Saturday, July 9, 2016

Junction Hill through the window

All week long the weather did not look promising for a planned hike in the western region of Banff National Park.  I held on to hope but my hope was fading fast.  I did some additional homework and came up with an alternative off in another direction where the forecast was somewhat better.  But alas, the consensus was no enticement.  Once the decision was made,....

....I went into focus switch mode.  Looking last evening and checking in again as I woke this morning, that alternative area off in another direction still had that window of optimistic opportunity. I packed up and hit the highway to that open window.  Thinking the throngs would bow out also, I assumed I would own the highway.  Yet, I got caught up in the masses heading west.  

I veered off to where life begins at Highway 40.  
I waited for Wave 1 to make their way out then passed by and went on my way.  
to that open window of opportunity
It was a pretty morning drive along 40 to Highwood Pass and then on to Highwood House.   I eyed the hills of Junction Hill and picked out a route to aim high.  Seeing as I was soloing, I opted to stick to the west side where it is open as opposed to the forested side.  As I began to ascend I could already see a colorful ground cover.
I hiked straight up gaining elevation quickly to get those grand views. 
The tree frames Hell's Ridge and Mount Burke. 
lots of opportunities for framing
I meandered here and there working my way up, on no set trail, just going where the wildflowers were and interesting trees and branches and rock piles.  I reached a spot where I went for a destination shot.  I had no intentions of reaching the true summit today, not while on my own.
even higher and more framing
and higher yet
the wildflowers were outstanding
bouquets were plentiful on slopes and meadows  
colorful flowers & rock gardens
With the window still open, I went a bit higher and found a spot to sit and just be there.  
I thought through things to past the time while sitting up here and being able to see forever.  
Life is always clearer up here in these places!
what wandering around looks like
Time passed to the point where I should be getting on with my day and aim down.  I picked a different direction down, on steep slopes, wandering back and forth working at prolonging the finish a little longer.  My return drive home was the same way as I came hours ago.  As I made my way along that highway where life begins, the window began to slowly close and then closed completely.  

I arrived home feeling pleased how that window stayed open for me and that I was able to thoroughly enjoy my time being out & about.  After cleaning up, I trimmed my nails and then added a splash of soft pink to them.  The color is called "Eternal Optimist"! 

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