What a treat to discover this gem that is so close to home. Close to home is all relative, I still had to drive from one end of Calgary to just barely beyond the outskirts of the other end of the city. Even though, I still consider Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area close to home! This memorial plaque is placed at the trail head. I wonder if a plaque will be placed for Ann!
After donating $2.00 each and recording the license plate number, we bundled up in protective layers to battle off wind, cold and snow. Those elements did let up a little later, locally, for the majority of time on the trail. The close by scenery was pretty but Mother Nature denied views of the far off surroundings. I soon knew, the lay of this land would more than make up for far off mountain scenes. There is something about aspen forests that I cannot quite put my finger on, but I find I am being drawn to them lately!
framing falling fence
By now we are well along the Pine Creek Trail ascending towards the Fescue Trail.
The Pine Creek Lookout is the perfect spot for my destination shot. On a clear day, my hands would look like they are supporting Rocky Mountains. I will just have to come back another time to prove that. The sun hid, the wind calmed, we took our photos. Bring on lunch!
Another treat was being able to sit down at a table with a view to dine.
If you look close, we are a trio today.
(click on any photo for a larger view)
After lunch, we opted for the ridge walk instead of the forest hike. I still had hope of a wide open westerly view which turned out not turning out. Yet I was thoroughly pleased with more aspens and clouds that whirled and swirled across the blue sky.
This shelter had a brand new look to it and maybe it is new as it is not shown on the map.
Around the walls were large logs cut to form benches.
We knew we were nearing the end when city center came into sight. Yes, the Cross Conservation Area is close to home but on the other hand, it gives that feeling of escaping to a far away place. That place is a place of beauty and peacefulness and where worriers can be forgotten.
Thank you to Ann & Sandy Cross for your generous donation!