Saturday, March 26, 2016

Bowness Area Saturday in the Park

Saturday in the Park
people laughing
people smiling
a real celebration

I hooked up with Happy Hiker and her crew today to put more kilometers on my boots, breathe in the spring air, and enjoy the sights of both Bowness and Baker Parks.  I'm quite familiar with Bowness Park and I thought I was with Baker Park but realized today there is much more to Baker Park.  So today not only was I catching up with old friends and making new friends, I was covering old terrain and learning about new terrain. 

along the Bow River at Bowness Park
a Northern Flecker Woodpecker
Not long into our hike, I already knew today was a photographer's dream.  Eyeing those scattered puffy fluffy clouds and the colors in the river, it was finger on the shutter button pretty much the whole time.  Even the not so pretty spring time browns were catching my eye.
aiming for the other side
trains planes
On this side of the Bow River the landscape changed yet the scenery was just as pretty.  
We meandered along the trail that passed by numerous holding ponds.  
small simple reflection
large lovely reflection
We made our way up to the viewing platform and while on our way we spied crocuses galore.
Once down the other side from the viewing platform we settled on some large stones for snacks, chats and to savour the view.  By now Bowness & Baker were populated with people laughing, people smiling which is so nice to see on a Saturday in the Park.
We eventually began to make our way back over to the opposite side.
Four hours later 
I felt fulfilled from filling the time with friends old & new
covering ground old & new.  
Being a beautiful spring day, being Easter time, 
this Saturday in the Park felt like 
a real celebration!  

Friday, March 25, 2016

Glenbow Ranch Celebrating Friday

This was a day I was determined to make sure I had something to show for it.  It was like a gift, the beginning of the Easter Celebration for me, an additional day away from the office, and an ideal forecast to be out & about.  Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is a great escape that is so close but yet so far.   Rumors were spreading that spring was a surefire thing already found here out in the foothills.  

I came prepared for a long hike.
With a sky "beautiful & blue",  clouds "wispy & white",  ground "bare & brown", it felt springy.
I hiked along Tiger Lily, Badger Bowl, McPherson, Bow Bend, Bow River and Glenbow Trails.   
Hiking along the Bow River Loop offers very up close views of spring.
The snow & ice are disappearing, the river is running.
along the way the wildlife play 
Throughout Glenbow Ranch, there are numerous picnic places.  Already well along nearing about the 13 to 14 kilometer mark and nearing noon, I picked the table that had a pretty view west.  The mountains were not visible today but what was closer west was well worthy of taking time to admire.
fences offer that western ranch-like feel
While bending down to capture a shot of one of those big beautiful boulders, out of the corner of my eye, I spied that surefire spring sign. Nestled in the ground cover and on the brink of opening, there was the sign, there was spring, a crocus!  The delicate crocus was covered in dew with a water drop on the side.  This was my confirmation that proved that rumor true.
Easter in the air!
My last visit to Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park was back in 2014.  
I noticed many signs of improvement and opportunities to learn.  
Now into the early afternoon and covering more ground than I had planned, I aimed for the trail that heads up out of the Ranch bottom.  More and more folks were now out & about taking advantage of today's gift.  
Spring has sprung!  
It's true!
I found it an unwrapped it!
Thank you for this gift!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Exshaw Ridge blossomed memories on a spring-like day

Returning to attack Exshaw Ridge today was all about jumping at the opportunity to formulate favourable memories of this place!  You see, a few years back we paid a day's visit here, leading me to be in the frame of mind to never want to return.    You know though, years pass, you have a change of heart and say oh why not give it a shot.  Agent-X put the shout out and I hopped on board.  Today was go day to give it that shot! 

We geared up in gale force type winds then quickly made our way across the berm to the trail head.  Right at the start the views were outstanding.  No snow, blue sky, few fluffy clouds, it took no time to get into the "remember to breathe" mode.
after close to 800 meters of elevation gain we arrived at our first peak
to a warm sun and no wind
looking back at that first peak as we scramble along the rocky slabs
Getting to our next peak was not the easiest and was a little on the sketchy side for me at times.  My movement was gingerly-like along the almost knife-edge-like ridge with snow slopes on one side and slab slopes on the other.   It was worth it to arrive at the other end and see our lunch destination spot up ahead.
my first destination shot
view from our 1:30 pm lunch spot
After lunch we decided to carry on further considering there were a few more peaks to hit.  The already later time of day though dictated we would only carry on another 15 minutes.  With more elevation to go, we worked our way up to that 15 minute turn around spot.
taking a few minutes to savour the scenery
and capturing summit shots
this is my summit shot for today
view along the way
After all our summit business was accomplished, we aimed back the way we came.  I had a last glance back as we headed into the trees towards that sketchy section which was not as bad upon the return.  We were making good time and considered forming a loop by descending of the ridge then ascending up Exshaw Mountain.  A small oooops occured and we unintentionally bypassed the Mountain.  It will always be there to attack another day.
some springtime sights

After bypassing the turnoff to head up Exshaw Mountain, we incorporated another loop instead, or so we thought.  As it turned out we descended a mere few feet away from where we ascended up the Ridge.  A loop is a loop is a loop, no matter how big or how small and I see a loop of sorts in this close up.
What a most enjoyable time being "out & about" adventuring with friends old & new.  
Thank you for this day!


