We woke up early again, with an almost 4 hour drive ahead plus a stop to pick up our permit, my daughter as usual had to tell the poor guy how much she wants to become a warden and that she knows e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g about the mountains and the animals that lives here. Thankfully they always seem more amused then anything else. As soon as we entered Peter Lougheed Provincial park it started snowing and the temperature started dropping.
I tried to pack my sled as good as I could, I'm not too familiar with it and I'm hoping I will learn tips as I start exploring more into the winter months. My gear is mostly 3 seasons including my tent but thankfully the weather agreed and things went smoothly. We hiked with many families to Elbow Lake and had lunch. It was really nice to see my daughter playing with kids that enjoy the outdoors as much as she does.
I set up the tent while she was busy running around and found the best way to stay warm would be to insulate the bottom of the tent area with snow, minimizing the wind entering the tent.
After lunch the rest of the families headed back down, all except another mom who stayed with her 7 year old son. I must say it was nice knowing there would be someone else up here. Not having camped this late in seasons for a long time especially with a 4 year old, I felt a lack of confidence and felt more at ease knowing another adult was near. Not that it would have stopped me, it wouldn't be the first time being alone in the woods! We went for a walk/snowshoe hike around the lake and I couldn't believe how magical it is in the winter. I love summer but I love ice, I love snow and this was simply beautiful.
After the walk we only had so much time before the sunset and needed to get food ready and let me tell you, things are much different in the winter. Even more so when you have an hungry child and everything is frozen. This is the only time I ever wished I had a bigger pot, melting snow only gives you so much water!
As usual my daughter pawned food from her new friends, really?!? And of course I stayed with my mountain stew. I really need to start making my own dehydrated food, this is now high on my priority list.
It got dark real fast, and it got cold even faster. I blame it on the wind.
I had brought glow sticks for the kids, unfortunately my daughter didn't even make it that far. It was a long day and she wanted to be tucked in bed early. This is when some of my Rainier camping came back to mind. Warm Nalgene water bottle in your sleeping bag. After that my girl was out! So warm and cozy. After making sure she was asleep and warm enough I headed back to the fire for a few glass of wine and just to relax in general. A few more campers arrived and set up camp and were able to enjoy the fire.
Let me tell you, summer or winter there is nothing more relaxing then nature! Sitting around a campfire with a glass of wine is my favorite!
The night went great, it wasn't too cold and the water bottle kept the sleeping bag warm all night.
Waking up before the sunrise was another story, beautiful, crisp, cold! Thankfully I got another fire going for breakfast but this is where parenting in the wild got to me again. Once my girl got cold she got the miserable look and cry and it was time to really warm her up. To her defense she really was cold and so were her fingers. What do you do in that situation? I got the sled and made her a warm portable bed, filled with warm Nalgene bottle!
The way back was fun, nothing like sledding down the mountain, what else could I ask for?
This trip was amazing, I learned so much, from the people I met to the life experience itself and when I ask my girl if she was ready to do it again...Yes, yes mom! This is going to be a great winter!