One summer, I took my family on an adventure west to Banff, in the Canadian Rockies, which had been one of my grandfather’s favorite places. I took my wife, two mothers, and my mother-in-law to Chateau Lake Louise, a famous resort higher in the Canadian Rockies. Chateau Lake Louise was famous for British tea they served, and my wife and mother-in-law were excited to attend the tea. My older daughter, Katie, and myself, were interested in a short hike. There was a tea house that was an approximately 30 minute hike from the chateau that was our goal.
So as I said goodbye to the rest of my family, I assured them that Katie and I would be returning within 2 hours.
As we began hiking along the glacial blue waters of Lake Louise, there came to an arrow that said tea house to the left. So, naturally, we proceeded in this direction.
As we reached the far end of Lake Louise, we began a vigorous ascent into the surrounding mountainous wilderness. An hour had passed with no sign of the tea house. I suddenly became concerned. My feelings were exacerbated by the fact that most of the people coming down on the trail were wearing technical mountain-climbing equipment. Had we made a wrong turn?
I finally asked one of the mountain climbers coming down where the tea house was and he responded: "The Tea House of the Plain of the Six Glaciers is several miles further up, it is spectacular, it is worth the trip," He also explained it to me that there were two tea houses and I had missed the turn, and the other tea house was a small tea house in the forest and not as spectacular. .
I looked at my daughter for guidance, and she said, “we have to do this now, dad, we’re halfway there.” We continued on one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever been on, passing numerous glaciers and high mountain peaks, until we reached a small mountain tea house completely surrounded by glaciers, the Tea House of the Plains of the Six Glaciers.
The only food that they had available was a tuna sandwich, lemonade, and brownies, but by this point we were completely famished and it was a wonderful lunch.
However, at this point I realized we had been gone almost 4 hours, and it would approximately take us another 3-4 hours to return to Chateau Lake Louise, and there was no cell service anywhere, and this was before the era of cell phones.
As we returned on our vigorous hike back to Chateau Lake Louise, my wife had become frantic. What was supposed to be a 2-hour trip turned out that we had been gone for almost 8 hours. She had begun to think about calling the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to launch a search party, when Katie and I emerged over the hills, after a whole-day hike high in the mountains.
My daughter and I agree this was certainly one of the greatest hikes we had ever been on and was completely unexpected as a wrong turn that led to the Tea House of the Plains of the Six Glaciers. Often, the most unexpected trips are the greatest events in your life.