Dear Reader (2020-05-30),
Saturday May 23 – Prairie View Lookout (Barrier Lake) < 10 km
The mood is one of grief (personal and societal), contemplation and reflection. I started relatively early and for the most part I had the trail to myself on the way up. There is a hollow thunk as my boots hit the last of the rare ice patches. In another hour the ice will have collapsed onto the mud and water. In one section water appears from nowhere and creates a small stream down the edge of the path and then vanishes into a large patch of soggy moss. There are other people at the lookout when I arrive there. A woman, after being asked, agrees to be photographed. On the way down, I encounter many groups of all sizes, ages, and preparation. Messages about social distancing appear to have been remembered by only a few.. Most people say hi or hello as I meet them going down. The cohort most likely to not acknowledge my greetings are young men in their late twenties or early thirties – mmm. The Barrier Dam parking lot is packed when I return to it – it had been nearly empty when I left.
Thursday May 28 – Horseshoe Canyon (Drumheller) < 5 km
The drive on familiar roads fits me like a worn and comfortable shirt. There is one other vehicle in the parking lot when I arrive before 6:00 am with hope of capturing early light. I spend the next two and a half hours (and that is not enough time) wandering through a web of trails in a constant state of amazement. At one point it dawns on me that though my wife knows where I am, it would be very easy to get my ankle caught in any number of small fissures and then get slowly consumed by the sandstone (according to Wikipedia the canyon is composed of mudstone, sandstone, carbonaceous shales, and coal seams) – I should be careful. The tops of any number of hills within the canyon are monitored by pairs of Canada geese. When I get close to them they lazily fly to another hill-top. They don’t appear to mind that I’m there, but they do let me know that I am being watched.
The second set of images from this walk are the result of a half-thought in the field, which became further developed during post-processing experimentation. Once upon a time so long ago that even myth has forgotten about it, we were visited by aliens of short stature. If you look closely you can still find vestiges of their homes and frightening rituals.
Friday May 29 – Powderface East Ridge (Kananaskis) < 5km
On this walk I had a new walking companion. AB was good company and our paces seemed to be well matched. The sound of vehicles on Highway 66 are vaguely heard and provide a reference point. The narrow trail though not well used is easily discernible. Dappled light and a soft forest floor absorb our footfalls. At the top of the first hill we decide that the snow covered trail that would take us to the top of the ridge can wait until another day. We return to our cars and drive a short distance to Forget-Me-Not-Pond – it’s a postcard (2, 3 below).
All rights for all material on any media reserved – © Sean P Drysdale 2020