Sunday, May 27, 2018

Nose Hill Park May 27, 2018

My friend threw the idea out there that we should head somewhere for a walk.  I jumped on the idea!  I threw out the suggestion of heading up onto Nose Hill. She jumped on the idea!  I had other ideas in mind to throw at her up there.  I'm not sure she knew what she was getting herself into.  When the time game to toss my idea at her, she jumped in and I jumped in and things got a little rocky!
Our intentions were to walk & talk & practice flowery macro shots.
 Breathe in the fresh air and get a bit of exercise.  
We hit the trail and aimed wondrously.  
It was hot & sunny!
It's between seasons for flowers up on the Hill.  
In another couple of weeks there should be a colorful presentation.  
That intention of practicing macros fell by the way side.  
What was more favourable was spending time at Nose Hill Lake.  It's prime season up on the Hill for lakeside entertainment.  In another couple of weeks the lake will probably be too shallow or even dried up.   As we veered away from the water, I began to look for a place where we could hang out for a snack and then.....
.....rock & roll!
I have been wanting to get out and play with my air lounger.  It takes practice and work to be able to settle into it and just relax.  I'm learning!  We were at a cross-road, which was a busy one today.  We were not the only ones entertained.  It took many tries with lots of rocking and rolling and belly laughs, but we finally..... it right!
It was then time to move on down the Hill.  My friend packed this thing up tiny and it fit right back into the pouch it came in.  We hit the trail in the direction that would take us on a loop.  Of course, I need to admire the clouds.  I like how the cloud looks like it is taking off from where the tree top ends.
We intersected the main trail and made our way back to the parking lot.  

My goal is get that air lounger up on a mountain top or a wide ridge and fill it right to the end with wholesome mountain air.  Four of us can cozy up on it up on top and just lounge back & hang out.  

It was a most enjoyable time up on The Hill.  It is forever green right now but that won't last long if we don't get some rain soon.  That green did pair perfectly with the blue sky and those wispy clouds.     I always appreciate Nose Hill Park for being an escape from city life while being right in the center of the city.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Moose Mountain May 20, 2018

I am feeling ready for one of those really really long days being "out & about" in our playground but until my time is ripe for that to happen, I am being patient and embracing the right now.  The road to Moose Mountain just opened on May 15th and reports have been that the road and the trail are in fine form.  That gave me faith that I could have an enjoyable ascent on the final stretch to the top rather than that ugly assault that took place last November.   So once again, I went with another very early start with hopes of beating the traffic on the road and on the Moose Mountain trail to the Lookout.      
I began hiking at 7:26am.  I was not the first on the trail and I did get a bit of comfort from that as who ever was here before me could begin to clear the way.  The early morning light was pretty.  The first glimpse I had of the switchbacks to the hump looked fine. 
I needed to perform a little bit of self talk to reaffirm my main objective was to get to the Lookout, so I passed by all the crocuses that were beginning to wake up.  I kept focused looking straight ahead knowing I would soon have my eyes on the prize.   It was still not in sight.   Along this section a lady runner passed me by.  She looked familiar so I told her that.  We chatted.  It was nice to meet you Fab (former follower of Michael JC).  I am not sure if Fab is a shortened version of her name. She had parked at the bottom of the hill and I didn't realize it was her running up as I drove past.  She stated she would be running for 15 hours today covering 70 to 80 kilometres.  She is training for the Sinister 7.  Maybe Fab is short for Fabulous!  
Up the hump and down the other side, the Prize came into sight and the way looked clear.  
showing a close up and looking good view
There was a short section of snow to go up through at the beginning of the final climb and a short section of snow to traverse after you go under the cable near the top. There were firm obvious steps to get through that final section and I was fine with it, whew.   As is typical of up here, the wind blew cold gusts. 
my summit shot
After capturing my summit shot, I walked around to check out the place.  The boards were off the windows so I assumed someone was manning the Lookout.  I walked a bit closer to the Lookout and the man manning the Lookout looked out and waved. I waved back and then retreated to a spot where I could have a sheltered snack stop in the sun.  
some Sunday shots
 basking in the sun
There are numerous shelters around the Lookout area.  
I sat in one that had this view.
Three people left when I arrived at the summit.  I shared my summit time with another lady.  As I was packing up getting ready to say so long a few more summiteers arrived.  Those firm snow steps were no longer firm.  They were soft and sliding to disappearance.  I got down through that section and breathed a sigh of relief.
view as I made the descent
Once down the steep stuff, then up and over the hump, I took another snack break and admired the scenery.  I didn't count but there was easily about a hundred people already on their way to Moose Mountain Lookout by now.  By now too, the crocuses were open to the warmth and the sun.  The season for these flowers up here was prime today.

Today's plan of attack was executed perfectly and I was pleased with the outcome.  I know I am not done with Moose Mountain or the meadows leading up to it.  I still want to be up there for a consecutive sunset and sunrise.  Maybe the stars will align for that plan to come to fruition this summer.  

