Friday, 9 -11 August 2013.
After a failed attempt last year to be able to book this trip, we finally got on this year. We were able to book a great group site at Johnston Canyon for our base camp.
It turned out to be a choice location. Our site backed onto Johnston Creek with the trail to do Johnston Canyon between us and the creek. 5 Minute hike and we were on the other side of the hwy and at the start of the trail. We stopped at Banff on our way down Friday. Had to hit the candy store for some needed trail / hiking supplements. After setting up camp, we did the full Johnston Canyon hike to both the upper and lower falls. Met a very interesting Raven at the lower falls. Turns out he was quite infamous with the rangers as well. The Ranger that took us on our Burgess Shale hike even knew him. She indicated the Raven knows the park staff quite well. (The guys that don't feed you). We weren't in that category.
Got up at 5:00 am so we could get in a heavy breakfast, pack up a lunch and drive to Takakkaw falls parking lot by 7:15. Just barely made it. There Lydia and Jeff were waiting for us. They were great. Lydia knew tons about fossils and all the background to Burgess Shale. Jeff knew lots about the plants and was assisting Lydia. He hadn't had much exposure to the Burgess Shale and had volunteered to help to be able to get more experience. It's a secure site and they told us all about folks that tried sneaking in to steal fossils. They have motion detectors and video surveillance equipment setup all around the quarry site. The hike was 10 hours and of that we took an hour at the quarry. There were lot of fossils we were able to find.
After hiking back we took a trip over to Takakkaw falls. We were able to see it from the mountain we climbed to get to the quarry. Seemed quite spectacular from the view we had on the other side of the mountain range. Some of us took rain coat as you could see a ton of spray coming off the falls. We definitely got wetter the closer we got. There was a cool rainbow that we got picture in. Some of the boys ventured past the end of the walkway and started scrambling up the rocks to get closer to the falls. It gets really wet here. The falls actually cause quite a strong wind, and with the wet rocks on a steep incline, it was tough going. We got some cool videos of that part.
Evenings provided some play time and everyone really got into Kick-the-Can. Lots of places to hide and sneak up to that can. First night the game went well past dark. The tent conversations didn't end till past 2:30 am the first night. The 2nd night the Bishop, Syd and the other boys met up with us. They did the Ink Pot's hike while we were at Burgess Shale.
Sunday we broke camp, got cleaned up, and headed to Banff for Church. Lots of wild life along the way. Got stuck in a bit of a traffic jam as tourist stopped on the hwy to get bear pictures. Met up with some elk right in town. They at least used the side walk and not the road. Had a nice session at church and then we headed back home. Some of the boys imagined there could be ice-cream back at the church in Calgary. Optimistic thinking on their part, but after unloading the gear the boys checked out the kitchen fridge and low and behold someone left a bucket of ice-cream in there. Sweet ending to a great camp.
|http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/exhibits/burgess_shale.htm - we went there.|
|Lydia and Jeff - Parks Canada staff / guides|
|Karl Burndorfer, John Sobkowiz, - Scout Leaders|
|Ethan Conrad. RJ Laigo, Hale Aquino, Issac Gagnon, Aaron Castillo, Sam Llyod - Scouts|
|Daniel Urquijo, William Lloyd, Felipe Cupido, Kevin DeOliveira - Venturers|
|Syd Banks, Bishop Lang - Young Men Leaders|
|Team gathering at the drop off point.||Quick stop at Banff Candy store for some special ingredients for the trail mix.||Really hard to choose with so many choices.||Who outgrows candy!|
|Off To Johnston Canyon Hike - See link below|
|Setting up for dinner.||Cutting wood sideways for even a little stick takes a lot of strength.||I can chop this block on one leg.||Extreme frisbee catch there Ethan!|
|Kick the Can and Hale is it.|
Burgess Shale Hike
|Getting to meet Lydia.||Walking sticks eh, guy could poke a whole in his foot with one of these, or at least a big bug.||Now we are below the waterfall behind us, soon we'll be looking down on it.||The 22km hike starts...|
|No trolls under that bridge.||Lydia teaches us more on the Burgess Shale.||Check out this fossil.||Cool green water. You need to have a red shirt to provide a complimentary contrast.|
|Let see if we can see fish up further on the lake.||If I throw in some trail mix maybe the fish will come.||Next time, I'm bringing my fishing pole. We need to come back here.||Getting a bit hot now, great to take a break.|
|So now the real uphill part starts.||No rocks falling on our heads this time.||Couple hours of UP and we're looking down on Emerald Lake.||Lydia provides more info on the Burgess Shale security system.|
|Where's Pika?||Cute, but watch your belongings.||Jeff letting us know the French mean the same thing in English.||Almost there now. Couple more switchbacks to go.|
|No packs past this point. Wouldn't want to do any shop lifting.||Aaron's first fossil.||Aaron was the best fossil hunter, collected quite a few good one here.||Isaac finds a nice one on this big piece of shale.|
|Nice small one.||My first Trilobite||Better close up.||Got another one here.|
|All of us with our favorite fossil.||You can see all the shale we're standing on. Gets a bit slippery, but we're not concerned with that cliff behind us.||Don't Jeff and Lydia make a nice couple. We think they should get married. 2 peas in a pod, 2 trilobites in a piece of shale.|
|Our Paleontologist work done for the day now.||Can't really see them, but this is looking down a bit on Takakkaw falls|
|Off to Takakkaw Falls Hike - See link below|
|Campfire and no marshmallows?||Helping RJ get warm.||Trevor's got the fire going good now.||Sam with a marshmallow in each cheek.|
|Can you just warm up my marshmallow a bit more.||Daniel burns our last marshmallow stick.||Big day, and we are bagged.||But what about the shooting stars for tonight?|
|1 Pancake, and now just fill this pot with syrup.||No shortage of bacon so far.||Whoa, yea, I'll have some bacon.||More pancakes coming, and the hash brown patties are almost done.|
|Hey RJ, did you know that pancakes float.||Hey these hash browns are better than MacDonald's!||Got some serious eating going down.||Get some 3rd helpings here please.|
|Heading off for church in Banff, Seems like rush hour traffic though.||Ah, they are stopping to get bear pictures...||They're going now, we'll be able to get going again.||Well, at least they know enough to use the sidewalks in Banff.|
|Hey, no garden grazing buddy.||Church went well. bit tough finding a parking spot though.||So on the ride home RJ was dreaming of ice-cream and what would the odds be that someone just happen to leave a 4liter pail in the fridge at church.||It's so hot and this is so cold.|
|Boys aired out the tents and pack everything away into the scout shed for next time.|