Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 was...2014 will be...

It's true, you get better with age!  In the four years that I have seriously been "out & about" 2013 was a record year for distance (hike + snowshoe) travelled at a grand total of 816 kilometers.  This beat out 2010 by 5 kms.  I came in short on total vertical elevation gain though.  This year was 39 kilometers compared to 43 kms in 2010.  2013 was such a fun year, making new friends, adventuring to new places, pushing boundaries and taking more time than ever to "remember to breathe"!

I am excited for 2014! 
My chart is ready to begin filling in! 

I hope 2014 will be a year filled with fun adventures for all of you.  It can be if you want it to be!  Why not find some way to track your statistics?  Set goals for yourself.  Seeing the numbers grow can be empowering! But do remember, it is not all about the numbers.  Take the time to "feel the moment" and "remember to breathe"!  

Monday, December 30, 2013

Vast Views

Time to reflect!

As a year comes to an end, I like to reflect in some way on how fortunate I am to have experienced what I did, to have been to the places I went and to see what I saw!  To reflect on 2013,  I picked out a photo for each month.  The photos are favourites not because of what they look like but also because the day had special meaning for one reason or another.  If you are a follower of mine then these photos will look familiar.

January 5, 2013
Grass Pass Bull Creek Hills
My first hike of 2013 at one of my favourite places.
Conditions were more like autumn than winter.

February 23, 2013
High Noon Hills & Sandy McNabb Hills
It is always so nice to have discovered a new interesting area.
Sometimes closed fences mean new doors open.

March 9, 2013
Kananaskis Lookout
Today the stars aligned.
There was nothing more I could have asked for.

April 23, 2013
Cottonwood Cove, South Coyote Butte, Utah
I literally won the lottery to be here today.
I had to pinch myself to confirm, yes I am truly here, this is not a dream!

May 11, 2013
Ha Ling Peak
Sololy seeking peace and tranquility early in the morning.
I found that plus an amazing reflection to top off my day. 

June 15, 2013
Forgetmenot Ridge
It's June and an April crocus thrives, a sign for something unique.
I was with a perfect mix of friends who were full of all the right stuff needed to make a great day. 

July 27, 2013
North Molar Pass
I prayed for peak wild flower season and my prayers were answered.
I thoroughly enjoyed my birthday hike.

August 31, 2013
Harvey Pass 
Such gorgeous colors so high up.  
It is views like this that make me high!

September 21, 2013
Highwood Ridge & Grizzly Ridge
Coming around the corner and seeing Pocaterra Ridge glow was the golden moment of the day.
The first day of autumn ended with a feeling of being pleasantly depleted.    

October 19, 2013
Prairie Mountain
Today's beauty seemed like a gift.
It was so much fun with the right blend of lady friends.

November 9, 2013
Fox Lake
We were the first to be in this area this season by the looks of things.
Untouched, so pure, so beautiful!

December 21, 2013
Chester Lake & Elephant Rocks
I had 100% ownership of the area for 3/4 of my time there.  
It was a fabulous first day of winter!

I enjoy taking photos to document my "out & about" days.  I like having this blog to look back on to relive events.  I appreciate when you leave comments or send emails.  I hope what I share here inspires you to get out and enjoy what you have close to your home.  I absolutely love when I am hiking along and come face to face with followers who I have never met.  I look forward to more of those happenings.   I wish you a wonderful 2014 filled with peace, love and joy!   

Sunday, December 29, 2013

"Out & About" One Last Time

When I went to bed last night, I had my tallies for 2013 all firmed up.  Then, when I woke this morning, I could not let the year end without being "out & about" one last time.  I quickly got into ship shape and headed out the door.   As early as I was, it was not early enough to beat the bus tours to the trail head.  I knew though that they would be moving at a touristy pace and I could beat that by a land slide.  In no time at all, I was the leader of the pack.

I made my way to the upper falls and watched the first group of ice climbers go about their business.
digging in
(I'm sure there is a proper name they use for this.)
see him tucked in there 
an overall view
I stopped in again to see their progress on my return trip.  I always thought this looked like fun.  The ice climbers are a big attraction here.   We are so lucky in this part of the country to have access to so many activities to keep us happy during the long, cold winter months.
Still with no tourists or even locals in sight on the trail yet, I went on my way towards the Ink Pots.  No foot prints to be seen, it was looking like I was the first.  Even at the intersection with Moose Meadows,  there were no signs of recent activity since the new snow.  The snow began to fall, the closer I got to the Pots.  It was such a pretty place to stroll around.  Reflections in winter can be had here. 
I just want to feel this moment!
It was very peaceful being the only one here.  I had the run of the place.  There were no distant views to be had today but the close ups sure made up for that.  I hiked across the meadow but as I did, the snow got heavier so did an about face and return to the Ink Pots.
my destination shot
I keep looking at this photo in my album.  It seems so dark and cold which is so totally opposite to the feeling you feel standing right where I was.  I think this could be my favourite photo of the day.  It has so much more meaning then just what you see right here!    
Good-bye 2013!
What a year!
Like I said before, my fire has been ignited…
…and I am so looking forward to 2014!
Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Snowshoe It Off!

