Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New Places!

This past few weeks I've traveled from the high elevation Rocky Mountains to the sea level deep south, and back again. Now while that sounds somewhat exciting, part of the gallivanting was for work purposes - I spent roughly 72 hours in and around New Orleans learning some mad new skills.

Rural (swampy!) Louisiana

The French Quarter

My fave - a voodoo shop!

Bourbon Street

Just prior to my departure for Louisiana, I lucked out and was able to zip up to Consolation Lakes on an almost crowd-free trail. If I do say so myself, this has got to be in the top five best bang-for-your-buck walks out there.

Best reward for effort in the Rockies!

Upon my return to our fair province, I immediately headed due west, where I explored the Abraham Lake area. I've read about and heard tell of several beautiful hikes in David Thompson Country, but I have yet to check many of them out. I figured that the combination of a long weekend and fabulous weather would render Kananaskis and the Bow Valley virtually inaccessible, unless of course I felt like battling for parking and path space with hundreds of other people. Which I didn't. And I was not disappointed in the least with the choice to avoid what is normally my favorite place.

No traffic!

Scenic hiking along Coral Canyon.

More canyon views.

Dreamy Coral Creek

See-forever vista from the trail up to Allstones Lake.

Allstones Lake

Another activity that I enjoyed more than I imagined I would was paddling along the Red Deer River. The flow rate is low and the waterway is moving fairly slow these days, but drifting along from Fort Normandeau to Three Mile Bend was a really great way to spend a warm afternoon.

*SIGH*  The more time I spend away from work, the more time I want to spend away from work.... Is that so wrong?? LOL! It was moderately challenging getting my carcass to my office this morning, but thankfully it is a short week - so just a few more sleeps and I will be free again. Yeah!


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sayonara, Seventh Month!

In what seems like a heartbeat, another July has pretty much evaporated like a water droplet on a hot barbeque grill. Time definitely marches by more quickly when a person is busy, that's for sure. And even though things have been picking up at work, I've been finding plenty of days to go play as well.

For the most part, month number seven has been enjoyable, offering up fabulous weather with the exception of the odd nasty storm cell that has pummeled the city. So in the throes of the serious summer temperatures, I finally decided to 'domesticate' somewhat and actually had a bit of fun sprucing up my deck.

Thanks Toni! She helped me pick out some plants.

Gerber daisies - my favorite!

I was quite proud of the end result - a couple of cool flower boxes, a plant pot, and some other patio decorations made the space a pleasant place to sit and relax. However, my joy was short-lived. Two nasty hail storms later and.... I'm not as stoked as I was a few weeks ago, just sayin'....

What the....????

The aftermath!

Anywho.... let's not dwell shall we, as there have been enough other fun things going on to distract me from the futility of my not-so-green-thumb efforts!

Checking out the Brooks and Dunn concert as well as making some miles in the mountains have rounded out this July nicely. Grizzly Peak and Helen Lake are repeats for me but are beauty hikes just the same, and Helen Lake is always especially entertaining with the fearless, goofy marmots that live in the area.

Yes, that's right - that is Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks, up close and personal.
Their concert was the only stampeding I did this year, and it was well worth it!

The col below Grizzly Peak.

Grizzly Peak summit.

Helen Lake

Lovely view of Dolomite Peak.

Crazy marmot!

He seemed to think I was going to share....

As we roll into the eighth month of the year, I'm looking forward to much more of the same! The pace will be kicking it up a notch at work for sure, and my plan is to keep up to that pace in the extracurricular activity department as well. Can't wait!


Monday, June 26, 2017

Onward and Upward!

Between hoofing it and pedaling this past five days, I clocked a distance of just over 99 km and climbed 3200 metres, on various hiking and biking trails around the Canmore area. What an incredible extended weekend it was!

It began on the summer solstice, with a quick, late evening jaunt up Tunnel Mountain. The night was windy and cool, but it was still great to get out and stretch the legs and use up every last minute of daylight available.

A leisurely Legacy Trail cruise was next up on the agenda. I love pedaling over to Banff for lunch (and a beer!), and the moderately overcast day was perfect for it.

Ha Ling and Miners' Peak were the objectives for Friday, and talk about feeling lucky! Of all the times I've been to the summit of Ha Ling, this was the first time that I didn't have to tie everything down or have it blown off at the top. The nearly non-existent breeze was an unexpected treat.

Saturday was another surprisingly beautiful hike, in spite of its name. Old Goat Glacier doesn't sound all that appealing, however it became apparent almost immediately that it is one of the prettiest trails in the Spray Valley.

I stepped totally out of my comfort zone on Sunday when I pedaled my bike (and pushed it of course!) up to Prairie View Lookout... and down the other side! A few bruises, several hours, and a sore butt later, I completed the loop. I wouldn't exactly describe it as your typical pleasant Sunday afternoon ride, but I had fun nonetheless and learned a lot and I love my new bike!

Finally, last but certainly not least, today I hiked to something that I've been eyeing up for quite some time - Grassi Knob. The details for the trail were hard to find, but I'm glad I persevered because the reward was totally worth the effort! The straight up grind ends with a fabulous 360 degree view that rivals the vistas from Ha Ling and EEOR, but without all the people!

And that my friends, is how I spent my days off. Have I mentioned lately, that it's good to be me!