In light of falling back in love with Banff, I’ve been forcing myself to go out. I’m trying to be more independent, I mean I want to drive around Australia in a Sprinter, I need to like myself more. If all my friends bail on me and I have one day off, I can still go where ever I want right? They say there’s bears but who doesn’t love our furry friends of the forest. That’s not to say I’m not bear aware.
So the one place I’ve never written about but I spend a lot of time at is Cascade Falls. Now the first time I ventured here I was with the muse. It’s an on going joke with myself and hotel guests that it is the number one make out spot in Banff because when we went up, there were 2 other couples just going at it. Besides not only are you standing next to a beautiful waterfall, you’re looking out on the valley with a clear view of Rundle mountain, Tunnel mountain and the area surrounding Lake Minnewanka.
It is a fairly short hike but it is also straight up hill the entire way. My friend described it as a mini scramble, due to all the shale on the trail. What I like most is you can see your final destination the entire way. So the whole time when I’m struggling to breath, cussing myself for thinking I like nature, I just keep telling myself it’s not that much farther. Even though I know how much farther I have to go and I’m blatantly lying to myself.
The last time I went up, I took a good book and a beer. I laid out on the second cliff edge to avoid the masses and put my feet and beer in the running water to keep cool. It was so relaxing. Reading about Ray Smith scaling mountains in Dharma Bums as I sat on the edge of my favourite mountain. I was inspired, so I decided to pretend I could rock climb and climbed to the 3rd ledge with the help of some liquid cougar. It’s beautiful once you get that high up, it’s flatter so you can walk along the falls for quite a ways.
I’m always day dreaming about this day now. Recreating it. I’m rereading Shantaram since I never finished it. Maybe I’ll buy On the Road by Jack Keourac next. Either way, until the snow falls and the ice climbers come out to play, I will be at Cascade Falls. With a book in one hand, a beer in the other and not a care in the world.
To access the Cascade falls trail head, head towards Lake Minnewanka. Just on the other side of the overpass, you’ll see a turn on the right saying Cascade Ponds and on the left side a pull over. Straight ahead of this pull over, you will see Cascade Falls tumbling in the distance, cross the field from the parking lot and you’re on the trail.