Sunday, January 14, 2018

Rawson Lake & Upper Kananaskis Lake January 14, 2018

Did anyone stay in the city today?  Is pot puffing now legal?  I thought for certain hitting the road west very very early on a Sunday morning would afford me a quiet easy sail to where life begins at the turnoff onto Highway 40.  I was mistakenly wrong big time, so I just went with the flow until it was time to break away from that madness.  I arrived at a quiet Upper Kananaskis Lake parking lot.  The ice fishermen were already fishing and more were suiting up to do so beside me.  Or should I say were "puffing up" beside me.  As I geared up I began to think I may get my "high" fix not just from when I "remember to breathe" but by just breathing alone.  I geared up and got out of there while finding myself smiling wide, but why!  Yes, I was happy! It was pretty here, the temperature was ideal, it was quiet and I was where I belonged.  That's what I contribute my happiness to!  
What a morning it was here!  It seemed surreal in a way.  There were the odd touches here and there that made it that much more beautiful.  Snow covered boulders scattered along the edge of the Upper Kananaskis Lake.....
.....mountain peaks peeking through cloud windows.....
.....a line of cloud stayed stationary the whole time.....
At certain sections along the trail I snowshoed down to the lake side for more wide open vistas.  
I got to see back at the bridge I just went over.  
There were new signs along the way.
I spotted a wildlife camera while it spotted me.
I like to arrive early at Rawson Lake in the winter to get the good lighting.  As the minutes passed and the sun got higher the view became blinding white and washed out.  There was no one else here.  It was incredibly peaceful and pretty.
I followed the broken trail to a safe view point.
owning Rawson Lake
After my Rawson reprieve, I went for a quick trip down to upper.  For the majority of the descent my method was a jog of a sort.  I arrived back at Upper Kananaskis Lake and took the trail along the shore back to the parking lot.  That cloud still lined itself along the mountain range.
The pot puffers were out ice fishing by now.  My only source of "high" now is the sight to behold.  I geared down then drove over to the Interlakes parking lot to hike in that area.  This was my first view.  I enjoy being alone at times so I can take the time I want to play photographer.  I like to see things in a different perspective, I will let you figure this one out.
The view in front of me and behind me was amazing.  
Behind me that long cloud still lingered.
This is why I like winter!
I found a place in the sun, settled down and soaked it up.  
I like perspective!
This is about a foot high!
But this is about six feet high!  The moose owned the road for a little while, while we all waited for it to decide what to do.  A little moose was off to the side in the bushes.  When the road was clear we began to move on and as my turn came the moose turned and started to walk the road again.  I quickly snapped a shot and got the heck out of there.   I think the moose was telling me to get going!

What a day!  

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Watridge Lake, Spray River & Lake January 6, 2018

When all is said and done, it is a vision like this that I hope to see.  This kind of view is what motivates me to be "out & about" and what keeps me coming back for more.  Sometimes in life these loves don't come easily but I try to forget the effort that goes into getting to my love and just be thankful that I am with fun friends sharing our passion in life.  It's about the journey though and the journey began at 7:30am when we met in the city to face our day at the playground.
I have been on this journey a few times and it is different & feels new each time.  
I wonder what will be in store for us today as we leave the trail head!
We made good time along the Watridge Trail to Watridge Lake.  It is not enough just to visit the Lake, we opted to circumnavigate the edge to the far end.  The work began here as we broke trail through deep heavy snow the whole way.  With strong trail breakers we made good time here too.
We left Watridge Lake and put our route finding skills to work to bushwhack and trail break through the forest back out to the main trail then down to the first bridge.  The river was wide open and the views began, yet they were somewhat gray to start.
 We found our way to the stump section.
This was the perfect place for lunch.  There were many stumps to choose from to settle down on and dine.  We had no wind so my tea poured straight into the cup.  The ginger tea paired perfectly with my chickpea/penne/chicken salad, boiled egg, and multi-grain rounds.  Lunch was just long enough to fuel up then we carried on with photo ops and more trail breaking.
When it was safe to do so we snowshoed close to the Spray River.  The river was wide and more open than before so for a large stretch it was necessary to be up higher where we were in deep snow and trail breaking again.  I was glad to have a happy strong trail breaker game to lead the way.
The further along we went it became safe to go down onto the river and admire the ice bubbles.
 on the Spray River
Finally the gray turned to blue and it shed a whole new light on the views and on my spirit.  
It was nothing but beauty before us.  This section was easy going yet I was beginning to feel tired.  We still had a long way to go.  I stayed focused though, focused on the scenery and nothing but.
 the ice was pretty in pictures
What's a snowshoe trek without a little flipping fun!
It took all my energy to flip that tiny bit of wet heavy snow!
 the only wildlife we saw all day
We reached Spray Lake and we verified the route we needed to take and checked the conditions before stepping out onto it and then we monitored it along the way.   It was safely solid for the entire stretch.  I love a shadow shot and we were afforded a perfect one.
 breaking trail 
 taking time to admire the scenery
the ice makes the photo
As we reached the end of Spray Lake and entered the forest I had one last look back.  I captured this physical shot and then took a minute to capture a mental image.  I could not have wished for a last view back to look any more perfect than this.  Then we entered the forest, reached the X-C Ski trail and snowshoed along side it back to our ride.
All safe & sound, all maybe a little sore in spots, all maybe a little tired, we fell into the vehicle and headed home.  There is always so much to be thankful for and to appreciate.  I think about these things every time after our play date in the mountains.  Thank you for everything about today, to our driver, to our trail breaker, to friends being fun and playing safe!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

