Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Sulphur Springs & Diamond-T March 11, 2020

I went for a woodsy wander today!  I had no real destination in mind just a general idea of where there would be some ground to easily cover not far from home.  I landed out in the Elbow Valley at the Station Flats parking lot.  There was no one else around, there had been new untouched snow over night, I geared up and took off hitting the Elbow Valley Trail.  The sky had blue in it and some not so nice white in the distance.  
I followed the Elbow Valley Trail through the sparse forest  and reached the junction for the Sulphur Springs Trail.  I veered off knowing from before that it would lead to a cross over of the Moose Mountain Road then there would be wide open spaces with nice views on the other side.  Hmmm, yeah that sounds good so I put a plan in place to reach that area.
Then the blue disappeared!
The snow began falling as light flurries at first and then developed into loads of heavy think wet flakes.  It eventually became white out conditions.  I debated whether to carry on or turn and head back because.....
 .....GGRRRRR This is not what I signed up for!  
I captured this shot before it got bad.
I put my camera away, my pack cover on, hood up, and did a turn about.
GGRRR about 20 minutes later some blue began to appear.  It was looking pretty.  
The flakes turned to flurries and then the flurries flurried off.  
My foot & spike prints from earlier were gone.
My prints were replaced with a fat bike track.
It was so pretty now with a cm or so of additional new snow since I began my day.  
I no longer wanted to continuing returning the way I came.  
I came upon an uphill trail with no sign saying something.  
Yet it looked like there was something up there.  
I ascended the trail to see what I could see.   
This is what I saw.  I was curious as to what was beyond the gate.  
I broke trail through the new snow and saw another veer off so I veered off.  This signs means viewpoint which must mean there is a viewpoint up on top of the hill.  I continued to ascend up the hill, followed a dent in the snow to the ridge and hiked along the ridge through the forest.
This would be the viewpoint, an old broken bench sitting at the edge of the the ridge amongst a thick bunch of trees with no view.  I did see rings of rocks covered in snow which leads me to believe people come here to have a fire.  There was nothing here for me.
Once back through the gate and closing it behind me, I followed the fence to an open meadow.  Now this is more like it.  I could have used snowshoes here but I did the best I could with my spikes.  Lots of new deep snow, some blue sky, wide open view, yeah this made me happy!
view along the way during the descent back to the Elbow Valley Trail
By the time I arrived back at the Station Flats parking lot there were lots of other cars but I saw no one other than the one fat bike rider, no he was not fat, the bike's tires were.  The picnic tables at this location were not easily accessible with all the snow so I drove down the road to Allen Bill where I knew I could get a table with no problem.
There was a safe section to stroll along the water's edge.  
Here you can see the ice formation under the water.
open water like this makes me think spring-like thoughts
the sun creates sparkly stars in the water
It sure did feel like spring at this point.  I sat upon my sit upon at the picnic table facing the sun.  No hat was needed nor gloves.  Sunglasses were a necessity.  I relaxed back, closed my eyes, let my mind wander, not back to the woods though but to what positive things spring could hold in store!  

today's track

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