Saturday, November 30, 2019

Lake Minniwanka Trail November 30, 2019

Today's destination was decided in a split second once the car was loaded at our rendezvous location.  I was the driver and I wanted easy smooth sailing with all green and no red.  The only option for that would be hitting the highway straight west with no veer offs until Banff.  That's where we veered off with a plan now in place of hiking as far as we felt like it along the Lake Minniwanka Trail.     

We had loads to catch up on lifes' happenings because it has been months since we shared the trails.  Besides sharing stories and admiring the scenery, we made sure to stay warm.  Who knows what the temperature was, but it warranted four layers, one being a down.  The heaviest of heavy mitts were necessary too along with a neck and face gator.  

This photo says it all! 
 Did they not get the boat out of the water in time?
It appears to now be there for the winter!
We hiked along the lake shore on the way to the main trail.  
As you can see not much of the lake is frozen yet.  
 our view along the way
We reached Stewart Canyon and made our way across the bridge.  Yes that's us down there with the unusual stance.  The sky was full on blue with not a cloud in sight.  For me that meant it would not be a most favourable day for photography.  I can give you this great shadow shot though!
We continued hiking along the trail for roughly six to seven kilometers when we decided this would be as far as we wanted to go.  We found a spot in the sunshine to dine.  It was so cold, we had to settle in the sun or else!  The sun shone on the shore of the lake plus the rocks looked inviting to see with the ice formations around them.

It was time to get back up onto the trail and make our way to the parking lot.  
The sun was higher now and on us for a large part of the return trip, thank goodness.  

We stopped at a picnic table in the sun to finish off our tea and snacks but once the sun went behind the trees we were out of there.  It was still very cold while we geared down so we accomplished it rather quickly.  I blasted the heat in the car and then we were on our way.

How our day transpired turned out to be an enjoyable way to say good-bye to November!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Rawson Lake & Area Snowshoe November 28, 2019

I wondered right up until the last minute would today happen!  Roads reported red & windchill showed double digits beginning with a 2.  We waited, we questioned, we put a call in, then a positive confirmation was made that we are going to Peter Lougheed Provincial Park to play.   We hit the highway and then veered off to where life begins, down Highway 40.  It was a slow go, our driver stated it was like driving on a sheet of ice.  As we drove that road, the sky cleared and the scenery became outstanding.  We made it to Elk Pass Parking Lot! Whew!  
A brave nine of us bundled up and we quickly strapped on our snowshoes.  It's on frigid days like this I am thankful for the type of snowshoes I have, there is no fussing with straps and they are secured in place in a matter of seconds.  We found our way along the connector from Elk Pass Parking Lot over to Upper Kananaskis Lake.  This is what we were presented with!
 following my friends
 view of Upper Kananaskis Lake as we circumnavigated it
We took the trail towards Rawson Lake and just made a business out of getting to the top.  This was one of the very very few times my down jacket remained on while ascending a trail.  I needed it!  We arrived at Rawson Lake to see it looking splendid with fresh snow and lots of it.
 my destination photo
 working up an appetite
Lunch was not long and we did not linger.  We had additional distance in another direction to cover once back down at Upper Kananaskis Lake so we got going and descended at a good clip.  In between clipping I was still snapping.  The views remained incredible.
 still following my friends
 we gathered here for a few minutes to admire the view before carrying on
 view as we snowshoed along the dam
At the edge of the dam we headed down a short steep hill towards the Everest Expedition Trail.  
We meandered through meadows, along paths, crossed roads.  
Hours had passed and the shadows were getting long. 
It was time to find our way back to where we strapped on our snowshoes at the start so we could unstrap them, stow them, then hop into our warm and cozy ride for home. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park November 25, 2019

It's a beautiful day outside the neighbourhood!

