Sunday, February 19, 2017

Glenbow Ranch February 19, 2017

It's a lovely place to hike around no matter what even if the sunrise does not amount to much!  That was my thinking this morning when I woke and decided I wanted to be somewhere "out there" when the sun came up and picked Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park just east of Cochrane as that place.  This Park is only a 30 minute drive west for me which makes it an easy early morning destination.   
I arrived in darkness and sipped my coffee as I waited for today to begin.  My camera is not the greatest at capturing low light photos (or I need to learn more about my camera and how to do that).  I waited patiently hoping for shades of some sort and then they began.
sunrise over the prairie
sunrise through the trees
The colors were so pretty and there were sparkles everywhere from the frostiness in the air.  
I donned microspikes, gloves and hat and meandered down the trails. 

I love the colors at early morning. 
golden orange
After checking out the upper trails, I aimed for lower down in the valley.  
It was so peaceful in the valley bottom.  
At first I could see nothing through the fog.
Then it began to lift.
  I took time to enjoy all this part of the Park had to offer.

from the little things to the big things

While I went with hopes of seeing "much more", my true expectations were only to see some scenery, fill up with fresh air and get a bit of exercise.  Anything else would be an added bonus.  Well, I did receive that "much more" and thoroughly enjoyed that bonus!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Lake Louise February 12, 2017

It felt like I stepped into a dream at Lake Louise Village this morning even after just waking from nine hours of sleep. When I looked outside after opening the curtains and saw dim outlines of mountain peaks, I knew this was going to be another fabulous day in paradise.  I fueled up, spruced up, gathered up, loaded up, geared up then went on my way to where I knew capturing perfect pretty photos would be a breeze.  Along the way, I stepped into a pillowy dreamland!  
view of peaks waking up from near the Campground
view of the Bow from the bridge leading to Tramline
early morning view from trail behind the residential stretch
The dream-like-day continued even when I transferred from foot to ski. 
The groomed tracks had a bit of soft snow in them.  Someone had been prior to me which made for perfect conditions to glide easily and freely.  I could see why the trail had been closed for many weeks due to ice build up and fear of flooding.
x-c skiing in a dream-like state continued
deep snow crossing the big bridge
I never did see the person who had been prior to me.  I never did see the moose either.  Parks people posted a notice at the trail heads that a moose was loose in the area.  I took some time in this section as it was picture perfect.  It was warm and sunny, peaceful and quiet, I did not want to wake up from this dream.
entering the campground 
After skiing along the Bow River Loop and then the campground loop, I worked my way back to the open area where I came from to capture one last pristine picture.
Then it was time to head to the bridge where I would cross over, back into reality. 
After gearing down and loading up again, I left the Lake Louise Village and hit the highway for home.  I admired every mountain peak I could for the entire stretch. As I approached Banff and saw Rundle looking like it did, I took a detour down to the river's edge to obtain this photo.  It was the cloud formations that I was attracked to.
Nearing Calgary, I thought of how it felt like I was away for ever.  One overnighter with two days of delight in our mountain playground and I am rejuvenated to face this week.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Lake Louise February 11, 2017

I had a desire to see all that new snow!  Not only that, I had a need to x-c ski in it and snowshoe in it and to do so on the safe side given the high avalanche ratings. I knew I could obtain all that in paradise.  I mean at Lake Louise.  The road reports to get to paradise were not user-friendly but I needed to take the chance.  I could always turn back but did not have to.  The reports had not been updated and it was an uneventful sail west.  It's true, there is loads of new snow at Lake Louise! I saw it for myself with my own eyes!                                   

My intentions were to X-C Ski The Great Divide.  I drove into the parking lot, parked my car, opened the door, got out, got back in, started my car, drove up the road to the Fairview trail head.  Parked my car, opened the door, got out, and I stayed out.  This felt right!  The gear up process is so quick and easy with this sport.  In no time at all, I was gliding away.

was excited for the meadows.  I knew they would be divine today.  I was glad others were in the area and were neighbourly enough to assist me with getting my ski shot.  I was afraid I might disappear if I stepped off track to the side to set up for my shot myself.    


For a matter of minutes when I first stepped into the track, I pondered the idea of just admiring the beauty while skiing today and capturing it with my eyes and not a camera.  I tried it but failed miserably.  I pulled off to the side of Moraine Lake Road to check out the valley below.  It was a swift ski to the intersection and a smooth ski back up Tramline.

Back at my vehicle it was time to dine on a boiled egg, tuna sandwich, greek salad all washed down with raspberry zinger tea. Now it was time for an apr├Ęs X-C Ski activity.  I bundled up in my snowshoeing gear and aimed to snowshoe across Lake Louise.  I was successful with breaking my own trail for about 20 minutes, there was just too much snow.  I veered on and off other ready made trails until the far end of the Lake.

I always enjoy watching the ice climbers.  I use to want to give that a try but I have come to my senses and would now just rather live that sport through watching others.


I was beat by the time I arrived back at The Chateau.  I strapped my snowshoes to my pack then invested some time eyeing the snow and ice sculptures.  Lake Louise this place I call paradise is truly a beautiful spot for those who choose to see here this year to acknowledge Canada's 150th birthday.


I never take for granted how fortunate I am to live so close to this National Park.  It is packed full with pure beauty.  It feels new to me every time I am here and I enjoy every second and every scene like it is my first time visiting this place.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

sea to summit additions

It's time to take a little time to share an update on where my "sea to summit" project stands at this point in time.  Over the past two weeks I have been investing time on the 3 "P"s and we are not talking Prairie/Powderface/Prairie but rather planning, purging, painting.  I am in the process of planning four vacations so far for this year, purging the old for me (new for someone else) from my home and painting with watercolors and acrylics.  My "sea to summit" project is growing and I am so enjoying this growth process.  I have spent so much of my free time over the past with the busyness of planning for and being "out & about" that I have let my creative interests slip by the wayside.  I need to work on a balance so I can have it all, and this would be in addition to the routine of life's happenings.

my first water color painting is now framed and hanging on my wall
My sister's acrylic on canvass gift to me is now framed and hanging on my wall too.
I opted to photograph it instead of on the wall, but rather between two of my cross stitch projects.
My acrylic painting on stone of Grinnell Lake at the base of Mount Gould.
This is a favourite location of mine along the Grinnell Glacier hike in Montana.
When I started to hike throughout the United States National Parks back in the day, I began to collect medallions along with patches.  The medallions are meant to be nailed to a wood hiking pole but I found another use for them.  While going through the purging of the old, I thought of a show I watched numerous times on TV called "love it or list it".  I came up with my version of that and it is "love it then use it, if not then purge it".  I forgot I had these medallions and when I found them I loved them because of what they represent.  I put my creative side to work and this is the work I created.  It is now part of my "sea to summit" project and hangs lovingly on the wall.
My dining table still has bits and pieces sitting in the corner waiting to be crafted together into meaninful somethings.  I don't know what those somethings are right now but when I do know, you can be sure I will share my treasure here.  So like I said before....