Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Cox Hill & Sunken Valleys October 23, 2018

When my thoughts of retirement became serious I invested time imagining what kind of lifestyle I wanted to retire to.  One of the images at the forefront of my thoughts was spending weekdays in our mountain playground.  I did my homework and found clubs that were exactly what I hoped I could become a good fit with.  I saved their sites and onto the back burner they went until the time was right.  Well, the time is right, right now!  I contacted one of the clubs and was welcomed to come along as a guest for the day.   

I signed up to join the group that was heading up to Cox Hill.  Having been up on this Hill a number of times, I knew what I was in for and thought that a safe bet for my first time playing with these senior citizens.  One of the appealing points of this club is we go by bus from Calgary.  

I arrived at the location to catch the bus, followed what others were doing, introduced myself, picked a seat, we were on our way.  The forecast called for beautiful, another day of sunshine, blue sky, no wind with not a single cloud in the forecast diagram.  
Soon into the hike we slipped into our microspikes to prevent slipping on the icy and packed snow trail.   I heard rumors that these senior citizens hike quickly.  I can't move fast up hill so I was a bit nervous what might transpire.  The majority of them motored past me while a few of us ascended at a slower pace.  We met up at the first big view point and took a short break.

 Deja Vu with the long shadow!
 not a cloud in the sky, with a blanket of white 
We reached the steep slope which was snow covered.  
The switchback was icy & dicey! 
Then it was time to kick step it, straight up.
The first summit was snow free.  The others moved on quickly along the ridge line while I took a few minutes to capture a destination shot.  Their focus was getting to our lunch spot to settle down and enjoy a longer break.
 along Cox Hill 
 lots of hard packed snow
 I reached our lunch spot.  
Before settling down, I made sure to get my summit shot.  I am not sure if my new friend realized this bird was in the photo.  It was a nice surprise when I loaded my photographs to see it.  The sun was bright and hot, there was no wind, and clouds were no where to be seen.  These conditions are a challenge for me to capture photographs.   Sometimes the sky looks so darn dark blue but I think I might be getting the hang of the settings to get a softer blue.
 our lunch time view
I can descend much quicker so took off after lunch with the quick crew.  We reached the bottom of the open hill and waited in the warmth of the sunshine for the others as we would now be heading in a new direction for me.  After crossing a few of the hills we aimed for what is called the Sunken Valleys. 
There is no trail so we explored and incorporated some route finding.  I really enjoyed doing this and enjoyed this section.  We found the place where we would climb up on top of the moraine.  We worked our way around the sink holes to get there and then strolled along the moraine.
 hiking through the Sunken Valleys
We reached the end of the Sunken Valleys section and popped out onto the Cox Hill Trail.  It was much warmer now, still lots of sunshine and still no clouds in sight.  We arrived back at the parking lot, geared down, had some snacks, then made our way back onto the bus for the trip back to Calgary.
I was pleased with how today played out.  The group made me feel welcome.  A few watched out for me along the way, that's just what they do with quests.  Some were interested in my thoughts, which were all positive, and others volunteered to be my sponsors for my next two events.  I feel I grew today.  My thinking is I can fit in with these fit senior citizens and they will be able to teach me lots about this time in our lives.

the Sunken Valleys portion of the trail

1 comment:

  1. Totally awesome! What a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday.


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