Roughing It or Smoothing It

My inaugural travel post features the beauty of the Canadian Rockies.  Our location for today is Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

We all know what “roughing it” means.  In the context of staying in the back country of Yoho that means a tent site or an alpine hut shared with 8-25 other people. Cook whatever you bring in with you.  In my case, on this trip, it was the Alpine Club of Canada’s Elizabeth Parker Hut built in 1913. We cooked in a separate cabin. The cushion on the bed-platform was quite a luxury! Bring earplugs!

 

The first time I heard the term “smoothing it” was from a Canadian couple who were experienced hikers. They had done all the “roughing it” they wanted in their youth and desired a comfy bed, hot shower and gourmet food at the end of a day of hiking. In this particular backcountry, it means Lake O’Hara Lodge where a lakeshore cabin is ever so cozy and the meals at the Lodge delightful.

 

Regardless of whether you are “roughing it” at $41 a night for space in a hut or “smoothing it” in a lakeshore cabin at $650 a night for two, the scenery surrounding you at Lake O’Hara is stunning. With 24 lakes and 5 hanging valleys in the area, the variety of hikes is countless from an easy stroll around the lake to a heart pounding climb up to Abbot’s Hut on the Continental Divide. My hiking partner and wife Cathy keeps me company sometimes, more often if we are “smoothing it”. Can you blame her? For more information, contact me @ jim@jameserickson.com.

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