Sunday, June 30, 2013

Open Minded

Given what this part of our beautiful Province has been through the past ten days, our options of where to hike now are not limitless but limited.  After some lengthy soul searching, I found a place in my heart where I was O.K. with seeking a day of fun while so many others can't even consider that at this point in their lives.  I put the option out there it see if friends were feeling open minded like me to give it a go and was happy to have old friends and new friends come on board.  

An area that was open to us and that did not experience flooding was in Banff National Park in the Moraine Lake area near Lake Louise.  Larch Valley is known for its September Splendor but today was as opportunity to open our minds to what beauty was offered this time of year.  This was our view as we entered into Larch Valley and with some of the Ten Peaks as the backdrop.  
We carried on through the Valley to Minnestimma Lake.
The views were amazing as was the temperature which made it a great spot to stop for awhile.
Sentinnel Pass reflecting in Minnestimma Lake
Scenery shot from Larch Valley with the moon as a speck in the left sky.
This reflection reminded me to reflect on how fortunate I was to be standing in this spot today.
After visiting Larch Valley, we headed back and then carried on towards Eiffel Lake.  This is where the Valley of Ten Peaks views can take your breath away.  The trail to this point was clear of snow and dry but I could see ahead something else that could take my breath away and this time, not in a good sense.  My nemesis!  A steep snowy slippery slop!  
I had a moment or so of self talk just trying to convince myself to be open minded about these slopes and give them a try.  I crossed three, that was enough and I could not bring myself to cross this one.  I told my friends to carry on, I would wait here.  Once they were around the corner and out of sight, I sat down and had a very personal moment behind my sunglasses.  I was disappointed I could not carry on, I felt sad that I still find it hard to accept that I cannot conquer this nemesis.  
After having that personal moment, I then remembered that today was all about being open minded.  Look at where I was!  Look at that view!  Feel the warmth of the sun!  All of these, I am sure,  so many other folks would give dearly to be experiencing today.  It wasn't long when I saw my friends return. Their choice was to come and spend the time dining and relaxing with me instead of further along the trail.  Thank you for that!
We still had the snow slopes to cross back over upon our return trip.  With assistance I made it, and then this last one I was able to cross on my own.  While hiking back, with the mid day sun now on the adjacent mountains, we could here avalanche after avalanche after avalanche with some being quite thunderous.   
I was happy with how today turned out and was glad I got to share the day with old friends and to make some new friends.  The day felt like a gift to me and I accepted it with an open heart.  Any doubts about taking a day to have fun were squashed when Canmorites and Banffites applauded that we came from Calgary to show our love and support for the mountains and their communities.  It is days like this that make me feel like I am "on top of the world"!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Blue Green Day

The title of this post pretty much captures the essence of today!

I shared this morning exploring Nose Hill Park with a few folks.
wild flowers were in abundance
as far as you could see scenery
the clouds danced wonderfully for us
sky, mountains, city, park
what a feast for the eyes
could not get any more blue green then this
This was a nice morning to spend at Nose Hill Park.  
We started early to beat the heat of the day.
 Finishing by noon, we had the rest of the day to do as our hearts pleased.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Not So Good, Not So Right

The stats for today's run look like a mirror image of those from two days ago, but that's about it for being a similar experience.  After what seemed like an eternity, I checked my distance covered and it showed only 1.4 kms.  I wanted to bail but just sucked it up and stuck with a plan of doing 5 km.  

Before any dissing, let me share my excuses, I do have legitimate excuses for having a rough run.  The tag on the neck of my shirt was irritating me, there was a rock stuck in  the tread of my runner and it made an irritating clicking noise every time I put that foot down and I was mad at myself for not bringing along my 115.  Yes, legitimate excuses!

I have work to do if I want a shot at answering Sunday's question  "I wonder if...."

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Time to Breathe

With a couple of hours to spare mid day, I filled them with spending time at a close by distraction.  Nose Hill was a busy place today, the busiest I have ever seen it.  I really did not expect that but I should not be surprised.  I did not expect it to be as dry as it was either.  Plus, the wild flowers in bloom were a bonus.
View as I exited the parking lot.
I found this trail to follow.
I did not cover as much ground as I had planned to.  
I spent more time admiring the wild flowers.
While I tried to make the wild flowers the focus of my attention, down town Calgary was still in the back of my mind and I could not stop my heart from going heavy every time I looked in that direction.  
As I stood in the middle of Nose Hill and looked west, my thoughts went to all those folks out there....
....and wishing they will all have Time to Breathe sometime soon!

I've been curious to know if....

....I could still run....

Each day for the last two months,  my runners and my 305 have been catching the corner of my eye.  That's because I took them out of the closet and placed them where I could not miss seeing them.  I have been wondering if I could even run again, would I enjoy it, would my runners and clothes still fit me.  The last time I laced up my runners and hit the neighbourhood was Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 7:54am.  I ran 5.05 kms and my time was 32:42.  

This morning, instead of just glancing at my runners and 305, and without even a second thought, I laced up my runners, strapped on my 305 (that was after donning a pair of shorts and shirt to match) then hit the pavement running.  It felt absolutely wonderful!  Joints, muscles, bones, heart, lungs all seemed to work in sync after about two minutes.  My plan was to do 5km any which way. I went slow, had two one minute walk breaks, enjoyed the scenery, the sun, the peacefulness.  Before I knew it I was back home in one piece feeling that feeling that I have missed.   
It felt so good, it felt so right!
Mmmmm!  I wonder if.......

