I like the Bertha Lake hike, but it’s one that I’ve done so many times that it’s usually not my first choice; yet, this time around it had a new appeal. Parks recently re-opened the hike after it being closed since the forest fire last autumn. Having a solid memory of the trail pre-fire, I was excited to compare the now burnt mountainside to what I knew.
My brother and I headed out to Waterton on June 30 to go and check it out! It was Canada Day weekend so the trail was saturated with people. We had to move slowly, as there were few opportunities to pass others, but it was nice to use the slow-walking time to take more pictures:
My perspective on the forest fire changed after seeing the beauty it created. It was a solemn feeling, seeing the dead, black trees…but the new growth was so vibrant…it created a gorgeous contrast. The sites were fit for a poem- something about respecting the past, but accepting change and moving onto a healthier future. Hmm… maybe I should attempt writing this poem…
Because the trees were bare, we could see more of the mountain than we could before. It made it very tempting to go off-trail and and take a closer look at things, but we stuck to the rules, and got on our way up to the lake.
After Bertha Falls we had the trail mostly to ourselves. It was nice to finally set our own pace! It started to rain, but it was the perfect amount to keep us cool!
I always have it in my mind that the switchbacks on this trail last FOREVER. I never wonder if I’m close to the lake, because I just expect it to be a lot farther. It’s almost a psychological game, because as soon as I reach the lake, I think, “Wait, we’re here already?!”
We found a nice spot for lunch, but didn’t stay too long. The rain kept coming down, and now that we weren’t moving, the cold was hitting us! We walked around the lake a little ways, and checked out the tenting sites (I’ve been trying to plan a low-key backpacking trip), then we were back on the trail!
I want to know more about how these fires burn! Some of the trees were standing, but were just sheaths of bark! It looked like all of the inside wood just burnt up, but it left that bark crust… I wonder why that is. I didn’t get a picture of the trees I am referring to, but it reminded me of a roasted marshmallow, when you pull it off, and all you get is the skin, and the gooey bit is left behind.
The best little ending to our hike was this beautiful rainbow! The photo doesn’t do it justice. I’ve never seen a rainbow that seemed so close to me! It almost felt possible to walk to the end of it.