|Ptarmigan Cirque Trail, Kananaskis, Alberta.|
The Ptarmigan Cirque Trail in Kananaskis is one of my benchmarks. I haven't done it in years, but wanted to so as to see how I am doing.
It's not that long a hike, but it is in the mountains and it is up.
The first time Mike and I did this hike, about 23 if not 25 years ago, it took me two hours.
About 15 years ago or so the same climb took me half an hour.
On Saturday it took me just under an hour. For the record it was nearly +30C (86F) during our hike. Later, when we had lunch, it was +31C.
It was a good hike and I am pleased with how quickly I did it.
I rested quite a bit. At one point during the climb I sat in the shade while Mike went to a nearby viewpoint. I had my head in my hands when a nice young man coming down the trail asked me how I was.
I respond I was good, thanks, and how was he before realizing why he was asking.
I expect I looked as worn as I felt.
He asked if I had water, did I need water, was I sure I was all right?
I am grateful for this and for knowing a stranger was willing to give me his water if I needed it.
The trail goes through a mountain stream, twice. I splashed refreshing mountain water on my face and even drank a bit. I am grateful it was there.
We had a fine picnic later on in a shaded spot by a creek. It was relaxing.
Afterward we went to the rock glacier where Mike set up a chair and waited for pikas while I set a chair under a tree. I'd been wanting to sit quietly under a tree for quite some time. It was wonderful.
For all of this I am grateful.