GDT Day 26 – A mixed bag

Mileage: 25.1km

Last night was pretty rough with Toothless waking 3 or 4 times rather than his usual 1-2. So this morning when he started to rouse, I was hoping he would settle on his own for at least another 30 minutes or so even though an early start would be ideal with a relatively big day ahead of us. This didn’t quite work out though, as just Toothless and I drifted back to sleep, Kyle poked me to tell me he saw a wolf outside the tent and then he rolled over and the noise woke Toothless up fully. Up and at ’em!

Then as we packed up, I got to stew in my annoyance with the Marvel Lake camp. It was mostly dirt and not even like normal dirt, but that super dusty dirt that is all that remains when everything else is worn away. So not ideal for a crawling baby. Toothless looked like he rolled around in a pile of dirt, because he more or less did.

Eventually though, we got on the move and my thoughts moved on to looking forward to lunch around Assiniboine Lodge. We reached Marvel Lake quickly and unfortunately it wasn’t much to look at today with the haze of smoke blocking the surrounding area. The climb up Wonder Pass was nice and well-graded just like I remembered. It also featured several groups of day hikers from Assiniboine that woke Toothless prematurely from his morning nap.

Despite being well-graded, it was pretty warm and Kyle swapped out with me to carry Toothless the final stretch over the pass and towards the lodge. We did see several groups along this stretch, but it felt oddly quiet compared to how busy we were expecting it to be.

Then when we reached the lodge, the weirdness continued. The lodge had lots of very aggressive signage informing us we weren’t welcome since we weren’t their customers. That combined with helicopters landing every few minutes dropping off freshly washed folks with shiny hiking gear put me in a pretty negative mood as we sat down for lunch on a rock on the “bypass trail” in front of the lodge – I guess you need to pay for the privilege of a bench these days.

Last time we were here, there was a fun mix of day hikers, weekenders, and lodge guests. This time it was just us and the helicopter folks that kept getting dropped off and then asking us for directions…

Before we got back on the trail, we briefly ignored the signage to stay away and took advantage of the toilets and water tap.

Back on trail it was weirdly quiet still, very few groups out and when we passed by Og Lake there were only 2 or 3 tents up. Toothless was also in a bit of a weird fussy mood – he wasn’t really nursing even when he seemed hungry, and didn’t nap despite seeming tired. This combined with a weird muggy heat and steeper trail than we anticipated made the last stretch until Porcupine drag on and tired all three of us out.

We reached camp a bit before 6pm – a pretty late day for us – and quickly set up the tent and then got started on dinner. I’m not sure why, but it seems like most folks are pretty poorly versed in camping in bear country. Every place we’ve camped in Section C has had a dedicated cooking and eating area with tables and benches, yet every time we’ve encountered other groups (other than the father/son at Burstall), they decide to eat at their campsite or another non-eating area for some reason. Seriously, even ignoring the importance of not having food smells around your tent, isn’t it just nicer to use a table to cook on while sitting on a bench rather than crouched on the ground at the corner of your campsite!?

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