Saturday, May 19, 2012

Alberta's "Outback"

If Alberta was to have an "outback" then that's where we were today!  I checked the dictionary to see what they say an "outback" is and some words and phrases that came up were:  bush country, a large wilderness area, sparsely populated, inaccessible.  In other words:  where we were today!  Yes, the rocks spell it out....we headed out to Sheep Valley with a plan of attack to reach Junction Lake.
The adventure all started with a creek crossing right at our trail head.  This is one portion of the creek!  It was cold, wide and fast flowing and of course it was a breeze for us to cross.   We then completed a bit of elevation soon after crossing which afforded us this view.  
Then came the second creek crossing. 
Not as wide, not as cold, not as fast flowing!
Easy! Breezy!
In many places, we put our route finding skills to work, checked the GPS, verified with the map, bushwhacked, slipped and slided plus used crawl-like maneuvers.  Time was passing fast, the miles were not nor was the elevation gain.  Verification after verification,  we then carried on and on.  Until, we landed a clear visual in front of us, we could see the general area of Junction Lake and we could see the cornice and the steep snowy avalanche slopes between us and the Lake.  We made the call to play it safe and play it smart and save it for another day.  
We worked our way across this steep dry slope with wide open views 
to have a long break in the sunshine ....
....and admire the beauty right before our eyes!
All the while we were here, I kept thinking "where in the heck are we?"  No mountains looked familiar!   I thought "How on earth did we even manage to end up where we did?  Was this craziness?  Who in their right mind would intentionally come here?  We are so far out, we are so far back, hey we are in the outback!"  Then I came back to reality with a self confirmation that I truly love this craziness and I am not insane!

I checked out my scratches and bruises which looked ugly just like this tree.
We paid a little more attention to all the waterfalls on the return trip.  
We again completed the two water crossings and arrived from the outback, back in to our vehicles.  I changed, cleaned up and then we headed down the road to Sheep River Falls where it was time to...
I don't quite understand it, but getting out there being rough, tough and rugged and getting dirty and wet, does my heart and soul the world of good!   I am fortunate to have the time and my health to go to places so far out and so far back.  I'm not so sure I will ever make it to Junction Lake but I do know for sure that I can hardly wait to head to an Alberta Outback again!


  1. Do 'keep heading outback'. Your photography, writing and energy is inspirational. The Aussie outback can be beautiful but is such a contrast to Alberta. I have a Canon point and shoot and I am trying to learn how to make the most of it's functions, so I am curious to know what camera you have. Your use of the colour functions in Sundays post is striking. I do have this function but haven't captured anything special yet.

  2. Helen, I was thinking of you and your Aussie Outback when I wrote this blog post. My camera is a Canon Powershot 40SX.


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