Monday, February 18, 2019

Glenbow Ranch February 18, 2019

With the new snow from yesterday and the cold forecast with sunshine for this morning, I knew it would be a sparkly and glittery day out there.  I wanted to get somewhere somehow but I needed to safely make it to a main road first.  The snow is not scary, the cold is not scary, what is scary is the first six minutes of driving from my front door to that main road.  I white knuckled it then breathed a sigh of relief when I reached the clear dry pavement.

It was like summer sailing on the 1A out to Glenbow Ranch.  Being the Family Day Long Week I knew the road down to the Ranch and the Parking Lot would be very user friendly.  I donned all my layers and braced against the cold to enjoy fresh air, exercise and great scenery.  This was the view from the trail head, it was sparkly & glittery already.
I broke trail in over the ankle new fallen snow from the kiosk on the other side of the tracks all the way down to the Bow River.  The last time I was here the river was fast flowing.  I am glad I ventured down here today because as it begins to warm up it will not be a safe place to be.  The ice had broken up and was pushed up to form sculptures of a sort.
vehicle speeding along on the train track
it looks like distracted driving to me when I look inside
I stopped at the picnic table for some tea and a snack and watched this halo form. 
At first it was a sundog and then the full circle developed.   
it was cold & frosty
there was glitter & sparkle
delicate & tough
Beauty was abound today but up on top of Yodel was a performance of peak perfection.   

I made sure to cover 10 kms, 
always ending with a big uphill out here at Glenbow Ranch
 and a big smile too!     

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Documenting Days Gone By

One of the projects that has been on my to-do list for many years was to update my blog with the hikes and road races I completed back in the days of Polaroids, prints and penned notes.  I have many journals that contain those memories and photographs.  The notes from days gone by are nothing length-wise compared to the detail I share now.  I can count on one hand the number of photographs I have for each event.    

This will be a work in progress and it just began with documenting the hike we did to the Galatea Lakes in 2003.  Even in just sorting through all the journals and albums, it has brought me many smiles and chuckles.  If you are a loyal follower, maybe you too will sport a smile or two when you see what I have to share.  If you have been a part of any of these adventures, I may be in touch with you.  

If you are looking for the days gone by posts they will be at the bottom in this section of my blog as shown in the photo below.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Watridge Lake February 14, 2019

I was really looking forward to today.  It has been two weeks since I have been out to my mountain playground.  I was thankful to have others to go with today and to share Valentine's Day with them.  We arrived at the Mount Shark Parking Lot under bright blue sky with a temperature of -18C & no windchill.  Nine of us set off snowshoeing to Watridge Lake plus Karst Springs to experience everything we love about this sport and this area.        
There is loads of snow out here and the X-C Ski trails had been groomed over night.
Quite quickly I needed to delayer and down grade to not so warm mittens and hat.  
The meadows were pristine and they were picture perfect too.  
Each delayer & each down grade took place at a scenic spot.
Finding true love was not a challenge today.  
After a new snow fall and with no wind, we were presented with snow laden forests.
I smile at tiny little two foot trees that command attention.
Shadow shot, there is your proof of a bright sunshiny day.
Most times in life I wear my heart on my sleeve yet today I also wore it on my chest.  
We arrived at Watridge Lake and each captured our own unique style of destination shot.  This was mine with me flying, the snow flying, the hearts flying.  We packed down a large area in the snow then settled down in the sun to dine.  After lunch a few of us carried on up to Karst Springs.  What a load of snow there was through there.  I had no luck with capturing pretty pictures there and I blame it on not good light.   
A few fluffy clouds began to form and they made the scenery that much more beautiful.  I have never come here to X-C Ski, it has always been to snowshoe.  With views like this and tracks that look like these, for a few seconds I wished I was on my skis.  One day, some day!
This pristine meadow was not so pristine after myself and another worked our way into the middle of it.  I could not help myself, I just had to venture on in.  If you look closely to the right, you can see the moon just about a peak.
We arrived back at the parking lot and this was the view when I took one last look back.  
Thank you for today!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Nose Hill Photography Play February 11, 2019

Biscuits were baked, dishes were done, laundry was loaded, it was now time to start a story.  To get the story started I had to put the camera into case, bundle up big, then head to the hill.  There were a few brave souls hiking up on Nose Hill braving the temperature and braced against the wind.  When putting the day's weather forecast into perspective, today would be considered balmy & bright in comparison to what we have been enduring.   

This is what balmy & bright looks like!

