Dear Reader (2020-05-20),
Images continue to be captured and a couple of new series are in the works. I have also been out walking. Last year (2019) I had planned to go on a multi-week walk. That didn’t happen because I got a contract, which finished later that year. This summer (2020) we were supposed to be travelling – that is not going to happen now is it. So, I’ll be walking locally over the next 4/5 months.
Updated 2020-05-21; Images 8, 10 below as per Keith’s suggestion have been flipped horizontally – I prefer the flipped versions.
Saturday May 10 – Sandy McNab (Sheep River Valley) 7/8 km
Below the snow line in the trees at this time of year the ground has not yet fully thawed. Water sits on the surface and the mud is at times impossible to get around. On the hillsides the grass is still brown and there are gaps where I could see a stack of possibilities. The rain never arrived.
Tuesday May 12 – Alder Trail (Bragg Creek) 3.2 km (2 x 1.6)
There is pleasure in walking a short loop like this in both directions. It provides an opportunity to see the same forest from two different perspectives. Most of the snow has melted, but there are still clumps in shadowed upper branches. As the morning warms a slight breeze brings these clumps to the ground. They fall like heavy pine cones. Then the forest is briefly still until I hear a bird or the wind. In her earlier years mom would have loved this interpretive trail with its large plaques introducing the foothills, chinooks, and how duff captures moisture. On a couple of the plaques someone has scrawled, with a blue sharpie, corrections to the wording to make them more aligned to politically correct phrasing. Across the road in the Bragg Creek Provincial Park on a short trail down to the Elbow River, someone has kindly left gifts for others to see.
Photos: 3, 4
Thursday May 14 – Rawson Lake (Upper Kananaskis Lake) 7.5km
The exit from the Trans-Canada to K Country is less than an hour away. As I hadn’t pre-calculated driving time, I am only vaguely aware that another 45 minutes passes before I arrive at the parking lot at Upper Kananaskis Lake (photo 6). The parking lot is empty except for a small car and an older RV. Today I remembered both a walking pole and the bear spray. The latter was not required. The former along with the ice cleats prove to be immensely useful. The trail is covered in snow from start to finish and is divided nicely into thirds. The first third is along the lake. The next third is a series of switchbacks and then there is a gradual incline to the shore of Rawson Lake (photo 5). There is another other person off to my left. D from Wetaskiwin drives the RV. He has been watching and listening to the mountain for the past 2 hours. He quietly tells me of a previous walk somewhere else where he watched a bull moose chase a cow moose into a lake. A ranger off to unlock an outhouse briefly joins us and tells of a mama grizzly known to live in the higher altitudes. D and the ranger move on. I exchange brief hellos with two others who continue a couple hundred meters further along the shore – they feel like intruders. I spend time playing a game of where’s the avalanche. I hear the snow releasing from the mountain in front of me and then the game is to spot the slide. More people start to arrive and it is time to leave. When I arrive at the parking lot there are many more cars and people.
Photos: 5, 6, 7
Tuesday May 19 – Barrier Lake Interpretive Trail (Barrier Dam) 4km
This is a popular location. There is a web of paths that spin off the man trail. Those paths go to picnic sites or the mud flats of a very low Barrier Lake. The main trail ends at a pleasant but not particularly memorable lookout over Barrier Lake. I can see and hear the vehicles along highway 40. Two young women on another trail are laughing. The afternoon is grey with the occasional spit of rain. The forest is quieter and calmer than the look out. It is also beginning to turn green. I am glad for the walk and when I get home I am pleased with the photographic rewards.
Photos 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
There will be another walk soon on a day when downpours are not expected.
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