Peyto Overlook: 3.8 miles roundtrip - worth hiking beyond the first viewpoint with the wooden deck, even if you get the sh*t scared outta ya!!
Day 2: Peyto Lake, one of my most anticipated pit stops of the adventure.
The moment we arrived at the parking lot, the clouds magically starting to produce a sprinkle of rain – very funny Mother Nature!
The main trail was paved, a loop to the main viewpoint and up through the woods a bit. Fairly busy, but while most people seemed to ignore the pups yesterday, today everyone wanted to pet them. We hung out at a bench, letting people enjoy a moment with the hounds and listening to their stories about current and past pets. Dogs have the amazing ability to create an instant bond between two strangers.
Eventually we broke away to actually take in the view of Peyto.
That blue! That view! Wow! Random !! exclamation points !! just to drive home the Wow!!!
I had to see more! We ventured along the loop in search of a side trail to reach another outlook I'd spotted on the map. I saw quite a few small foot paths (animal trails?) but they seemed a bit too wild for me to want to adventure down quite yet (smh @ me).
In my defense, we’d wandered quite a ways down the trail by now and there was no one else around. Chipmunks would dart out without a sound and the dogs would suddenly lunge this way or that! It was a bit startling amongst the otherwise peaceful atmosphere and my nerves were getting a little twitchy as I worried that one of those scurrying chipmunks could eventually be a bear. Yup, small city girl wandering through the big woods.
Finally we came across a side path marked with a sign…oookayyy, we’ll try it.
Bear bells activated - safety first!
100% worth challenging my skittishness! The lookout was RAD! As the only hikers out there, it made it almost surreal. Gigantic mountains, beautiful green pines, epic blue water…no words or photos are adequate. I climbed up onto a big pile of rocks at the edge of the cliff to take it all in.
And then the hellions tried to pull me off the cliff.
There goes the moment.
A chipmunk zipped through the rocks and the hounds tied to catch up. Not today demons, not today. I hauled them back toward the trail hoping the little critter stayed wisely hidden in whichever hole it just disappeared into.
A little extra jittery from the close call with the cliff’s edge, we wandered back into the woods. Oye. The trail narrows and we have to walk single file: Hercules, me, Cool Whip. What a nifty little trio we are, I think, as I also am thankful I'm sandwiched in the middle.
Suddenly there is a thundering stampede sound of something running up behind us!
Holy F*ck I'm Going To Die Being Eaten By A Charging Mama Grizzly!
I whip around and see a white blur barreling toward us -- Holy F*ck I'm Going To Die Being Attacked By A Deranged Mountain Goat!
The beast screeched to a halt.
It was a friggin’ doodle dog of some sort.
Sweet baby Jesus.
Relief floods through my body.
Then it growled at my dogs! WTH?! Buzz off deranged fluffy mountain goat dog!
Finally the owner (still far enough behind the dog that we can’t see him/her) whistles for the pup; it stares at us a moment longer then wanders back up the trail.
One of several good reasons to keep your dog leashed – so you don’t accidentally terrify a newb solo girl hiker!
That whole interaction probably happened in about 5 seconds. It easily took a good 10 minutes before my heart slowed down. All I could really do was giggle at myself every time the sound of my own scream echoed in my head. Sheesh. I’d read in multiple places to remain calm and quiet if you come upon a bear…whelp, we now know I won’t be able to do that! Good luck puppers!