was so focused on the end…didn’t even see me waiting at the finish line! (The plan was he was going to text me when he was done….and I’d come pick him up and take him back to his hotel for a shower before he headed to the airport!)
However, there’s something so fun about a race and watching the runners come in… I had to wait to and cheer on everyone!
…Congrats on your first Canadian Marathon!!! It was fun to be able to see you cross the finish line.
Keenan it was so nice to finally meet you in person! Keep on having your amazing adventures–you inspire me to have my own.
The rest of the day was spent driving…first back to Canmore to drop off Keenan at his hotel. Then onto Calgary to the airport….where I joined my Gramma & Bart, Aunt Anne & Uncle Andrew, Aunt Marie & Uncle Chris and Clayton, Cody, Charlotte and Caroline for the flight back to Toronto…. I got the middle seat between mum and Clayton!
It was the end to the perfect weekend away…looking forward to my summer and new adventures!