A couple days of downtime following three days of back-country hiking at Lake O’Hara and we were ready to head back out on the trails, this time with our moutain bikes. Our last hike to Karst spring was in 2004, when our youngest GeoKid was only 4 years old. It’s clear from looking through our photos from that visit that he found it to be a pretty tough hike; Mom ended up carrying him much of the way.
This time around, youngest GeoKid had only a little trouble with the long and/or steep hill sections on his bike; the one km walk from Watridge Lake to the Karst Spring was, to use his words, "easy peasy." The Karst is just as impressive as we remembered and we’re in the process of obtaining the requisite permission from Alberta Parks personnel to set up an earth cache at this location.
Once we reclaimed our bikes from the bushes near Watridge Lake, we continued west, flirting with the boundary of Banff National Park before turning north along the west shore of Spray Lake. Our GeoKids met the challenge of muddy sections, roots and uneven terrain, but after about 5 more km they became ever more concerned about all the hills we would have to climb on the return ride.
So we decided to spend a little time along the shore of Spray River, exploring some interesting surface karst and observing the bleached out stumps of trees logged many years ago and then turned back to make our way to the parking lot. Total distance was about 15 km on bike and 2 km for the hike. We encountered two other families with young kids on bikes while we were out enjoying the glorious weather.