Sunday, April 24, 2016

1 40 742 1

You know what those numbers mean!  
Yes, I drove the loop! 

With a bleak hiking forecast for my official event yesterday southwest of the city, I declared it cancelled by high noon on Friday.  I put my rescue expertise to the test on Saturday and accomplished so many things I had been saving for a rainy day.  Part of the rescue plan also included coming up with a plan to be "out & about" today in the continuing bleak weather.  I needed to acknowledge today, to have something to show for it, to be appreciative and thankful because, well just because.  

I left home early and got caught up in the flow of traffic heading west.  This weather didn't stop loads of folks.  My first stop was for breakfast at Barrier.  This time I admired the place from inside my car.  It was calm enough to afford a perfect reflection.  
It was much warmer out at the Kananaskis Lakes.  
I played a little while on the lake-side.  
Next stop was over at Interlakes where I joined two fishermen.  That was it, only the three of us.   There were lots of cars in the parking lot though, guess they spent the night at the backcountry campgrounds.  It was warm here and calm, socked in with low laying cloud, and drizzle.
You can see pieces of mountain above the cloud.
entertained me for a few minutes
The road down to the Peninsula was closed to vehicles so I parked and went for a stroll.
As I drove down the Smith Dorrien I saw a dark blob moving in the middle of the road.  Once I realized it was a grizzly bear and it was not going to take off into the woods, I pulled to the side to watch it and let it enjoy it's territory.  It seemed to be staring at me and very slowly sauntering towards me.  I felt safe in my vehicle about 100 meters away.  It looked very healthy and was amazing to watch.  I am not sure if it would have come right to my vehicle or not, I would have tried to move away.  A car came up behind me like a bat out of hell and I warned those in the vehicle but then I guess with all the noise and fluster the grizzly then quickly disappeared into the woods.
view of North Kent Outlier (I think) from the Sawmill Parking Lot
The Smith Dorrien was in good driving condition.  I was surprised at the lack of snow in the area.  I was able to get to close off the highway places in just shoes.  I strolled near Mud Lake from the Burstall Pass Parking Lot.  Of course, I had my bear spray with me.  It was so warm and so calm, I took time to enjoy the reflections.
reflection in Mud Lake
There was not much activity along the Smith Dorrien, only the odd car parked in a couple of different places. It's that between season time of year.  If the weather continues as it has been, the hiking season up here will be opening sooner rather than later.  I do know the Chester Lake closer goes into effect this coming Sunday May 1st for two months.
The Buller Day Use Area Lot is still barricaded off but I was able to access Buller Pond from off the 742.  It looks more like a lake than a pond.  This was the first time I ever saw it even though it is right off the road.
Further along there are many places to access Spray Lake.  
The water level was low and the ground was dry.
 I worked my way out a bit to where pretty scenery was offered up.  
looking north
looking south
As I got closer to the Goat Creek Lot, I could see nothing.  I drove into low thick cloud.  I saw the Lot only as I was almost on top of it.  Knowing what that road was like up ahead, I opted to sit it out in the parking lot with hopes the cloud would clear.  It did and when I could see the tree line in front of me across the road, I hit the road and aimed for Canmore.
While I did not hike this weekend, this day trip fulfilled my mountain fix.  It has been some time since I enjoyed a photography outting.  Note to self:  do this more often!  This was a good opportuntiy to scout out the conditions in this playground.  I look forward to returning to this neck of the woods & mountains but with a backpack on my back and boots on my feet. 


  1. Good for you for getting outside and exploring, despite the gloomy weather. And you got some great reflection photos for your efforts. AND seeing that grizzly bear was really cool!

  2. Wow, lucky you seeing a grizzly. Yes every day is a good day to be out and about. Such wonderful
    snapshots you have taken.

  3. Barrier Lake calm?! Never experienced it this way.
    I love the reflection photos. Every weather condition has its own beauty.


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