On our second morning in Banff, we awoke ready for the arrival of our friend and a day of hiking at Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. Hong took an early bus from Calgary to Banff and we picked him up at the bus station. Banff has been one of his dream places (as it was ours) and he walked out of the bus station with a smile on his face. Before I get too far along, allow me to briefly introduce Hong. Chris and Hong worked together about ten years ago in Boston. He has since become like a brother to both of us, spending Christmas and Thanksgiving with our families every year. He is a salsa dancing, piano playing, fitness enthusiast, stretching obsessed, happy Chinese man who we once teased for his frugality and lack of style. After receiving a much needed makeover from Chris, Hong now dresses better than we do…sometimes… and enjoys the finer things in life. And, ladies…he’s single. Welcome to our humble abode, Hong.
Once Hong was in the car, we proceeded directly to Lake Louise. By the time we arrived, the lake was overwhelmed with tourists which somewhat detracted from the lake’s beauty (at least for me, it did). We took a few pictures and then decided to hike one of the many nearby trails. We hiked up to Lake Agnes, passing Mirror Lake along the way. We stopped for many beautiful views high above Lake Louise and finally made it to Lake Agnes where a lovely little tea house sat awaiting fatigued travelers and tourists. We sat by the lake and watched as Hong, who couldn’t resist the lake any more, took off his shoes and walked out into the very cold mountain water. As the tourists looked over to this brave and perhaps slightly crazy Chinese man in the cold water, Hong just simply smiled and made loud whooping sounds to indicate the cold refreshing feeling of the water.
We hiked back down, took a few more pictures of Lake Louise and decided to move on to Moraine Lake, the lake I was most excited to see! Just like Lake Louise, Moraine Lake was flooded with tourists but its beauty exceeded my expectations and I quickly ignored everyone around me and simply started snapping pictures. The camera could not fully capture the beauty of this lake, the water’s turquoise appearance with the snow-capped mountains in the distance. We hiked along the lake’s trail and every new angle showed a new, even more beautiful view of the lake. Have I mentioned I liked this lake?
We left Moraine Lake and decided to head back to our campsite to introduce Hong to the Airstream and have dinner. He seemed impressed with our new home and unbothered by the limited space. We showed him his “closet” and gave him an instruction session on the travel trailer lifestyle, which consists primarily of water conservation and clutter-free living lessons. I don’t think Hong was listening.
Later that night, as I was half asleep, I heard Hong get up and try to open the door. In a daze, I considered waking up to see if he needed help as sometimes the door sticks. Seconds later, however, the light came on so I assumed (again, half asleep) that perhaps he wasn’t trying to open the door but rather just looking for the light, as the switch is near the door handle. My eyes slowly closed again and I dozed off back into my peaceful sleep. Shortly after, I heard water running but thought, “Hmm…that’s weird, the water pump isn’t on.” Then it hit me. My eyes opened suddenly and I thought, “Oh my goodness, is Hong peeing in the living room? And, more importantly, “What is he peeing in?” Pretending I had not heard anything and hoping it was all a bad dream, I went back to sleep. The next morning, Chris woke up and walked over to the kitchen counter to prepare the coffee. Hong, in a sleepy tone, exclaimed, “Chris, whatever you do, do NOT drink out of my water bottle.” Yep, it’s definitely going to be an interesting few weeks.