Today was not just a good day, but a great day! Since we drove out west to Calgary, Alberta we have been enjoying the scenery and fresh mountain air. On the weekends we have gone to Lake Louise, an hour and half drive from Calgary. Lake Louise is known for its surreal blue green waters and snow capped mountain back drop. We have hiked up the trail starting at Lake Louise to Lake Agnes. It is a 3.4KM hike one way, up a trail surrounded by pine trees. The smell is heavenly and keeps you distracted as your muscles ache with the steep trail hike.
Half way up the trail is Mirror Lake. A small little still lake. At the top is Lake Agnes which falls over the edge creating a small water fall. The tea house is a welcome sight, after an hour and a half hike, to relax and take in the views before heading back down the trail. The tea house serves amazing teas, fresh homemade baked goods and soups. Today was a good day :)
Sunday we went for a walk along the Bow River which winds its way through Calgary. The weather was perfect with a comfortable temperature and blue skies with a few clouds. You could see the mountains in the distance. Everyone seemed to be out walking, biking, boating and running. We enjoyed the leisurely stroll along the river bank and through a park. Another good day.
Unfortunately we went from clear skies and clean air to a poor air quality. Smoldering fires burning in the US Northwest have drifted many miles North blanketing Calgary and many other parts of Western Canada. There is a smoke so thick it has caused prompts to stay indoors and close windows. Monday the sky looked similar to the ones we experienced in Shanghai. Dreary gray that blocked out the sun rays. Tuesday you could smell the smoke and it irritated your eyes. The aqi went from 8 to 239, which happened to be much higher than the 59 reading in Shanghai. In Canada the scale is different; a 10 point scale. The TV news reported today that readings from yesterday came in at 17! Yes 7 points over the max. This is not normal for this area and reports are saying this is the worse the city has experienced. So many people have lost their homes and have been evacuated. At least we know the cause and it will be short lived, rain is in the forecast. Hopefully that will get things back under control before more damage is done. I do not mean to whine about the poor air, as some people have experienced great loss. I only made the comparison to our life in China. Well wishes and positive thoughts go to all those involved in the areas affected by the fires.
Today things are improving and soon we will be back to blue skies and ready for more great days.