Thursday, September 22, 2016

Day Four at Mt. Assiniboine Lodge

Day Four at Mt. Assinboine Lodge was Saturday, September 17th.  This time around we heard the hot water delivery at our cabin door at 7:30AM and got up on time.  We were actually over in the dining room in advance of breakfast being served.  This brought on yet more teasing from many of the other guests, in light of our tardy arrival the past couple of mornings.
We had been really fortunate in that up until this day, the weather had been wonderful.  But, it had cooled off and clouded over the night before, and this day brought rain.  It was cool and drizzly as we went for breakfast in the dining room that morning.  
After breakfast we set out with a number of the other guests on a hike.  Two groups were heading out again on this day.  About half were going with Claude, to the east past the lakes and on to a ridge.  The rest of the group, which included Margarit and myself, were setting out to climb the Niblet.  Our guide on this day was a Swiss lady named Marie-Therese.  By the time of our departure the clouds had lifted a bit and though it was still cool and breezy, it was no longer raining.  We set out to the Niblet, which afforded some wonderful views of Sunburst Lake, Sunburst Peak and Cerulean Lake.  
The French couple from Quebec that had arrived the night before were with the group and were very friendly. It turned out that Pierre, a monster of a man at 6'-5", was a freelance writer working on some magazine articles for a French-Canadian outdoor magazine.  The American couple from Kansas City were also very friendly but they had set out on their own up to Wonder Pass.  Gail, was struggling a bit with the outdoors but husband Robert was an avid digital photographer.  He and I carried on some photographic conversations over the time we were together.  We were totally outnumbered by all the women and so we sort of retreated into our own little world when the guests all got together in the evenings.
Once we made it up to the Niblet that morning I set up my big camera on the outcrop and proceeded to make some photographs.  As in the past, the other hikers moved on long before I finished my pictures.  Margarit enjoyed herself photographing a chipmunk while I continued with my landscape work.  We soon grew tired of the strong wind that was blowing and eventually made our way back down to the meadow below.  We stopped for lunch at a couple of small water holes and explored the animal tracks and the diveristy of the alpine meadow.  We found it unusual that two of the three water holes were full of snail shells while the third was barren.  We met up with a photographer from Montreal leading a workshop, and one of his guests, from the Oregon Coast.  They were staying in the nearby campsite.  Later still we wandered over to the shore of Magog Lake.  The grand landscape was not really in the cards as the peaks, particularly Mt Assiniboine, were shrouded in clouds.  Mostly I did some detail shots along Gog Creek near where it spilled into the lake.
We finished up here in the late afternoon and made our way back over to the cabins.  Margarit made it over to the shower building before the big rush of hikers came back in but I did not.  As a result I had to wait for a while to get into the showers.  Once that was over with we headed over to the Lodge, had a beer, and then enjoyed a fabulous dinner, the best of the stay by far.  This one included roasted beef tenderloin with rosemary, roasted baby potatoes, salad and grilled red peppers with steamed veggies.  It was wonderful and satisfying, particularly after such a chilly day.  There was yet another dessert that everyone raved about yet again, but I can't recall what it was as I didn't try it.
That evening, after visiting for a while, it was with somewhat heavy hearts that we returned to our cabin.  We knew that this would be our last night here and that in the morning we would have to pack up for our trip out.


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