Dear Reader (2022-05-23),
I keep procrastinating on writing this post. In my mind the post gets bigger, and the delays continue. Well, enough of that. Grab a beverage and let’s get on with it. In today’s post there is some tidying up to do, news about a new project, and the return of the walking reports.
As some of you know, in April, I returned from another personal-matters trip to the UK. As much as I love living in Alberta, I miss the sea. While, in the UK I drove down to Dorset. Some of you may have even seen the images in sets 1 and 2. My real photographic mission was to try and capture that thin line of hope, possibility and infinity that I get from watching the sea. There is also the timeless loop of waves sliding up onto the shore and then receding. And, sometimes the poetry of the seaside is simpler than that. In keeping with some of the ideas embedded in the photographic medium such as time and memory, I also have a long running interest in ghosts (3-04). I’m not entirely pleased or displeased with the resulting set 3.
I’m now of an age where my mortal and physical limits are beginning to be visible to me. This means some big things need to be done sooner rather than later. Late last year my right knee was whining, and one day it was being so awkward, I could barerly crawl to my house coat. Well, enough of that. I started with a physiotherapist (that wasn’t particularly helpful), moved to a chiropractor (that was very helpful), and along the way started working with a personal fitness trainer (also very helpful and Kari can be found here). I’m now feeling much better (sore but better), and have started making bookings for the “35 Door Project” of which there will be more information eventually. In terms of training, I have now completed the first 6 weeks of my 16-week pre-project journey. Currently, I am walking about 10k once a week, and going to the gym 4 or 5 times a week. As you will see in the following paragraphs, I have progressed from crawling across the bedroom floor.
Troll Falls < 3.5 km – with Eeyore – Out and Back – Thursday 2022-05-05
Images 4-01 to 4-02
Today is an experiment to discover where am I on my path back to long walks. The drive west out of Calgary is divided into pieces. The gas station at the Trans Canada (TCH) and #22 marks the beginning of the drive into the mountains. Scott Lake Hills is where the mountains start become closer. Morely Road has been renamed. Though the intersection is comfortingly familiar it now feels a little foreign. As I turn off the TCH onto Highway 40, I have a twinge of trepidation, and self-doubt. 45 minutes later I have started walking. At the falls, I meet a group of recent graduates from the photography program at Fanshaw College (London Ontario). We babble briefly. They love the walk. This is their first visit to the Rockies and they are awe struck. I’m reminded once again of how lucky I am to have these mountains as my backyard. Very few images are captured as I spend much of the time asking my body if it is okay. In its best Eeyore voice, it says it is fine. I am pleased, and there is even an image of note. 4-01 is the latest in a long line of attempts to capture a glade of aspens in dappled glowing light. This latest attempt ain’t bad but it ain’t there yet – the quest continues.
Kovatch Loop < 7.5 km – without Eeyore – Clockwise Loop – Friday 2022-05-13
Images 4-04 to 4-05
Last week’s experiment went surprisingly well. Today’s walk was chosen for its relative flatness and again it is more of a question mark than a walk in the woods. That said it is a very enjoyable stroll through the trees. I’m surprised that AllTrails said I gained and lost 549 metres. I’m also surprised at how much glacier like snow and ice is still on the trail. At some points it is still over ¼ metre thick. Eeyore didn’t come with me today, and its sighs of resignation weren’t required. Next week I think I can up my game again.
Ghost Area West of Waiparous Village <> 9.5 km – with Keith and Cam – Counterclockwise Loop – Friday 2022-05-20
Images 4-06 to 4-13
I have been excited about this walk for a couple of days as the area and road are new to me. Yesterday, there was some humming and hawing about the mood of the weather gods and whether their moods mattered. In the end, we agreed that it is better to drag our asses to the trailhead rather than hide under the covers (as tempting as that may be). After picking Keith up we travel through a wave of snow and wonder if perhaps we should not have been so dismissive of the gods’ moods. By the time we’re west of Cochrane, the land is striped with white and light (4-06).
As advised by AllTrails, we walk the trail counterclockwise along a ridge of hills. Each hill is a little higher than the one before, and each step reveals new vistas (4-07). The trail rises in a series of sometimes steep (but never scrambling) inclines (4-08). It takes us well over 2 hours to reach the highest point of our walk, as many things catch our interest including signs of spring(4-09, 4-10). From the trail’s apex we descend along a steep cutline (4-11). At the base of that descent the trail leaves the cutline and returns to our parking spot. Throughout the day there have been waves of snows. I am thankful for many things including having a weather sealed camera (4-12, 4-13). I am also grateful for the companionship – it was an excellent day. I am pleased that 6 weeks of focused effort in the gym has started to pay off. It is also obvious that I must up my cardio game, as there was much huffing and puffing up the hills. Keith’s perspective on this walk is here.
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