Saturday, January 21, 2017

Warden's Cabin Spray River Watridge Lake January 21, 2017

 three lucky charms flying high on this magically delicious day
Saturday's planned adventure took no effort to put in place, on the other hand to execute it was another story.  A few times prior we  followed the Watridge Trail to Watridge Lake then found our way from the far end of the lake back onto the trail then carried on snowshoeing along Spray River and a long stretch of Spray Lake next working our way across the Lake into the forest and back up to the Watridge Trail, completing a great big loop ending back at the parking lot.  We add a variation of that planned for today, today we would pass by Watridge Lake, opt to visit the Trail Centre Cabin then follow Spray River & Lake.  

grab your snack, settle down, join us on our adventure

We went for the favourable early start.  The lighting earlier is delightful, so is getting away from the X-C Ski tracks before the skiers start their day.  Our focus today was the Warden's Trail Center Cabin and the Spray River & Lake so we made quick time along the Watridge Trail, yet still taking time to devour the delicious views.  
the sun was beginning to peak above the mountain tops creating sweet shadows
We arrived down in the valley at the bridge that crosses over the Spray River.  There we are three lucky charms shadowing in front of Cone Mountain.  The air was frigid, not what we expected, but what we come prepared for no matter what anyway.  What we did have on our side was not even a breeze, thank you very much.
We crossed a second bridge this one over Bryant Creek then not long thereafter veered off the main trail and arrived at our first focus of the day.  The Trail Center Cabin.  The Cabin looked like it may have had a recent visit by a Warden from Banff National Park.  We took a little time to dine and a lengthy time to play.  We have our priorities correct. 
We aimed back for the bridge over the Spray River, veered sharply left after the bridge, then took turns breaking trail through very very deep unsupportive snow.  Our pace doing this was very slow and it did not help that we were presented with delicious views again, that always slows us down.
We continued on and we were able to get down to the river's edge and snowshoe along the thickly frozen edge for a bit of a distance.  Further down our safe width narrowed quite a bit and began to force us closer to the side slopes and back to deeper snow.  Then our decision to abort this plan and turn back was made when Agent-X made her next snowshoe placement with her lower leg going through the ice.  About face!  Quickly!
One door closed another door opened!  Now we had a little more time on our hands.  The best way for us to fill that was, you guessed it, play.  We had a few takes of snow throwing.  Time was passing, we had enough of this, but I said oh please just one more time.  This was the outcome of that one more time.  What are the odds that our snow chucks would all be in the air at the same time at the same height each touching a plane trail.  Oh how magically delicious!
just a pretty picture along the Spray River
equation:  silliness = stress free
Our original plan was to by pass Watridge Lake but because we aborted the full loop plan, we had time to incorporate more scenery.  We took the main trail down to the Lake and spread out for some fun and food.  I realized I had never been at this lake at this time of day.  I liked it a lot being here later.
open creek, reflection, two of my favourite things
view behind Watridge Lake
The bushes in front are much short than me.
I like the optical illusion I created.
The focus now was to cover the last four kilometers in a timely fashion.  It was getting late and we had a long drive ahead of us.  Capturing photos in a timely fashion can be rewarding.  A few seconds after securing our shadow shot, our shadows were not to be seen again on this day.  
This adventure offered up a feast for our eyes.  
Everything about today was tastefully appealing and fulfilling.  
The views were delicious and charming.

Thank you for our day!

a close up look
a look at the grand scheme of things

Monday, January 16, 2017

sea to summit still on the go

There are still pieces to be completed on my Sea to Summit project but it is shaping up to be much prettier looking than I was expecting.  I am realizing too, it will take much longer to complete than I was expecting.  I have been working on managing my time and altering my focus and priorities.  Going forward the altering & managing will need to remain near the forefront.   Back to my Sea to Summit project and where I left off last Tuesday with the statement to Stay Tuned

Thank you to my valley girl friend and my sister for the signature piece.  The slate was my welcome sign which hung on the entrance door to my friend's home in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia when I stayed with her last September.  Some friends and family know I am a calligrapher and that I work with ink and paper but paint on slate is foreign to me so I asked my sister to add her touch to my project so she put the paint on the slate.   
from this
to this
to this
to this
The slate is now hanging on my project wall and I am ready to move on to the next piece.  

I am artistic to a certain point.  I have the imagination and can produce certain types of creations but my sister's ability to produce pretty much anything comes naturally.  I now have in my possession this acrylic on canvas painting completed by her.  My only task is to pick out a frame then secure the painting to my project wall.  
Some of you may know that a number of years back I was into water color painting.  I took many lessons and put lots of paint on paper.  My love with this craft and media was there but I found it a challenge to create anything I was proud enough of to share or display.  I purchased a package at the New Glasgow's Farmers Market last September which was put together by a local lady.  How can I go wrong here.  The package contains four sketches.  My hope is to be proud enough of this after I paint it, that I will want to add it to my wall project.
I have a few items sitting on the corner of my table that will at some point be worked into something. Right now, I look at them every now and then.  I know I will have a light bulb moment idea and when that happensthen I will develop that idea.  Until then, once again.....


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Rummel Lake Plus January 14, 2017

from lift off to mission accomplished

At the beginning of this week I began to ponder what I would like the coming Saturday to look like.  It did not take much pondering, I knew what I wanted so did a little homework to put a plan in place for high odds of a successful outcome.   I needed to just join in and follow along plus I wanted to snowshoe to somewhere new for me.  I was thrilled to find some friends to share the day with and where my needs and wants would be fulfilled.  While I have snowshoed to Rummel Lake a few times, I have never snowshoed to the meadow above it.  I had hiked to Rummel Pass so I was familiar with the area and knew it could be paradise-like up there on a safe day in winter.