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sending Prayers

This morning I felt a little lost and normally I like that a lot, in fact, usually every Saturday morning I head out the door in search of getting lost.  This  morning was different, the roads I go down to get lost are flooded, washed away, closed, barricaded, blocked!  I resigned to the fact that I am confined to the city, but not confined to my home.  I am very fortunate that I have the choice whether to stay home or go out.  I am so sorry for those that don't have that option!

I went to an area of the city where I knew I could safely check out the devastation, staying behind the "do not cross" signs and incorporating the use of my zoom lens.  I could not believe what I saw!  It was emotional to view and it left me in awe.  I have never seen anything even remotely close to what was right before my eyes.  My heart goes out to all the folks who have been affected.  
Saturday morning in photos!

road and river blend to become one

someone is in a safer place

a nature trail is under there somewhere

The Peace Bridge

helping out in a more needed place

having a very personal moment behind his elbow

not all reflections are lovely

hopefully their homes were spared

I can't remember what this is suppose to look like!

Should be bustling on a beautiful summer Saturday!

fast and furious

staying safe behind the tape

watching the clouds bubble up and thinking "Please, no more"

Life almost seems to be stopped right now!
For some like me it is, but for others their life is a world wind out of control!

My thoughts and prayers go out to you!

Friday, June 21, 2013

I Hope Not!

From 4:20 am this morning up until now, as I create this post just before laying my head on a pillow for the night, I have been cleaning up water that has been working its way into my basement.  I am one of the very fortunate ones because water in the basement is all I have to contend with.  In between trips to the basement and watching the devastation on T.V., I let my mind wonder to where it loves to go.  That place took me away from the reality of this day.  

You have probably been asked the question "are we there yet?" at some point in your life.  I know I have asked it of others many, many times but not any more though!  I have come to realize that I don't ever want to be there, figuratively speaking, that is.  I want to always be on my way somewhere, to venture on, to keep on learning, keep on finding, keep on growing, keep on exploring.

"Are We There Yet?" is the name of one of my favourite Opi nail lacquer shades.   

Late this afternoon the sun shone on my deck.  I escaped reality and caught some rays while performing a pedicure.  This photo is not about my toes but about the shade of my nails.  I must interject though that these toes have supported me through running many marathons, half-marathons, 10 kms and 5kms races. They have been to the top of many mountains and have crossed many creeks. These toes have pedaled hundreds of kilometers, have glided with me across ice surfaces, helped propel me doing the breast stroke. They have roller-bladed, roller-skated, X-C & downhill skied.  They may have given me grief along the way but have been there every inch of the way as I found my way!  Yet, today it is not about all that but about the name of the shade "Are we there yet?" 

Are we there yet?
I hope not!

My thoughts and prayers are with every single person who has been affected by the flooding.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Mid June Delights

Mid June opens up many more opportunities for getting high with snow-free conditions.  I was feeling for a place that offered up optimal time on the trail with little time invested driving to the trail head.  I remembered the perfect place that fit the bill, Forgetmenot Ridge!  I put the idea out there and was delighted to have a gang that was just as game as me.  Today was an opportunity to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.  What is trending lately is the chance to introduce a new area to folks who have never been.  Now I find that delightful!

The first open view of the day came mid way up that long steep stretch.
After reaching the ridge our first destination came into view.  
It is the main south summit which is the high point at the far left.   
We first arrived at the rocky knoll and relaxed at the base of it on a sheltered, sunny slope.  
View from on top of the rocky knoll.
Summit Shot #1
With the first order of business taken care off which were solo and group summit shots, we settled down for lunch. The views were such a delight to admire. The clouds surrounded us while the sun shone down on us.  While dining, we could see our next destination.  The sun was moving towards it so we decided to also.  The scenery along the way there was amazing.

view of Nihahi Ridge
a delightful bouquet of prairie crocuses
dainty and delicate amongst rough and rugged
Our second destination was the far right at the end of that arm.
There was lots of cumulus cloud around today.
The good thing was those clouds near us were separated. 
Heading to summit #2 was enjoyable as was being there.  It was my pleasure and such a delight to capture photos of my friends jumping for joy.  They appeared suspended in air in front of the backdrop of Banded Peak, Mount Glasgow and Mount Cornwall.  Out of respect for their privacy, I choose not to post that photo here.  But here is my summit shot #2.
From destination #2, we spotted #3 which is the north summit at the far right end of that arm.  Time was flying and we obviously were too plus so were the clouds.  The delightful blue sky and sun followed us all day and we now knew it was safe to head off for destination #3.  
After capturing our group photo at the summit, I obtained my own summit shot #3.
I love these gigantic cairns!
We beelined from here back along the ridge, gradually descending as we went and reached a sheltered slope near the trees for one last chance to relax, enjoy the views and have a snack.  From here on down, it was smooth descending the steepness.  We attacked the cold wide creek crossing and all safely made it back to the vehicles.  

What a delight-filled day!
The kind I love and make me feel like I am "on top of the world"!