The Sound of Silence - Almost

Horseshoe Trails
  • Parking: Along the west side of the road, south of the Alpine Club parking lot.
  • Washrooms: None
  • Rough dirt path
Once again, today’s walk was an accidental discovery.  We were looking for Grotto Canyon Hiking Trail, but alas, a closed road stood between us and what I believed would be the trail head.  But there, just up the road a bit we found a sign that mapped out a network of trails right nearby.  Why not give it a try?  After all, how could any walk through Kananaskis country be anything less than spectacular?

It turned out to be a well maintained trail, with very clear maps posted at almost every junction.  We did leave a little cairn of stones at one questionable crossroad to help us find our way back, but that probably says more about my insecurity than the quality of the trail!  There was a lot more up and down than I had planned on, but my walking partner was game, so we took our time and headed deeper into the bush.  As we twisted this way and that along the slope, the endless pine forest gave way here and there to little grassy meadows and patches of juniper with their musky blue berries. 

Juniper berries.
On our way back, we took a little detour to the creek bed below the path; a jagged line of dry, chalky stones drawn down the slope between the trees.  We stopped here for a quick snack, enjoying the view of the Three Sisters and listening to the cries of a couple of hawks floating on the air currents above us.  It was here that I noticed the quiet of the place.  My city walks have had some great soundscapes, but always with an undercurrent of traffic noise.  I suppose I’ve learned to tune it out.  But here, on that mountainside, even with the squirrels chattering and the birds calling, I could feel the quietness of the place . . .
That is, until the helicopter full of sightseers buzzed by.  Argh!  But really, I have to admit that I’m too much of a city girl to brave a “true” wilderness adventure, so I suppose I’ll have to make my peace with the odd helicopter!

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