Day 18, Saskatchewan Crossing to Banff leg.
Peter’s voice shattered the night’s silence and my great sleep, “Brent, Tina – the horses are out!” Instantly, I was wide awake. Oh no. Not again!
Tina’s strategy of wrapping your headlamp on your wrist while you sleep proved itself invaluable as I fumbled for my boots and tie them up. Peter and Tina are up and heading to the horse’s way faster that I am. Geez, I’m slow! They’ve been here before. They know the importance of speed! Like a dumbass I put my headlamp down and can’t find it in the dark. So much for Tina’s great strategy. I head out to catch horses without it.
Fortunately, the horses weren’t on the run. They were just out and easily caught. We put them back in their electric fence enclosure, checked to ensure fence lines were good and juice was on, then went back to bed.
Back to bed and back to sleep. Then it happened again! I’m faster, but still slow compared to Peter and Tina. At least I don’t lose my headlamp, so less of a dumbass. Once again, fortune smiles on us; the horses don’t leave, are easily caught and returned to their pens for the night. Whew! We crawl back into our sleeping bags and try to squeeze in a bit more sleep.
Up shortly after first light and on the trail before the sun peeks over the mountains. Great trail and stunning views. We enter Banff National Park around 3:00 and press on, hoping to reach Malloch Flats campsite. Unfortunately, we have missed trail issues again and can’t find it. Around 6:00, we throw in the towel and set up a bush camp. We’re not far off; we’ll figure it out in the morning.
We covered a lot of ground today; most of the trip so far, and a personal highwater mark: 44 km.