In 60 days my daughter and I will be embarking on a month long adventure in Europe. It’s kind of a big deal. And my anxiety levels are getting high! I feel as though I have many things to worry about both in preparation to be away for this long of a time, and in my own mental and physical preparation. The flu bug has hit pretty hard this winter and that has taken a lot of wind out of my sails for sure.
This is by far one of the biggest trips I have ever taken, and will be the longest time away from home for me. Ally spends part of the year away at college but it is not the same as actually being away from the country for an extended period of time. She’s also been out of the country numerous times without her father and I, but usually on a sports team and having to stay within a specific schedule of games, meals, practices, sleep, repeat.
One thing that I am looking forward to is being on the trail. Hiking has always been one of my favorite things, but I never seem to spend enough time doing it. I wish I went more often and I would love to re-visit all the hikes I’ve done over the years in Alberta and BC.
Ally and I have for years had an annual trip to Lake Agnes, a short but steep hike up to an alpine lake above the famous Lake Louise. Over the years we’ve completed most of the other connecting trails in the area, including multiple trips over the Big Beehive and an ascent of Mt. St. Piran. Lake Agnes is my happy place. My Aunt brought me to Lake Agnes when I was 12 years old and I instantly fell in love. I remember stopping for a break on some logs just under Mirror Lake and listening to the silence of the forest. And I remember having lunch at the Lake Agnes Tea house, sitting outside with a cup of tea, soup and sandwich while gazing off in to the distance and the Lake Louise area.
Since that trip, I have been to Lake Agnes numerous times, with many hiking companions. My sister and daughter have been there with me many times over the years and each trip was as memorable and fresh in my mind as the very first one. My Aunt and Uncle hiked with us up to Lake Agnes for lunch once. Some of Ally’s best friends have joined us also. Some trips we have had to walk through freezing cold glacial melt waters on the way back to Lake Louise. Some trips we mix it up and take different trails, but most often we make Lake Agnes our break spot for lunch.
The first day on the Camino, or stage 1 as many people refer to it, from St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Roncesvalles, Spain is a tough hike up and over the Pyrenees mountains. Many pilgrims say it is the hardest day on the Camino. The elevation gain is higher than many of the trails we’ve hiked in the past. I am a bit worried but can’t let it dissuade me from the overall goal. My hope is that the adrenaline and excitement will carry us along the way. Did I mention it’s only 60 days away?