Friday, April 23, 2010

Lovely Linden!

When I travel to Medicine Hat, sometimes I drive down Hwy 21, thru Trochu, Three Hills, It is usually quieter and the scenery is a nice break from the brutality of Hwy 2. There is a road sign, just south of Three Hills, pointing to 'Linden', and even though I've driven past it many times, I've never been there. Until yesterday!

My great friend Mona (who used to work at the same place I do, but was lucky enough to escape!) recently relocated to the cute little town in the rolling prairies. She and her hubby have a most amazing home, on the edge of the small but bustling community, overlooking some gorgeous coulees. I made a quick trip out there yesterday, and we had a fabulous visit!

We spent the day catching up over lunch, followed by a walk with her two cool poochies, and then when Ron got home from work we enjoyed some yummy barbequed steaks! Needless to say, my belly was full and my eyelids were heavy, as I drove home last night. It was such a good day!

Oh, and I also came back with a trunk full of home-made goodies... Mona is a stellar cook, not to mention a very creative and crafty lady... I scored some dill pickles, crabapple jelly, and banana bread! Mmmmm!! Make sure you email her at , if you ever need baby blankets, sewing, etc. I am already looking forward to my next trip to Linden!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Photo Fun

Ha ha, in yet another twist of weather fate, yesterday was cool and a bit bleak but did not end up stormy as predicted. So my good friend Jody and I went exploring with our cameras... what fun!! We started out on Pigeon Creek, near Dead Man's Flats... and I say "on", because it was only partially frozen, so we were able to play around with ice and water and rocks.

Then we bushwhacked in an unsuccessful attempt to locate Spray Falls... obviously I did not read the approach description correctly?? Oops! But on the map, they are RIGHT THERE!! Oh well. We gave up and headed to Kananaskis Village, to hike to Troll Falls, which ended up being frozen solid... but it was still neat to see. Plus that particular area is full of groves of the coolest poplar trees - I think that was my favorite part of the day.

And on the way home, we stopped at O'Shaughnessy Falls (Hwy 40, between Barrier Bluffs and Baldy Pass trailhead) for what turned into a few hours of moving water photography. I had no idea that the little rest area I've passed a hundred times could be so entertaining!

I can't wait to see Jody's pics... that girl is an amazing photographer, and she is patient and diligent and uses all sorts of filters and a tripod, etc. I am basically lazy and would rather see what I can come up with, just wandering around using my Lensbaby and fisheye!

Oh, I hope summer gets here soon! I look forward to the long days, with lots of sunshine... I'm itching to get out hiking and scrambling. We do have a couple of upcoming trips planned however, so that takes my mind off the crappy spring weather: Skaha, for some rock climbing in May, and St Vincent & The Grenadines, for a bareboat sail in June. Life's not so bad!!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

How many ways can I photograph the west end of Rundle??

Certainly that is the question you will be asking me after this post!


Similar to the Canmore Hoodoos, Vermillion Lakes is a neat little spot that I have neglected to visit, in the three-plus years I've lived in the Bow Valley! D'OH! Bad Cheryle, bad!

So today, since the weather again did a one-eighty (clear and sunny and snow almost gone one day, to white-out blizzard highway-closing conditions the next, back to clear and sunny!), I decided to zip to Banff this afternoon with my GF-1 and snap some pics to check out my new lens. I recently bought the 14-45mm for my micro four-thirds camera, and I tell you, I am sooooo happy with this new kit!! It is compact and fun!

And yes, the west end of Rundle is the predominant feature in the backdrop of the Vermillion Lakes landscape.

It was great to get outside and soak up the sunshine and fresh air. Tomorrow, Jody and I are heading out with our cameras for some early spring photography, maybe down into K-Country. She is an amazing photographer and loves water and waterfalls, so I scoped out a couple of places we can hike to, even if conditions aren't stellar. Then, back to Red Deer on Monday for some more of that necessary evil called 'work'. Booo.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's White Out!

Whoa! I must say, I didn't see this one coming... literally... I actually didn't see ANYTHING there for awhile today! Todd and I went up to Spray Lakes this afternoon, for what EnviroCan was promising would be an awesomely breezy time. It started out fabulous! Todd broke out the 13m Frenzy and I spent an enjoyable hour or so on the 8m Access. But as it turned out, the 'possible showers late in the day' and 'winds from the west at 20km/h' turned out to be a raging squall - winds in excess of 40km/h combined with heavy snowfall eventually forced me to land my kite. Visibility dropped to about fifty feet, and the blizzardy conditions even meant die-hard Todd packed it in after a couple of hours!

Oh well, at least we got out for some fresh air. We are going to head up there again tomorrow, since it couldn't be any worse than today, right??!! Heh heh. I'm hoping for a bit less snowfall, so that I can open my camera backpack without it filling with the white stuff immediately... and I'd love it if the winds weren't too freaky, since I really want to get more practice flying the foils.

Gotta love spring time in Alberta!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Half-Hearted Effort

We've been home for just over three weeks... most of which I've spent working... so I was excited when I checked out the Canmore five-day forecast yesterday - I'm on days off and I've been looking forward to the weather becoming nice enough to get out and enjoy some mountain time! I thought that Heart Mountain would be a great first outing of the season - it's short and close and Alan Kane grades it EASY (UPDATE: I went back and had a look at the Scrambles book... it is actually a 'moderate' scramble... Sorry! Hope I didn't get anybody in trouble!). And even though the temps were a little cool this morning, I was really itching to do something and decided to slog up it anyhow. Normally, 4 degrees Celsius can be quite a pleasant hiking temperature, especially if the sun is out and there is little wind. Well... it was 4 degrees when I set out alright... but the sky was completely overcast and the breeze blustered at a steady 30km/hr gusting to 50! EEEEK!! Add to that the fact that there was still a fair amount of ice and even patches of deep snow higher up, which rendered the actual 'trail' out of commission. Basically, I scrambled mostly off-route the entire time. Scrambled. Like I'm talking I tossed my poles (javelin style!) down ahead of me at several points on the descent, because I needed to actually fully downclimb some spots that I don't remember ascending. WTF??!!

I guess I should have thought the whole thing through a little better, because I think I was more in the mood for a vigorous hiking day, not navigating North-facing loose scree and steep-ish slabs. At any rate, even though I did not summit, it was a reasonable day. Felt good to get some exercise and some fresh mountain air... I'm sure my legs (knees!) are going to feel it tomorrow!

Hee hee!! Do I look wind-blown and not impressed in this pic or what!!