Banff National Park, Alberta
Gravity is not my friend. I find walking difficult enough even when sober. A friend convinced me to walk through the snowy woods of the Fenland Loop on a ridiculously cold morning. Generally Sunday morning activities during winter mean being somewhere warm with a blanket over me but admittedly it is good to get out of the house and into nature. Vermillion Lake is stunning during summer and it is an absolute pleasure to be able to step out onto it when frozen.
The walk itself to the Lake is beautiful. Trees hang on all sides and the animals that haven’t got the sense (such as me) flit about the snow leaving little footprints behind. The only noise is the soft crunch of fresh snow beneath the feet as we walked and the sound of me complaining about the cold. A few brave souls walked their dogs and some suicidal joggers somehow kept their balance on the slippy surface – something I was soon to fail at miserably.
There is a little square on the lake that has been cleared off for people who want to skate. If you don’t happen to own a pair of skates, you can rent them in town on Bear Street for seven bucks. No sooner had I changed footwear than I had slipped with my first step falling flat on the ice much to the amusement of my co-skater. The walk to the little square of ice is treacherous enough for a man with little balance. Eventually with a little help, we did make it and after a while it even seemed like I was skating or at least making my way across the rink.
For most of the time, we were the only people within sight – which is probably a good thing considering my clumsiness. There was nothing around us but beautiful placid nature and the towering Rockies. The only noise was the shredding of skate on ice and the occasional girl-like screech when another fall was on its way. There are so many activities to do in the Canadian Rockies such as skiing and hiking but if you are looking for something a little quieter and dare I say easier – ice skating on Vermillion Lake is a winner.