Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 The Best of "The Best Ever"

Looking back at all the "outing & abouting" that filled my year, a famous phrase comes to mind from the closing ceremonies at numerous Olympic games.  My spin on that phrase reads like this:  "I declare this the best year ever of being 'out & about' !"  It's not the statistics that were the best but more importantly it was the wonderful times I got to share with all of you exploring new places and venturing back only to experience new in the old places.  It was the smiles, the laughs, the struggles, the giggles and even the cries that created great memories.  

Musically related themes popped into my head and you know how once you get music into your head it stays there for what seems like forever.  The first theme is a take on the band "Earth Wind and Fire".  My interpretation of those words are "Smoke Wind and Fire".  What a summer of that trio we experienced!  I set out at the beginning of 2017 with a goal of experiencing more new & different than any other year.  It was only going to happen if I made it happen and that I did.  Thank you Pointer Sisters for your words "tonight's the night we're gonna make it happen" because they gave me motivation to say "today's the day I'm gonna make it happen".  "Good Life" it certainly is and I like OneRepublic's words in that song "Tell me what there's to complain about when you're happy like a fool."  So go ahead and tell me I'm happy like a fool, I will gladly own that!

When you're fortunate to live a good life this is what some of the best days look like!

Thank you for being "out & about" with me in 2017.  
We got there one way or another together!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Lake Minniwanka Magic December 27, 2017

There's a kind of winter magic out there that I knew I could find along the shore at Lake Minniwanka just outside of the Banff townsite.  It has been cold enough and there has been sufficient snow over the last while to allow the magic to happen.  With a somewhat decent temperature (that's all relative these days) and a highway showing to be green the entire stretch, the window of opportunity opened for a portion of today.  I went searching for that magic!
I exited my vehicle at the Minniwanka parking lot and the cold near took the breath out of me.  I loaded on the layers then headed down to the lake-shore.  Within a matter of a few minutes the magic began to happen.  I forgot how frigid it was and the cold no longer took my breath away,  it was the scenery that now did that.  It took laying down and being at eye level with the snow crystals to capture a shot like this.
ice ice baby, there was ice everywhere

I spent a good two hours just eyeing the ice.
In between eyeing the ice, I took time to admire the surrounding scenery.  
This shot proves I can fit right in and look like I belong.
The light created scenes that were pretty as a picture so I captured it.  
As the morning grew on and noon time approached the clouds approached closer too.  
The wind picked up and the snow began to fall.  
My window of opportunity began to close so it was time to hike back.

playing with magic

Back at my vehicle I savoured my piping hot ginger tea paired with mild gouda cheese and crackers.  Thankfully the roadways were clear enough as I left Banff National Park.  The plow was ahead on the highway and the traffic was minimal heading east.

Thank you Minniwanka for the magic show!  

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Lake Louise Christmas Wonderland December 23 2017 pm

These boots are made for walking so that's just what I'll do.  I put them on along with many layers and aimed for The Village.  I found some snow-boot beaten pathways and just followed them.  They lead me to some cute and funny sights. When it's cold and snowy some things come to a stand still.

             Then you have the things that say winter loud and clear.  

After The Village came The River.  This area is a favourite because it is so pretty in the winter.  In a way I wished I was on my X-C Skis.  The track was recently groomed and it looked ideal.  But I had on my boots that were made for walking so that's just what I kept on doing.  

It was so pretty & peaceful and I enjoyed all of that but my mind began to wander.  I got thinking about tomorrow, December 24th.  What will tomorrow be like!  How will I feel!  Right now I knew I needed to appreciate the beauty I was surrounded by.

Getting into late afternoon it was time to turn around and head home. I wanted to be back at my suite before dark.  I kept stopping and looking back, stopping and looking back, stopping and looking back.  I looked back again and these rays were shining down.  That had to mean something!  
                   The rays stayed there for the rest of my walk home.
        Back at my suite, I watched the sun set and enjoyed some comforts.  

I wish tomorrow could be different than what it will be.  You are in my heart and in my thoughts Ian.  I love you and I miss you!  

Lake Louise Christmas Wonderland December 23 2017 am

Today's plan was to drive west to Emerald Lake to X-C Ski along the Lake and around the Alluvial Fan then to hike around The  Lodge area to capture some scenery shots.  Ahhh, that will have to wait for another get-away.  When I woke this morning I checked the temperature and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a shockingly sight!  I monitored the temperature over the next hour or so and it dropped to -31C with a windchill of -36C.  It would be another day of sticking close by my home away from home.  Being on my own, I am nervous to venture away when things are not favourable.  I knew for sure that this cold would paint pretty pictures so I put a plan in place.

My car was not plugged in overnight because the forecast was not for it to be so frigid.  I said a little prayer just before turning the key and vroooom vroooom it started.  When it was go time I went, up to Lake Louise.  It was so beautiful.  The castle was complete, there were only a few of us around, reflections reflected and the snow glistened.  I walked to the far end of the Lake of which doing this I can never get enough.  


I went as far as was safe to do so and that was to the sign warning of entering avalanche terrain.  I watched the ice climbers work their way up the slope to the ice, a few children make snow angels, and the began the hike back.  I admired the scenery around The Chateau.

I arrived back at my car as it approached noon and once again said a little prayer that it would start and start it did.  Back at my suite, I warmed up with a hot lunch then savoured some chocolate to get a little energy before heading back out.  
The thought of missing out on being at Emerald Lake was no longer a thought.  Watching the sweet view develop out my glass doors excited me for an afternoon around The Village and along The Bow River.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Lake Louise Christmas Wonderland December 22 2017

I went wandering for the winter-wonderland I wished for!  I did not have to wander far, it was everywhere.  You see, it snowed last night and everything was covered again with fresh new white gold.  When I woke I wondered where should I wander to.  Again, I opted to stick close to my home away from home due to road conditions.  
Before heading to the Lower Tramline trail head I paid a visit to the Campground viewpoint.  The sun had come up enough to add a pink tinge to the sky by Temple.  Then back at my trail head the sun turned gold and I took that as a sign.

By the time I skied up the big hill to the look-off spot it was full on blue sky.  I sensed this was going to be a difficult day to photograph.  With all that blue and all that white, I have no clue what to do to properly capture the scenes.

After the Tramline came Moraine.  Thank you to the couple from the Yukon for helping me secure a selfie scenic shot.  I was wimpy on bearing my hands to set up the tripod.  
I veered off right at the intersection to begin the climb up to the meadows of Fairview.  It had been pretty much all up hill already and here we go again, uphill.
                       The photos tell the story of pure bliss & beauty.  

I savoured every single second along this section.  The lighting was playing with my mind. The sun shone on the tops of the trees creating three natural stars as tree toppers.
                                                It was a very cold day.
                                      That's Mount St Piran peeking through!
                                 The light was so pretty with the pink in parts. 
I completed Fairview and the Upper Tramline, then reached the bottom section of the Lower Tramline and snapped one last shot of the glorious view  before zipping down the last big hill then a slow glide back to my car.  
Being back at my suite felt sweet!  I cleaned up, fuelled up, put my new decoration up, put my feet up, then enjoyed the view.  Feeling relaxed with some energy back, I got dinner going, got the fire going, got my iPhoto going and settled in for the night.