With only three clouds in the sky, there was an abundance of opportunity to capture shadow shots.  Being donned up for the conditions and feeling quite comfortable being "out & about" in the frigidness, I took time for photography play along the way.   
Nose Hill is just a great big hill although sometimes it looks like a mountain.
My photography play also included some time to put things into perspective. 
It's all size...can you figure out the true story here?
Resting against that erratic rock that can look like a mountain at times.
Here we go again!  Someone told me the coyote population has increased in Calgary.  Is this even yet another one or is this the same guy I have come across in my past three visits to Nose Hill.  Could it be they come out of hiding on weekdays when they think they can own their territory.    We eyed each other then went our separate ways.
I hiked across to the far side of Nose Hill.  It took time breaking trail in ankle deep then lower calf deep snow at times. My intentions were to do a big loop but I began to feel lazy and had enough with trail breaking so returned the way I came.  Yet, not before taking time to rest on the far side.
This was the route for today.  That little jaunt sticking out at the bottom right was not an oops, I knew at this point it was necessary to add that on to make sure I reached the 10 kilometre mark when all was said and done.  
After arriving back home, I savoured a cup of cocoa paired with butter on a biscuit. 
Happy heart! Happy soul! Happy stomach!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Glenbow Ranch February 7, 2019

That window of opportunity that I talked about yesterday did actually happen but I did not wait for the opening, I was "out & about" before it opened and arrived back home as the opening commenced.  It was a clear smooth sail out the 1A to Glenbow Ranch and I was thankful for that.  I had seen photos of what that area has been looking like and I wanted to see that for myself.   

This is what I wanted to see and this is what I saw!

All the layers were necessary allowing no skin to be exposed.  

With a name like Glenbow Ranch of course you have to expect there will be fences.  While they serve a ranch environment purpose, I like them for photo ops using them as photo props.   I had no intentions of them being a focus today but it turned out that way.
There were warnings that cows were frequenting the Tiger Lily trail.  

Not only were fences a thing today, so were the clouds and I have this thing for clouds.  If you are a loyal follower of mine than you already know this.  Today the cloud coverage was captivating.  For this reason I am glad I ventured out early as the clouds may have dispersed out here as the day went on.
This is why I love winter!
the clouds, the fence, the snow, the cold
I can only say "aahhh"!

The snow is supposed to begin again.  
That (somewhat) warm window will be closing this evening.
 Friday will develop into a wintry white wonderland.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Colorful Cold February 6, 2019

My east coast friend forwarded along a suggestion to me on a way to pass some time when she saw what the wild west was in for weather-wise.  One past winter during extreme temperatures, I did the bubble thing, you know blow children's bubbles into the frigid air to see them freeze covered in beautiful patterns.  Instead of a collection of frozen bubbles, this season's collection is made up of colorful frozen big balloon marbles.       

When we were "gifted" a forecast  like this, my interest in being "out & about" waned way off.  

My friend's suggestion intrigued me so I went to work filling balloons with water and food coloring.  
I placed them on my deck in the snow to freeze. 
Feeling a little impatient and curious as to what was transpiring, after only a few hours I unwrapped the light green balloon.  It was not fully frozen, the bottom came off and the colored water came out.  This is what I got!  Nonetheless, I like the look.  I let the balance of the balloons freeze over night.
this season's collection
The collection of coloful frozen big balloon marbles are now lined along the fence in my backyard.
The pink one is my favourite!
There were three balloons left so I began the process again to have more to add to my collection.  I added a few more drops of food coloring to get deeper shades.  This time I sat them in round bowls so they would have a better chance at ending up in a round shape.  These were placed outside to freeze over night.
These three sit in a bowl on my front stair where they catch the late morning sun. 
We now have a short window of opportunity where the temperature will be humane enough to safely be "out & about" for an extended period of time.  Once that window opens I will be out there and about there and back home before the window closes.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Emerald Lake Hamilton Falls January 31, 2019

Head west "young lady" if you want to land smack dab in the middle of a winter wonderland! The forecast hollered out loud & clear that it would be snowing all day in Yoho National Park. As we crossed the border from Banff National Park into Yoho National Park I knew our destination of Emerald Lake would be a players paradise. That place today was as white as white can be!   
Before snowshoeing the circumferance of the Lake, we found our way up to Hamilton Falls.  This unique marker sign showed the way to go.  It was constructed of a wind flag hanging from a pole/X-C Ski contraption.  
 along the trail
With not too much effort we arrived at Hamilton Falls.  
This was as far as we went and yes I am on Hamilton Falls.
And yes this part of the Park has loads of snow.
Now back at Emerald Lake, we began snowshoeing in a counterclockwise direction.  This meant sauntering through the accommodations area first.  It must be a dream for those staying here who have not experienced snow before.  
 keeping the wine chilled
please bring another bottle
 at the entrance to one of the cabins
 It's a full time job to keep paths clear out here!
The views were non-existent other than white on white on white on white!  Throw in a snowshoer who embraces these conditions and that will brighten up the color spectrum.  We were fortunate for it to be somewhat warm day, we are talking negative numbers but the digits were not double.
 along the trail heading to the forest on the far side of Emerald Lake
 I see something in that snow mound!
hibernating for the winter
After snowshoeing around the Lake, some of the others did one thing while others did another thing. My thing was to scoot on down the trail beside the river to add a little more distance and to capture more pretty pictures.  The lone duck was in its glory owning the river.
 view along the river
I wasn't ready to pack it in yet so I bundled up, put out my seat pad, sat down, flipped my snowshoes, poured some tea and enjoyed the view while the lightly falling white gold continued to accumulate on the ground and on me.  I took a few minutes to reflect on how fortunate I was to be here today experiencing this World UNESCO Heritage Site National Park.