Monday, November 11, 2019

Sulphur Mountain November 11, 2019

With winter tires finally on my car and a road report that says good to go, I was now ready to go.  With a recent snowfall of a few centimeters and a weather forecast for cold + crisp + clear, I wanted to get caught up in all this.  Banff National Park was the place, up Sulphur Mountain I would set the pace.  I arrived to only two others ahead of me, one turned back very early, the gondola would not run until 10:00am so this meant it was very, very quiet here.      
It was so easy to focus this morning, eyeing the beauty as I ascended, hearing nothing but my breathing and the off & on crunch of my spike in the packed snow.  I took only two stops along the way, one to delayer and sip my beverage then one photo opportunity.   I reached the deck and the beauty was as it always is although I took some time to make sure to appreciate it a bit more on this Remembrance Day.   This was the first time I noticed the coloring on the sign.  I sported orange and turquoise too!
Oh Canada!
I arrived at the observation deck to this view.  
It was cold! It was windy!  It was awesome!  
The heated igloo is open and inviting. 
I spent a little time inside warming up, enjoying my tea and the view.
At this time of year if you hike up Sulphur Mountain then you can ride the gondola down for free so I did just that.  The window was down and the view of Mount Rundle was sweet.  I exited the base building and walked back up to my car near the trail head.  It was still cold and still windy and still beautiful!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

West Bragg Creek Trails November 7, 2019

I like new and today would be new for me!  This was my first time ever in the West Bragg Creek area other than many many moons ago spending a Friday evening nearby downhill skiing then watching a Warren Miller Movie at the Wintergreen Ski Hill.   I was looking forward to what would transpire today and what sights I would see.  I am crazy about snow so this sight at the gigantic West Bragg Creek Parking Lot was appealing first because of all the snow and second because there were only a few others here.   
 We opted out of snowshoeing in favour of spiking instead.  
It was a beautiful winter wonderland with snow laden trees.
We had an intended big loop in mind to cover but experienced an ooops along the way and began to create a figure eight, double the pleasure two loops instead of one!  The climbing was gradual and I was happy about that.  I am working on getting my elevation heart and lungs back up to par.
break time along the way for a sip & snack
Like I mentioned above, I am crazy about snow!  
Some say I am in age denial!  
I say I am just loving life and living it!
The views open up and we can now see mountain peaks peeking out!
 venturing through and beyond
Noon time!  Dine time!  We found an open slope along Merlin and settled down.  Here you can see Moose Mountain which is now no longer a fire lookout seeing as they removed the lookout house this summer.   Maybe a new one will be built next summer!
 settled down in the sun and ready for tea
After lunch we continued on with our figure eight at times following The Great Trail.  The arrow is pointing west.  If you follow all the arrows for The Great Trail heading west, you will eventually arrive at where I was a couple of weeks ago and that is where the trail begins and ends on the west coast of Canada.
We saw many deer today, some were skittish and took off, others stared at us while we admired them.
We arrived back at the parking lot just in time to quickly gear down then hop on for our ride home. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Nose Hill Autumn Delight November 6, 2019

red is the berry
and the snow is white
it's not even Christmas
but I feel merry & bright
I was home from this morning's appointment at 7:50am and back out the door at 8:10am, now all bundled up with camera in tow and not far to go.  I knew I needed to be at Nose Hill early while it was still frigid with a wind chill and some fluffy puffy clouds dancing about.
The equation added up correctly for a day of crystal clear that I love so dear!
Everything was covered in a heavy layer of hoar frost.  
I walked into a dream!
Is what it did seem!
Oh what a beauty you are!
With that crazy quick drop in temperatures over night, 
Canada Olympic Park got busy making snow to cover the downhill ski slopes.  
The snowflakes were so big and so defined and so perfect.  I picked up a bunch and shook them around on my glove.  Then admired them.  Right before my eyes was a heart shaped from a few flakes and on the right side of the heart was a crystal of snow shaped like a star and it sparkled in the sun.  I got goose bumps and not because it was so cold.  I don't purposely go looking for hearts, they just appear in one form or another and it has been happening lots lately.
Am I looking for love?

This was today's route.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Nose Creek & Birth Forest & Geocache November 5, 2019

With a few hours to fill at my hands and the thoughts of geocaching rolling around in my head the past few weeks, it's about time to practice what I was reading.  Going for an easy level search in a place I am familiar with, was what I thought would give me a good chance at success.   The Nose Creek Pathway and the Birth Forest offer up simple straight forward paths and trails with a sense of peace & quiet.  The Birth Forest is always a pleasant place!

I strolled the lower trails that wind along the creek side and then veered off at the split rock. 
There was colour in the forest.
They treaded water in the same spot the entire time I watched them.
I believe they were watching me out of the corners of their eyes.
Those were a few of the sights I saw today when I carried on walking after my geocaching experience did not go as I hoped it would.  I picked a cache on my computer and got the details.  It's called "Party in the forest"! The directions showed it was very early on in amongst the trees in the Birth Forest and not that far from the parking lot. The ground was covered in snow and there had been loads of foot traffic in the direction I needed to go, I could also see bike tire tracks.  My initial thinking was this "Party in the forest" is a popular geocache location and with all this traffic in the snow, it will be easy to find.   Well, as I was apporaching where I calculated the cache to be, I saw two very very large shelters set up in amongst the trees that have been planted when babies were born,  with bikes at both.  What the heck, I was expecting a small box containing a cache.  But, it is called "Party in the forest" and maybe this cache is a party!  When there was rustling in one of the tents, I got out of there quickly. I felt uneasy and this was not a party I wanted to crash nor a cache I wanted to know anything more about!  

I use to frequent that Birth Forest but I think I will put some space and time between me and it.  
We will see what happens in June when the herd of goats come for their annual week of grazing.
As for geocaching, back to the drawing board!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Nose Hill October 30, 2019

We met early for an 11km catch-up hike around Nose Hill Park under a beautiful sky yet with a strong biting wind.  We were bundled up and ready to brace against it.  Changes are taking place in The Park which was good to see.  This did mean my usual entrance trail is no longer accessible as is another one, but the two main distinct entrances remain.  New wood fences were being put in place as we speak and the bigger sign looked new to me.   
The sky looked inviting and to me it was saying "spread your wings and go higher & wider!"
We covered a variety of trail types and this kind is my favourite!
a picnic can be wonderful anytime if you embrace the beauty & the elements
(We found this little stone tucked away in a bush.)
the red will survive
a portion of the new fence as we arrived back at our trail head
the 11km route we covered today

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Victoria B.C. West Coast Wrap-Up October 2019

What a world of difference I arrived at after flying a mere 81 minutes west of Calgary.   For this escape to Victoria, British Columbia I was very fortunate to have received gorgeous weather.  I spent hours on end walking, sightseeing and breathing in the fresh ocean air.  

Everywhere I looked, there was something to love!
Every day started with a sunrise saunter and each one was as beautiful..... the next one!
Autumn on the west coast was like the autumns I remember as a child growing up on the east coast. 
From calm coves to wild waves, I was drawn to walk the waters edge.  
There were so many sights that I took the time to appreciate.
Every evening ended with a sunset stroll and each one was as beautiful..... the next one!
What a world of difference I felt after spending five days enthralled in the west coast lifestyle.  After all the walking & sightseeing & breathing in the fresh ocean air, it was time to leave my home away from home and head home to carry on with my mountain lifestyle.  How lucky I feel to have such different playgrounds to embrace almost right out my back door.

Everywhere I looked, there was something to love!