Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Review! 2020 Preview!

Where do I even begin now that it's the end, the end of a year that I don't even know where to start to describe!  When I think about the past 365 days, it feels like there has never been that time frame where I have had so much and such a variety to show for how those hours were spent.  Back on January 1, 2019 I wrote the following statement in my blog post.   "I look forward to venturing down new avenues this year where I can grow in ways I have not grown before.   And so...I am ready to begin!"  Well, I began on January 1, 2019  and throughout the year I had positive outcomes down some of these avenues and others I had no success whatsoever and failed miserably.  This only means I still have lots of work to do and "I'll get there one way or another!"

Photos Put Into Perspective Positive Points!

My Performance Going Higher & Further!
Just as I expected!  With 2019 being the first full year of living a leisurely life, there was no doubt that one way or another I would go higher and further.  These numbers include the ground I covered either hiking or snowshoeing.  They do not include the nearly 150 kms I covered while C-X Skiing.  I am thankful for this passion and that I get to experience it.  I am even more thankful for the friends that I got to share these experiences with.  We laughed, I cried, we joked, I swore, we struggled, I fell, we conquered, we celebrated.  Just as I expected you helped me through rough times, you helped me get back up, you helped me smile again.  Thank you for getting there one way or another with me!  

What Was Trending in 2019?
The tea pouring innocently (although this other friend here eyeing me does not look so innocent) started back on February 12, 2011 when my friend captured this photo.  From that time forward and even more so in 2019, this ritual has blossomed.  I like to say it is my way of measuring the wind speeds.  More often than not I have success with filling my cup but as you can see that was not the case on this day.
I have never poured as much tea as I have in 2019!
(Note:  The sentiments I used in the above collage may be familiar to those that grew up in small town Nova Scotia and read the social sections of their local newspaper. )

2020 Preview
As I swiped through my photo albums for 2019 a theme began to emerge.  My love for being "out & about" became more obvious.  While it has always been there mentally, this year it appeared quite often in a way that I could actually touch it, hold it and take it home.  The photos in this chart show a sample of the love I found in 2019.  There is so much more out there.  I am ready to carry this love into 2020 in search of new & fulfilling adventures and I will find them one way or another!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Prairie Mountain December 30, 2019

Reading all the reports and seeing photos of people being on mountain tops for sunrises has made me envious.  Over the past couple of weeks I ventured up onto Nose Hill twice for sunrise but that is as brave as I get for doing something like this solo.  I caught the sunrise scene this morning as I left my car to hike up Prairie Mountain.  There were loads of cars here already and I thought I bet any money they witnessed this beauty from up top.  
 the sky was on fire
The sun came up and loads of people were coming down.  Yes, they were on top when the sun came up and they expressed the awesomeness of it all.  I knew this meant that I would probably be the only one there when I reached the summit and I would own it.  I enjoyed the journey there!  It was festive like I have never seen it.  This tree was all decked out!
 lots of glittery decorations
 looking back as I continued to climb
This was my first visit here since that last gigantic snowfall.  
The drifted snow created a photographers dream. 
I got down on my knee and became one with it.  
 Even further up there was another decorated tree.  
 more snow sculptured by Mother Nature
The snow drifts were increible.  This one was big enough to build a quinzee inside.  Whoever did this put in tonnes of work.   It was quite something to see up here.  I have been in a quinzee before but did not go inside this one.  Being on my own up here with no one else around, it would not be a smart thing to do.
I made it to the summit and it was a nice surprise to see the summit had received a new flag.  Maybe it was a Christmas gift.  The red and white looked so pretty waving today.  It was windy and the flag was straight out constantly.  There was just enough snow on the ground here and just enough clouds in the sky to make this a fabulous visit.
 But...there would be no tea for me!
 a festive decoration on the flag pole
After taking care of all the photography tasks and remembering to breathe for a few minutes, I headed on down slope to find a sheltered spot where I could have some tea with my snacks.  I glanced back for one last look of the year of this place.
 I captured one last picture that left me with an uplifted cheerful feeling!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

McLean Hills Snowshoe December 26, 2019

We had a plan in place for today and within a mere matter of minutes our plan went awry as we went astray!  I have been three times up on those McLean Hills but my friend had never been.  My previous track was on my device as a reference to get us to the summit.  Easy breezy!  We knew there would be a good amount of snow to get through and if no one had been that is when the track would be necessary to get us to where we wished to go.  When we saw a broken trail into the forest a short distance from the car, we agreed to go for it and abandon the planned entrance further down the road.  
We followed the trail for some distance, then returned back along a short section, then veered off on another somewhat loosely packed trail.  We already knew we were off the planned route but went for where there was open spaces and wide animal tracks.  We reached the wide open space and the views were wonderful.
The untouched meadows were calling to us.  
Well into our trek we realized we were spending our time chatting, admiring the scenery, enjoying the powder and we had missed our turn off.  Also it was a much slower go with only two of us breaking trail in the deep snow.  We could see where the top was which was our original destination.  We agreed it would be a no go for today as we wanted a long lingering lunch and powder play time.

We settled where we had a scene as we savoured our soup and sandwich.  
Powder play should have probably occurred before fueling up.  Yet, we needed fuel but then being full on all that fuel made it a challenge to get some big action happening.  We called it quits when in the big bottom left photo, the snow I flipped up then curled over onto my friend and down her neck and jacket.
So she said "let's just do a nice standing photo!"  
I tried but failed!
There was so much snow!
It drifted, it covered little hills, it sparkled, it was beautiful!
view off to Moose Mountain
The day was getting on, we paid attention to the time, but then we ignored it!  
We could not pass by the pow.  
We found gentle slopes to slide down. 
oh so sweet sugar
Once again we checked the time and knew we needed to get a move on.  
The sun was descending.
Then once again, we ignored the time of day.  
My friend could not resist getting in a tad more gain.  
Of course I then had to follow her up there.  
wide open wonderful vista
long late afternoon shadows
We came upon another untouched meadow and it was tempting but we smartly passed on by!
The wide open spaces came to an end.  We entered the forest following the track we made many hours ago as we began our day.  The lighting was so pretty and the forest took on a different more appealing look.   I slowly sauntered along.....
.....as my friend worked her way out to the road!
the trees were still holding all the snow
view back into the forest just after exiting it
We had the last short stretch to complete along the road.  We had no time to spare.
As you can see on the attached google map, our red track shows we stayed off track all day and I am quite happy we went astray.  The route we took afforded us more meadows, more open vistas which in turn gave us the opportunity to spend extended periods of time indulging.  The location of the "Planned Destination" will always be there to reach another time.