We went for the early start which is totally A-O-K with me.  It was very cold as we geared up but hey that's nothing new these days.  I checked out the surrounding views before hitting the trail.  It was looking pretty perfect already.   I was excited for what was to come!
The Fist & Tent Ridge
The views are minimal early on but then they open up for a short section before entering the forest again.  By now I already knew today's choice for an adventure place was a wise one.  I could see off to the Spray Lake.  I thought about folks kite skiing there and the dog sledders running.  They would have sensational scenery also.
at Rummel Lake
see the whiskey jack on the tree to the left
We took a little time at Rummel Lake then snowshoed along side it to find where we would enter the forest again and begin our ascent up to the meadow.  There were a few trail options which confused us but we did find the correct one.  We popped out of the thick forest to a meadow which would be our destination spot.
The sun gave us warmth.  
There was no need to seek shelter, there wasn't even a breeze. 
I captured my destination shot before taking time to dine.  
dining time view
It was a fun trip through the deep snow back down to the lake.  The lighting was more appealing now as the shadows crawled across the mountain.  It was now that I was thankful we went for the early start.  I believe Rummel Lake is the new Chester Lake.   It is no longer the snowshoe destination if you are seeking some solitude.  
After a few minutes at the lake, we began our descent.  The trip out was just as beautiful as the trip in.  I veered off trail lots to experience that deep sweet powder.  When we reached the open I glanced back for a last view then it was time to....
.......let loose and go for the untouched snow......
today had everything a snow lover could ask for
I was so pleased with how easily everything fell into place today.  I have learned that I need to go after what I want and make it happen.  If I wait for it to come to me,  I would miss out on so much.  Thank you for including me in today's adventure!  

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sea to Summit making progress

My Sea to Summit project is coming along.  I reported back in December that it was a work in progress.  With life's daily happenings my time to spend crafting is limited.  When I do get time to invest, I turn on the tunes, pour a glass of spirit, and then an hour or so later, this is the outcome!  I added three more pieces to Sea to Summit.

Some of you know I have been a cross-stitcher.  I have many works in my home.  
This one is so simple in appearance yet holds lots of depth.  
The sand, the dune grass, the ocean, the sky, the clouds, nothing more needs to be said.

Sea to Summit
beach glass from the sea
up to seashells & pottery
up to rocks from mountain tops
I have a few MacAskills.  This one is from 1935 and is called Pictou Harbour.  
When I see this, I think of family and "Knight Moves". 
When next I have time to invest!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bull Creek Hills January 7, 2017

Snowy Sunny
Sensational Saturday
I have been itching to get out on a snowshoeing adventure so much so that it has been irritating.  That itch got scratched today and it felt so good.  A friend put an invite out to venture to the Bull Creek Hills and I jumped on board.  I had a feeling there would be loads of snow up in them there hills.  The thermostat was all over the place on the drive to the trailhead even reading at one point -30C without windchill but it smartened up somewhat as we arrived to gear up.  It was a cold start but because the climb starts right from the get go, we warmed up quickly.  In fact, as I think back the temperature was perfect all day with no wind until with about 30 minutes to go it then got quite fresh.   

so the adventure begins

There was enough snow that we donned our snowshoes at the start.  
It was a slow go up to Grass Pass.  
I like arriving here because this is where the wide open views begin.  
I felt the need to be one on one with the snow and this was the best way to get my fix.
As we reached a higher location we could smell smoke.  We also saw clouds hoover and some kind of layer of something just hanging out.  I don't understand weather systems and conditions enough to know what was going on.  Some sections of it looked brownish which we thought could be from fire.
Then off in the other direction it was oh so blue!
That is Holy Cross Mountain on the far left in the photo with Mount Head in the middle.
There was no wind, the sun felt warm and we all needed to delayer.
The plan was to head to the true summit of Bull Creek Hills but with the pace there was no way that was going to safely happen in daylight today.  We made it to just below the second last Hill.  We settled down to dine at a wide open meadow with an amazing view all around us.  The norm for dining time up here is to seek out shelter but not today.
My lunch time view!
While others were taking care of business, a few of us explored off to the side. 
Here we were witness to even more wonderful scenery.  
I could not get enough of this.  
some scenes seemed surreal
Into the afternoon and after lunch we began the descent.  This was quite fun on the steeper sections sliding through the soft sugary sweet snow.  The fog, clouds, whatever all that was, was still there and now we had ice crystals falling in front of the sun to add to the mix.  We stopped and watched it in awe for a few minutes.  
We descended into that fog yet still had views off in the distance.
The sun descended and the moon ascended.  We were late into the afternoon.  We caught a plane fly across the moon and to me it looked like it was time for the man in the moon to head on elsewhere.  It was time for us to do that too, it was time to head on home.  We reached Grass Pass then aimed for the trail down in the trees.  The further down into the trees we got, the colder it became. 
We arrived back at the vehicles at varying times and waited so we could create a convoy back to the main road together.  Being up in this area of our mountain playground was quite special today.  It was a photographers' dream.  What are the odds that it will ever look like this again when I visit on future trips?  I think possibly never so I took full advantage and enjoyed every single second!