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Posts Tagged ‘Rocky Mountains’

Enjoying some quite time at Lake Agnes

May 22, 2010 – Rocky Mountain Road Trip Time!!..

Everyone loves a road trip.  Well I do and the May long weekend marked the first time that I would be hitting the road alone in Canada.

To me this meant hiring a car (yes, renting for all you Canadian’s – RAY!!) and escaping the rat race and seeing as much as my blue eyes would allow me  to take in over the three days.

Now I admit that my initial planning was a bit way-laid.  I’d had a thought that I might like to drive to Jasper for the weekend. Enjoy some of the stunning scenery and see just how spectacular these rocky mountains really are.  After all I knew that the short Greyhound bus ride from Calgary to Banff in late March was really only a teaser of things to come.

I arrived early enough at Lake Louise to be able to enjoy the sights without the flood of tourists.  It was still spring and a little bit of snow was still on the ground BUT the lake was pretty much still FROZEN!.. I admit I was shocked!..

a. it was May

b. it was a big enough lake, how could it be frozen!; and

c. I’d only ever seen the ‘beautiful emerald’ water that everyone raves about – again I have learnt something new.

I’d planned to walk the shoreline of the lake.  Enjoy simply being outside and being in this magical place, but en route I passed a trail head that said ‘Lake Agnes Tea House – 3.8km‘ and I knew I just had to do it. I’d grown up with the lure of ‘Lake Agnes’ being on my doorstep back home on the farm in Patchewollock.. the difference was that it has been dry for hundreds if not thousand’s of years, plus didn’t Catriona Rowntree from Getaway do this hike not that long ago.. it looked easy when she did it! So I saddled up my backpack and hit the trail.

The first couple 100m of the trail were steady-going, a slight incline all the way and spectacular views of the lake below.  It was beautiful.  After the first switch back the heart began to beat faster and the realisation that I was going 1,204 feet in 3.8km, with altitude hit me.. WHAT WAS I THINKING.. I was from the mallee and pretty much sea level.  But I had started and I wasn’t stopping.

The higher I got, the more snow on the ground and colder it become (a  lesson that I learnt very early on – always pack for every condition). But the views of the valley below were spectacular.. plus, when I got to the top I could enjoy a nice hot chocolate in the tea house, right.

Little did I know that the tea house didn’t open until June 1st!.. What.  I was like a week too early. So instead I enjoyed my lunch and nice cold drink on the rocks by a thawing Lake Agnes, simply staring at this amazing place and ‘Remember(ing) to Breathe’. It was only day one!.

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If you haven’t guessed I’m a teeny tiny bit partial to a good Rodeo. In fact some of the smaller ones actually provide far better viewing (and photographic) opportunities than the big gig at the Calgary Stampede, while still attracting both quality livestock and highly ranked cowboys and cowgirls.

The Pincher Creek Fair and Rodeo was no different.  Classed as one of Canada’s Pro Rodeo’s and listed on the Canadian Pro Rodeo circuit with a total payout in excess of $41,000, it is contested over 3 days in August and there is certainly plenty of time for highlights, low lights, bone crunching, people watching and enjoying good ole Canadian Country Hospitality.

Obviously the Cluck, Cluck, Run Chicken Races would have been a bonus to see (as per my last post), but I can quite happily say that I enjoyed my day out in the country air and i hope you do too.

(warning, some photo’s may offend)

The Grub Line.. get your tucker here!

A Saddle Bronc rider hangs on

Dreaming.. one day they might just well be out there too

Just like this Cowgirl… a barrel racing competitor rounds the second barrel

Don’t forget your boots!!!

An official looks on while there is a break in proceedings

A Calf Roping competitor prepares his horse before his run

A horse stares as he waits for the calf to be tied

A horse applies it’s breaks so the rider can dismount in one swift motion

Team work. Two calf ropers exchange gear (and horse) so the next competitor can go

A bull rider escapes the arena

pick up men enjoying the afternoon rodeo

Furious and focused, the bull wants him man

x J

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Enjoying the wonders of the natural world

One thing that I love about Calgary is that it is less than an hour from the mountains.

No matter what time of year it is, no matter the weather, driving through the mountains always takes my breath away and keeps me wanting more.  Sunday was no different.

My boss had told me last year of the spectacular drive that him and his wife had taken along Hwy 40. The Highwood Pass from Longview to Canmore, from the rolling green foothills and ranch lands to the high peaks of the rocky mountains.

At around 4:30pm and with still plenty of hours of sunlight ahead of us (yes, it doesn’t get dark here now until well after 9:30pm), I decided that it would be nice to take in some new sights.. and it truly didn’t disappoint.

Hwy 40 ‘The Highwood Pass’ – The road ahead

The stunning valley through Kananaskis Country

Enjoying some of the sights

The Avalanche Trails along the Kananaskis Range

Beautiful Wild Flowers

Simply stunning

Our tiny Suzi Suzuki 

Overcast weather….. who cares

Big horn sheep.. yes sheep.. no matter where I go…

Yummy.. salt on the road

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