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Wasootch Ridge May 13, 2018

I am realizing, spur of the moment spontaneity is beginning to play a bigger role in my life. Actually it has for the last few months.   I am liking it.  I was pretty sure I wanted to hike today but didn't make the decision until I woke up.  I went to bed late last night, got two hours of sleep and woke early.  I tossed & turned and then thought the heck with this, just go hike!  Wasootch Ridge is one of my favourite ridges to venture up to on my own.  It is full of photographic opportunities and soloing is the only way I get my fill of playing photographer.  

playing with props 

This was the earliest I even began a hike up Wasootch Ridge and it was confirmed that is the only way to do it unless you prefer to be caught up in the trek with a hundred people.  Early also means wonderful fun lighting.  
I was surprised to see there was less snow up here than there was later in May of last year.  
prop play again
You will find the craziest trees up here, all twisted and bent.   
I like to put things into perspective or I should say out of perspective.  
You figure it out!
With only two hours of sleep, I didn't know if I was going to reach the summit.  I was tired and it was hot.  Lots of self talk took place and I finally reached the summit cairn. It felt like as I was nearing the top I just had to take care of business and get the job done.
As I was getting ready to leave the summit I ran into explor8ion.  
He looked familiar so I stated that, then we shared who we were.  
Just down slope a bit I settled down to snack and admire the views.
It was still peaceful and quiet at the summit area so I opted to play around a little more.  
Once again it was time for prop play.
A snowball photo-bombed my photo!
I took some time too, to think about my Mom!  
On the way down I caught up with Happy Orange Traveller.  Once he stated his favourite color was orange, I felt an instant connection.  We chatted for quite some time and that made the descent pass by quickly, which I was happy about.  But, I was happier than just plain happy by the time I arrived back at my car.  I just wanted to get home and clean up then become one with my sofa.  But really, just like the other times, I really enjoyed everything about today's hike.  

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Nose Hill Park May 6, 2018

I was so caught up in life's happenings that I almost let crocus season slip on by.  What is spring without going on a crocus hunt. I knew something was missing and spring felt a bit empty.  I made Nose Hill Park my target today with hopes I might spy a crocus or two or three.  Well I spied hundreds!  I was excited to see the blooms were thriving and it appears to be a bumper crop this year. 
I parked at my favourite close to home lot and followed the path up the hill.  
I didn't make it very far before I got caught up in a garden of delight.
just me
 and a bee
after feeling full from focusing on flowers
it was time to work my way back to the parking lot and head on home.

Hiking in a short sleeve shirt last weekend, 
enjoying a picnic yesterday, 
walking through hills of crocuses today, 
now it feels like spring to me! 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Wedge Pond Picnic May 5 2018

It had been quite some time since we shared a picnic in a park.  Our schedules were open, then the forecast aligned to be in our favour, so that meant go-time.  Off we went!  We aimed for Kananaskis "where life begins" and checked around for an ideal spot where we could just hang out for hours on end.  Wedge Pond turned out to be our destination for today.  
The scenery surrounding Wedge Pond is pretty.  It was open enough, it was sheltered enough.   It was quiet enough yet we still had that feeling of being around civilization which afforded us a comfortable feeling where we did not bother with looking over our shoulders for wildlife.   I did keep my bear spray close by though.  
Our picnic consisted of a feast.  I brought along my Trangia so we could have hot garden vegetable soup to pair with our salmon sandwiches.  We shared veggies & dip, chips & popcorn, savoured fruit & cookies & pickles & humus & pretzels.  
Maggie Muggins and I had tonnes to catch up on.   
We told stories, we remembered past picnics.
Our chat was serious sometimes,
then there was time to laugh!
After filling up on our feast, we moved from the picnic table to settle in and get a little more comfy.  First I scooted down by Wedge Pond to capture a scenery shot.  I was surprised to see there was still no open water.  Its the season and we were entertained with the sights and sounds of avalanches.  The close by ones were incredibly thunderous and made my heart beat a little faster then the far off ones just lightly rumbled.  
I love my new toy!  It's an air lounger!  I tried it out for the first time today.  It sets up in a matter of a couple of minutes and is the most comfortable thing.  A neighbouring picnicker was curious so dropped by to give it a try.  He never saw one before.  I have a feeling he may be picking one up for himself.
We used it as a foot rest.
After a couple of hours, we went back for some seconds.  
As the afternoon was nearing the end, we packed up all our picnic products and headed north.  We went for a drive through the Mount Kidd Campground which was very busy.  I got a closer up view of the Mount Kidd Lookout area from within the campground. I have never been up there.
 We stopped by Barrier Lake to take in one last mountain view before aiming for the highway home.  

It makes me happy when days like today just fall into place.  Kananaskis has so much to offer, it lives up to that saying "life begins at Highway 40".  We both have a love for the mountains in a whole different way and we both appreciate the health benefits we receive from being out amongst them.  Thank you for a wonderful day!