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Tim’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 05 Aug 2004

Location: Mount Norquay, Canada

MapWe planned our trip along Mystic creek trail which does a loop around the creek through the range of Mount Norquay. We drove up and up the mountain stopping briefly for a quick picture of Banff from atop Mount Norquay.
The day was sunny and hot. We parked our car at Mount Norquay ski resort which was also the trail head for Mystic Creek. We were very anxious to get going. As we headed down the trail, we ran into two other hikers who were headed to the Cascade Ampetheatre. They were very helpful as the trail was poorly marked and not easy to follow even with our map.
We continued on our own and quickly found the trail became less and less wide and more steep as we began to go down into the canyons of Mount Norquay.
As we continued to hike down the canyons we found ourselves in the middle of beautiful panormas of the mountains and the creek. Our beatiful sunny weather however was not to stay with us. We learned just how quickly the weather can change out in the mountains. Within minutes of seeing some gray clouds, the sky opened up with hail and thunder as I had never seen before. We quickly looked for shelter to wait out the storm.
By the time we had our tent out of the bag to set up, the hail was subsiding. It continued to rain for a short time but we decided to move on. What an experience.
Now soaking wet, we continued along the trail hoping that the weather would clear for us to dry out and set up camp for the night. We continued along the mud and the mushy trail looking for clues that our campsite was close by.
It was beginning to get dark and we dicided to stop for the night at the next campsite we found which turned out to be the one we had been looking for. We were amazed by the quality of the site. There were cable pack hangers, a separte sleeping, cooking and pack area, picnic tables to sit at and a fire pit complete with firewood for us. Wow! This was luxury!
After a quick bite to eat, the sun began to go down and so did the temperature. It felf very cold. Us being from Ontario, we were not used to such cold nights. We huddled close to the fire before crawling into our less than adequate sleeping bags. We were in for long, cold night.