Alberta- Banff Pack Trip
It’s about a three-hour ride over varied terrain through Banff National Park to reach Mystic Camp. I’m riding Tumbleweed, a mountain-tough quarter horse whose trot is surprisingly smooth, for my Equitrekking Travel Pack Trip info Banff National Park. Barry, our guide, is riding his mule named Sharon Stone. He says she’s got a real attitude. She certainly doesn’t get along perfectly with my horse Tumbleweed, who whinnies and shakes every time Barry and I ride away from the other horses. Tumbleweed prefers horses to mules. Go figure.
The ride to camp is a mix of sun, rain and hail. We’re in the mountains, where layers are key because the weather changes rapidly. When we start to feel the first drops, we all untie our rain jackets from behind our saddle as quickly as we can without scaring our horses. We don’t want to get wet on the ride. There are no washers and dryers at camp, no showers and no electricity. Thank goodness there is hot coffee and tea waiting for us, as we cross the bridge that leads to Mystic Camp where we’ll spend the night. I need the refreshment after listening to the hail pelt my cowboy hat, which comes in handy out on these trails.
The next morning, we continue further, passing from dense woods where the earth is covered in thick moss to openings that reveal tall mountain peaks that resemble Ansel Adams’ photographs. The scenery is striking, but the best part of the trip, besides s’mores by the fire at night, is the ride to Mystic Lake, a glacial fed emerald colored lake surrounded by snow capped peaks. A cool breeze wafts off of the chilly waters, as we ride around the lake, as far as we can go. We haven’t seen anyone else hiking or riding yet today and we’re the only ones who have braved the trek to Mystic Lake. Having this little piece of paradise all to ourselves makes the trip here all the more rewarding.
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