Thursday, January 23, 2020

Fairview/Moraine/Tramline/BowRiver X-C Ski January 23, 2020

As today went on one word worked its way to the forefront of my vocabulary and that word was "dreamy".  I joined up with my Thursday friends to spent the day gliding all over the place on groomed tracks around the Lake Louise area.  I spent a few days here two weeks ago but I can never get enough of this beauty so I went back for more.  Today we were afforded one of those one-wayers which meant starting up top and ending down bottom.  We followed Fairview to Moraine to Tramline to the Village then included a big portion of the Bow River Loop.  The whole way was "dreamy".

We were greeted with a thin layer of brand new snow all underneath a blue sky.
The Fairview section of X-C Ski Tracks is my favourite.  
I glided along following a friend through the winding snow laden tree lined maze.
 arriving at the meadow section...
 ...and then skiing through it.
 A bit of cloud hoovered around for awhile which was a tease of the mountain views.
The conditions for snowplowing down the steeper sections was the best I have ever experienced.  
The last little downhill here popped us out onto the Moriane Lake Trail.  
 my ski stop shot
We glided down to the Tramline and followed it the whole way back to the train station. We then skied a portion of the Bow River track which took us back to the edge of Lake Louise Village and we walked the balance of the way to the Discovery Center.  This was the perfect place to sit inside on a comfy sofa to enjoy our lunch.
 We are inside in behind all that ice and snow.
With time on our side after lunch, we headed over to another starting spot of the Bow River Loop and and tacked on a few more kilometers of "dreamy" X-C Skiing.   It was at this point when my right ski began to stick every now and then, thankfully I was able to keep control and avoid any face planting.
 just gliding along
 view from the bridge as we exited the soft-sided section of the campground
 Something as simple as this and I need to stop to offer some admiration!
 beautiful blue + wonderful white = "dreamy"
 We removed our skis, crossed the road and had a short up hill walk back to Lake Louise Village.
We all raved about what a gorgeous day it was at our Lake Louise playground.  
Looking around at my friends, all I saw were the biggest brightest smiles.
Yes, we are fortunate to have all this "dreamy" beauty so close to home!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Glenbow Ranch Fire & Ice January 21, 2020

I am overdue for being out & about while a new day is dawning!  The dawnings the past few days have been incredible and I had faith today's would be too!  I also found a source that said the Bow River near Cochrane is nothing but a massive ice field.   So, you gotta know where I went this morning,  Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park where it was a fire and ice show!
The crescent moon was still high in the sky when I arrived.
This time around I aimed for the viewpoint just past the turnoff for Tiger Lily.
From there I watched the show.  
The colors were as I hoped they would be.   
framing the colors
you can see a trail bottom middle
I was being watched as I was watching!
When I thought the show was fading, I carried on along down the trail watching my footing as the path was covered in a thin layer of frost, which was pretty on its own.  When I looked up a few minutes later, there was an encore taking place.
I reached the bottom of Tiger Lily and as the oranges were turning to pink.  
 from east to west there was color exploison in both directions
The sun was up but it had not warmed up.  I was at the valley bottom now and it was bitterly cold.  I still had ground to cover so covered it quickly to keep warm.  All the while on my way to the Bow River, the helicopeters were in taking off and landing training.
with so much sun of course there were lots of shadows
By the time I reached the river the sun was on it and it made for wonderful lighting for taking pictures.  Each tree had a layer of ice wrapped around it which was up to a foot or two high.  These trees were not that close to the river which shows how far the ice pushed the water in land.

The river was a field of ice!  As far as the eye could see there were wild and crazy ice formations.  It was pushed up onto the land so I did not have to venture far to see it up close.  Some formations were like lace.  I like how the sun reflected and created stars.  Also, I think I see an ice bird on the far right!  Do You?
the ice, the sky, the whispy cloud, oh so dreamy
This chunk of ice created by Mother Nature is like a pillar of strength!
This piece is about two feet tall.
I spent about an hour by the river doing nothing but admiring the ice formations and capturing their beauty.  At times I was laying down being one with the ground to capture different perspectives, all the while the two helicopters were flying over top doing their training loops.  I wondered if they saw me and if they wondered what the heck I was doing. 
I could have spent another hour down by the river.  I did not hike a very long stretch of it, the ice was so close, so compacted, piece after piece after piece all right there.  I felt so full of fulfillment, my stomach was growling,  I was chilled to the bone, it was time to go home.  With a few kilometers to go to get back up to my car, I just put her in overdrive and got up there.

today's 11km route 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Barrier Viewpoint January 19, 2020 & Projects

With the week long coldmageddon ended, it's now safe to be actively "out & about" for an extended period of time.  I picked Barrier Lake Lookout to be my destination for today.  I know how beautiful that whole area is at this time of year.  I hit the highway blending in with the migration west.  Even while on my way west, I was experiencing that fulfilling feeling.  I turned off where life begins at Highway 40 along with many others.  Yet I was the only one that turned off for the Barrier Dam Parking Lot.  While it was not early, the lot was empty.  I was surprised to see the new main lot was closed.  I parked, geared up and took off just as a vehicle with a biker guy pulled in beside me.

This is my kind of beauty!
The snow was drifted and deep just getting to the dam.  
The wind bit me like it normally does along this section. 
 I made quick business of crossing the dam and getting into the shelter of the trees.
The trail into the trees was packed.
My spikes were sufficient enough.
I got the switchbacks upwards through the forest over with and as I arrived at the first big opening the biker passed by.  I took a few minutes here to admire the view.  It was later morning but still there was an after effect of the sunrise.
I eyed up to where I planned to go.  The going looked good from here so I went for it.
I made it to the rocky outcrop viewpoint and checked out the area.  No one had been past this section.  I aimed to where the trail was but there was no trail.  I carried on a bit but began sinking to over my knees.  The snow was deep, it was drifted.  I have been up here so many times but it looked foreign to me in these conditions.  I opted out of continuing further, I just did not feel comfortable on my own here.
So, I made this my high point!
See, it is beautiful up here!
I worked my way back to the rocky viewpoint and settled down for a snack.  I shared the space with another biker, he was originally from The Netherlands.  We chatted for a little while both enjoying our drinks, our snacks and the scenery.
It was windy and nippy out here in the open.  
I needed a hot drink so eventually managed to get some tea into the cup.
I was a tad disappointed to not make it to the Lookout.  It would be incredible up there today.  
I packed up and headed on back down.  
This was the view as I took one last look back up.   It was not until I made it down to the switchbacks that I met others on their way up.   We shared pleasantries with a couple of ladies inviting me to go back up with them as their intentions were to hit the Lookout.  I passed on the invite and continued on my way.  
I arrived back at Barrier Lake and scooted down to the lake shore.  I thought it was windy this morning as I began the hike but that I would call delightful compared to how wicked the wind was now.  Even though, I enjoyed it!  I spent more time here than I did at the high point snacking.
This is my favourite photo of the day!  
It was wild at times.....
.....and other times, as calm as could be!
By the time I got back to my car, the small section available to park was close to being full.  I am sure after today, there will be a beaten snow path all the way to the Lookout.  Another try may be in order. What a relief  it was to be back outside on the move in our amazing mountain playground.  

 I did not let those coldmaggedon days last week just pass on by.   

I am back into cross-stitching after decades and I am enjoying it!  
I completed this project on Saturday after many coldmageddon hours working on it.  
My next project is to turn this photo I love so much into a cross-stitch pattern and then stitch away.  
I have only ever stitched from a store bought pattern so this will be a first for me.
Stay tuned!