Like hundreds of thousands of others in the city, this morning we headed off to work!  But like a mere fraction of that number, the work we were heading to was to hike throughout Glenbow Ranch, breathing in the foothills fresh air, exercising our hearts our lungs and our opinions.  It looked like autumn but it felt like winter as the wind whipped up a chill.  We were ready and went for it!
The clouds were entertaining today.  

We entertained ourselves!  
There is always lots to chat about with my nearly neighbour.  With the views we had today and the peacefulness and prettiness of this place, we both agreed every outing does not have to be a mountainous experience.  Each time I explore this park, there is something new.  Like a picnic table here or there, or a new sign there or here.  This picnic spot was perfect yet we did not endulge as it was early on into our hike.
learning about the lay of the land 
tea time near the tracks
the scene while sipping
We completed the top of Yodel and the Scot Trail and then the full Bow River Loop.  Bow Bottom took us back to the last climb of the day.  I read where there were new panels posted and this is one of them.  I believe this is the first time here that I did not see a cow.
our 12 km route
While it looked like autumn here but felt like winter with the wind, it did look like winter out west.  The white gold on the way over the next couple of days will be beneficial in igniting the spirit of Christmas.  Afterall, today is the 25th! 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Forgetmenot Photography November 24, 2019

It's time to stop putting it off and putting it off as time is not on my side!  A week from today the gate comes down then Forgetmenot Pond and area will no longer be easily accessible until spring of next year.  I've had intentions of being out there to witness a sunrise and this morning was my only option.      It was not the most pleasant drive there, in the dark, snow covered road, a wild wind, blowing snow and the odd deer darting across the road.   There was no one else on the 66, my speed was 50 km/hr and I even debated whether to continue on.  I did and I'm thankful I did!

I plowed through the snow into the parking lot and sat in my car.  It was a little too dark and I felt a tad nervous.  Evenutally I gathered my gear, spiked up then walked through the trees to Forgetmenot Pond.  I arrived for the golden hour and oh was it golden.  

From reflections...... reflections with pink clouds!

Then the alpenglow appeared!  
It reflected too!
I hiked around the Pond, I acutally hiked around it three times.
Each time, the colours were different, the light was different, different things caught my eye.

I meandered down a trail that followed a creek with sections of open water. 
The reflections were still happening.  It looked so pretty to me.  
Now it was time for breakfast!

Forgetmenot, you afforded me sweet memories this year that I will never forget!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Great Divide X-C Ski November 21, 2019

My X-C Skis have been sitting at my front door for two weeks now.  Today they finally made it out the door and into a track.  I was waiting for reports of decent ski conditions and a highway that would be smooth for sailing on.  Those two items paired up today and off I went.  I went for the Great Divide at Lake Louise for my first X-C Ski of the season.  It turned out being a wise choice.  
There was one other vehicle in the parking lot when I started.  I like it like that!  I had all I needed in my backpack including my bear spray.  You just never know!  I donned the necessary layers, stepped into my boots, strapped on my pack, pulled down my hat to cover my ears, slipped my heat wave gloves on then clip clip into my skis and I was ready to swish swish away!
 It was a cold and sunny start.  
It was as great a feeling as I remembered it to be!
The dogs were not running today.  The other solo person was already returning to his car.  It was me and the mountain views.  It was peaceful and quiet expect for the swish swish, oh what a sweet sound.  It did not seem like many months had passed since I had last been on my X-C Skis.  I had intentions of only going out 5km and then returning.  But before I knew it.....
 .....I was coasting down the big hill 
and then arrived on the British Columbia side of the Great Divide.  
I took a few minutes to take it all in and then began what I expected to be a big grunt up that big hill but once again before I knew it I was at the top.  I also expected the work out to get up the hill would "heaten me up" (that's an east coast term) but it did not.  I remained in all my layers.  The tracks were in great shape for this time of year.  With a little more white gold, the little hills and meadows will be covered and will glisten even more.
 Like I said early on, it was cold and sunny and the proof is in the pudding.  
I am excited for this X-C Ski season!  
My skis will remain at the front door with intentions of going beyond the door often.