I knew I would need Boxing Day to be a day where I could rejoice in a different way then I would be on the 24th and the 25th!  The plan in place was a snowshoe outing to Rummel Lake to "snowshoe it off".  Snowshoe off the turkey and the wine to make way for more of these festive things.  I was glad to have a few friends keep me company.

I have never been to Rummel Lake under blue sky and sunshine and it looked like that could happen today with the forecast that was in place.  But alas, that was not to be, once again.  Yet, snow covered trails, trees, bushes and mountain peaks are pretty nice looking under any sky.  
along the trail
We arrived at Rummel Lake in well under two hours.   This was my quickest ascent.   A bunch of my friends seemed more focused on the destination than the journey.  I guess I still have some lessons to teach about "remembering to breathe".
my destination shot
After capturing my destination shot, I found a spot to settle down for a turkey sandwich and tea. My choice spot was out in the open with a clear view of Mount Galatea.  How pretty she is!  There were open areas of water near those trees so we safely stayed back.
On the return trip, we had a clear view of Spray Lake and Mount Fortune.  
The clouds still hung low so distant mountains were not visible.  
Eyeing this area, I am looking forward to exploring over there one day soon.
When the trees became sparse and where the snow was untouched, it was time to let the child within come out to play, with reckless abandonment.  I was happy to have a few others stay back with me to partake in this pleasure.  

run with glee
help I can't get up
loving the best part of the day
The snow was perfect.
The temperature was perfect.
I tried to prolong the ending to this day! 
But, it did come to an end….
….and this day only ignited the fire within to…
…get right back out there!
Stay Tuned!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


For the past couple of days, I knew I wanted to ring in winter some how but just needed to get this week over with and then see what kind of forecast was in store.  The first thing I did when I woke this morning was check the Kananaskis forecast and driving conditions.  The forecast was to be A-1 but Highway 40 showed red the whole way which meant snow and ice covered.    I packed up and hit the road anyway knowing if it got bad I could just turn around and come back home.

The driving was fine and I landed at the Chester Lake parking lot early.  I was the first snowshoer of the day.  I got a little confused as to which was the correct way, the early part of the trail looked different due to the June flood.  I made a mistake and took an earlier trail but then turned around and got back on track.

The temperature was perfect, as was the snow and the scenery.  
I'm so happy winter is finally here!
I love winter!
The view from the wide open meadow could not have been more beautiful!
Chester Lake is under all that snow.
I made my way up to the Elephant rocks.  
My destination shot puts the size of the rocks into perspective.  
I was owning the place right now!  
It was so peaceful and so beautiful. 
I stepped back to have an overall view of this section of Elephant Rocks.
There was another reason I wanted to be "out & about" today.  I wanted to decorate a tree for a few moments of enjoyment.  I found the perfect one.  I was thankful for the warmth of the sun and no wind so I could take time and place the decorations with joy and love.
After the celebration, I packed up the decorations to bring home and place back on my Christmas Tree. When I look at these specific five, they will bring joy with their now extra special meaning.
I checked out the second set of Elephant Rocks at the other end.  
The sun lit up the area and made for spectacular scenery.
It was time now to make the return trip.  There was still no one else at the Rocks.  I chatted with two fellows when I arrived back at Chester Lake, suggesting they should carry on up along the trail for another ten minutes if they wanted to be amazed.  Then I met Josee, a loyal follower of mine, and her friend Patricia.  I am flattered when someone recognizes me from here.  Thank you for stopping to chat.     I hope your snowshoe trip was enjoyable as mine! 

A view of some blue sky, fluffy clouds, snow covered peaks and a large pure white meadow has to be one of my favourite kinds of scenes.  I could feel I was beaming from ear to ear as I made my way across this meadow towards the descent through the forest.  It is very easy to embrace winter when you are gifted with a day like today!
YIPPIE!  It's winter and I love it!
I'm looking forward to more fun "out & about" snowshoe trips.  
Stay tuned!