Hello 2018!

As each year passes I reflect on how fortunate I was to experience what I did.  I am grateful for what I learned in life.  As each year passes I realize how much more there is to learn.  I acknowledge I have much more growing to do.  I look forward to this new year with open arms, eyes, ears and mind.  

I will get there,  I am not exactly sure just how yet, but I know I will get there.  

To all of you, 
I am..... 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 The Best of "The Best Ever"

Looking back at all the "outing & abouting" that filled my year, a famous phrase comes to mind from the closing ceremonies at numerous Olympic games.  My spin on that phrase reads like this:  "I declare this the best year ever of being 'out & about' !"  It's not the statistics that were the best but more importantly it was the wonderful times I got to share with all of you exploring new places and venturing back only to experience new in the old places.  It was the smiles, the laughs, the struggles, the giggles and even the cries that created great memories.  

Musically related themes popped into my head and you know how once you get music into your head it stays there for what seems like forever.  The first theme is a take on the band "Earth Wind and Fire".  My interpretation of those words are "Smoke Wind and Fire".  What a summer of that trio we experienced!  I set out at the beginning of 2017 with a goal of experiencing more new & different than any other year.  It was only going to happen if I made it happen and that I did.  Thank you Pointer Sisters for your words "tonight's the night we're gonna make it happen" because they gave me motivation to say "today's the day I'm gonna make it happen".  "Good Life" it certainly is and I like OneRepublic's words in that song "Tell me what there's to complain about when you're happy like a fool."  So go ahead and tell me I'm happy like a fool, I will gladly own that!

When you're fortunate to live a good life this is what some of the best days look like!

Thank you for being "out & about" with me in 2017.  
We got there one way or another together!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Lake Minniwanka Magic December 27, 2017

There's a kind of winter magic out there that I knew I could find along the shore at Lake Minniwanka just outside of the Banff townsite.  It has been cold enough and there has been sufficient snow over the last while to allow the magic to happen.  With a somewhat decent temperature (that's all relative these days) and a highway showing to be green the entire stretch, the window of opportunity opened for a portion of today.  I went searching for that magic!
I exited my vehicle at the Minniwanka parking lot and the cold near took the breath out of me.  I loaded on the layers then headed down to the lake-shore.  Within a matter of a few minutes the magic began to happen.  I forgot how frigid it was and the cold no longer took my breath away,  it was the scenery that now did that.  It took laying down and being at eye level with the snow crystals to capture a shot like this.
ice ice baby, there was ice everywhere

I spent a good two hours just eyeing the ice.
In between eyeing the ice, I took time to admire the surrounding scenery.  
This shot proves I can fit right in and look like I belong.
The light created scenes that were pretty as a picture so I captured it.  
As the morning grew on and noon time approached the clouds approached closer too.  
The wind picked up and the snow began to fall.  
My window of opportunity began to close so it was time to hike back.

playing with magic

Back at my vehicle I savoured my piping hot ginger tea paired with mild gouda cheese and crackers.  Thankfully the roadways were clear enough as I left Banff National Park.  The plow was ahead on the highway and the traffic was minimal heading east.

Thank you Minniwanka for the magic show!