It has been ages since I checked out the hit statistics on "Making Waves on top of the world".  I received a notice yesterday which brought to my attention the milestones I have reached since my first post back in July of 2007.  The stats only show from 2010 onward.  I can see you drop in for a visit from all parts of the world.   
The summary statistics page states I made close to 920 posts from Day 1 in 2007, with well over 200,000 hits by you my followers showing since 2010.   The tracking website gives me much more useful information which directs me on the types of posts which are of most interest.  This offers me ideas on ways to improve the content I share.
I still enjoy contributing regularly to "Making Waves on top of the world".  My motivation is boosted when I see you have dropped by for a visit but even more so when you acknowledge in one way or another your enjoyment of a good read.  Thank you for sticking by my side, for all your comments and for all your personal emails.  

Sunday, March 13, 2016

cobweb clearing

I woke this morning with a head full of dehydration cobwebs.  I realized as I was snowshoeing along yesterday I was not drinking enough.  I tried to make up for it, on the way home and when I got home.  To clear out the cobwebs I headed up to Nose Hill Park for a couple of hours of hiking in the spring like conditions.  It didn't take long for the webs to be gone.  

I took advantage of the options to incorporate lots of ups & downs & ups & downs.
Nose Hill sign along the trail
a very very sunny morning
so close but yet so far, the mountains are
decisions, decisions
leaving the mountains behind and taking the winding path home
Now with a clear head, 
it's time to carry on with my day 
accomplish the tasks where a clear head is required.  

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sunshine Meadows Winter White

With Spring being so close I can taste it, a bit of panic set in that I have not donned my snowshoes enough this winter so it is cram time while ideal conditions prevail.  There is no place much better than being of top of the world to experience a true snowshoe adventure.  I put the shout out and friends were unquestionably on board to join me in riding the gondola up to Sunshine Village and snowshoeing with hearts delight out and beyond.
The forecast was for blue and white for awhile then all out white.  We had all out winter white from the second we began to the second our adventure ended.  The only colors in our day were our clothing and conversation.  Sunshine was blessed with 30 to 40 centimeters (12 to 16 inches) of snow over the past two days.  All that new snow made for many pillows, large drifts, and a full body workout. We aimed first for Rock Isle Lake which we crossed, climbed up onto the Isle, and then down the other side.  
Next was finding our way to Grizzly Lake.  If you have been here in another season you will know this sign is approximately eye high give or take a few inches here and there. With another foot of snow, you would be snowshoeing right over top of it.
no going here this time of year
We carefully worked our way through the creek section just before Grizzly Lake
someone had been prior, not sure how prior though but thank you for being here
It was so winter white that in some places it was hard to tell where the snow ended and the sky began.  
delightful drifts
We reached Larix Lake and made this our second stop of the day.  We settled in the trees for what shelter we could find from the falling flurries to dine. Fortunate for us all day, the temperature was ideal and there was no wind.  The low lying cloud (but then again how low is it when we are so high to begin with up here on top of the world) rolled in and out, at times offering up a tease of a view.  
We reached Rock Isle Lake again and decided our insatiable appetite for trail breaking through all this winter white was not satisfied yet.  We followed our previously made track back for a bit then veered off...... the trail that heads towards Citidal Pass.  We encountered deeper snow with air pockets below and there was a whoomph here and there.  We were safely out in the middle of the back country surrounded by wide open meadows and mountains in the far off distance.  So the deep snow pockets and whoomphs added to making this a true snowshoeing adventure.  
We carried on out along making a trail to a look over point where we took our third stop of the day to refuel enough to get us back to the Village.  On the return is where we stopped for our group shot.
the guide poles in the winter white

We arrived back to the bustling Village and civilization where we found an out of the way spot to gear down.  Once that task was completed we then reeved up for scampering safely onto the Gondola, while it is in motion, with all our gear.   Back at the bottom, off and out of the way, a breathed a sigh of relief then expressed a WOW for the day.  

Thank you for sharing in this winter white adventure!