May 1st in Canada was Victoria Day this year. After a fairly mild winter, I was excited to be able to get out and go for a hike out in the mountains. Being the romantic I am, I figured what better way to celebrate the holiday than to head out to Victoria Glacier on Victoria Day. The icing on the cake is that my home state in Australia is Victoria. It’s enough Victoria to make you sick!
I decided I wanted an early start and so I camped out in the back of the Jeep the night before out in the carpark so I could beat the crowds. I love sleeping in the back of that thing. I usually have something to eat, do a bit of reading, listen to some music and have a beer or two. I took full advantage of being out there too by taking a few photos of Lake Louise in the middle of the night that you can see here.
Being spring time, the majority of the lake was still frozen but that didn’t stop taking a few snaps. Check out the mountains in the distance, the one in the centre that you can see is Mt. Lefroy. That is roughly where I would eventually hike to, just over 7 kms in the distance. The final distance return, being just over 14kms. My longest hike yet and one that left me a little sore but was totally worth it!
The walk around Lake Louise is a pleasant one, especially at that time of day. The lake can be so busy and crowded with tourists, climbers and hikers that it really was magical to walk around with barely anyone else there. The air was crisp and it looked like I was going to get in a really beautiful day. Below you can see the view from the other side of the lake, next to where the glacier meltwater runs into the lake. From that point, I did not see another person until on my way back hours later!
It wasn’t too bad of a hike, well for someone in the physical condition that I am in, it certainly gave the lungs the a bit of a workout but for any regular hiker, I would imagine it to be a piece of cake. The views along the way were spectacular. I loved the entrance way into the thick forest below. Slowly making my way towards the glacier it was a cool little part of the hike that I couldn’t help but take a photo of.
Once I got through the trees, I could see the start of the lower glacier. It was an awesome site, with huge moraines on either side of the valley where the once mighty glacier would have carved its way through the mountains. Th walk along the ridge line was tight with them towering a few hundred feet above the glacier below as you can see but it really was exhilarating! Mount Lefroy which was once in the distance was now drawing ever closer and for the first time, I could see these mountains are actually different to how they look from the shores of Lake Louise. The whole time as I walked along the ridge line, I was imagining just how mighty this glacier once was to leave such scars behind.
It was cool to look back on how far I had hiked. In the distance, I could see a frozen Lake Louise and the huge chateau now just a tiny little object in the distance.
Nearly there! Mount Lefroy to my left with the lower glacier covered in snow below and Upper Victoria Glacier straight ahead. Such an epic view!
The Death Trap and Abbot Pass pass separate Mount Lefroy and Mount Victoria with the Upper Glacier sitting on top. Would you believe me if I told you there is actually a hut that sits between the two mountains? Maybe another time I will have to try make my way out there…
I took this last photo on my hike back. If you look closely, you can see people just beginning to walk along the ridge line on the moraine. I thought it was a perfect way to show the sheer size of these mountains. A majority of the photos I feel just don’t show the pure magnitude of the mountains but those tiny little people illustrate it perfectly!
I am happy I got to go on this hike at the time of year I went. It was absolutely magical! Although in some spots, as you can see above there was some walking through snow but the majority of the hike was fairly well compacted which didn’t make it too difficult to walk through. It was only the last 1.5kms where I could tell only a couple of people had trekked to get to the final lookout where I found myself waist deep in snow. Not great after hiking a couple of hours but some very well needed exercise for this guy!
Looking forward to the next adventure!
If you have been to Lake Louise, no matter what time of year it is, then you know just how busy it can get. For something different, I thought I would check it out at night, as in past midnight and what a different place it is. Quiet, peaceful, serene, still, hauntingly beautiful… how many more words basically meaning the same thing can I use to explain it. With the exception of a couple of other photographers with the same idea as me and a couple of night owls strolling around the pathway from the chateau, the difference literally was night and day.
The stars were out in their millions and the was a perfect crispness in the air without it feeling too cold. Once of those beautiful mountain nights.
I really love the beauty within the desert.
These cactus’ were stunning! With their bright red flowers at the tip of each towering ‘arm’. This Ocotillo was roughly 12 feet tall. It just so happened that we traveled through Joshua Tree NP at the right time as these only flower for a month or so each year.
This is one of my favourites from our road trip.
It has been a while since I have added some new photos to my website. I have been taking photos, don’t worry about that, I have just been so busy these past couple of months. So much going on! I have been keeping fairly up to date on my Instagram account though so feel free to check it out and follow along.
For the last 3 years, Ash and I have been going down to California for Coachella every April. This year, we thought we would get down there a day earlier and camp overnight at Joshua Tree National Park which is only an hour or so from Palm Springs. It was such a great decision and I am so happy we did it. It is an incredible area to explore.
These photographs are from Arch Rock. It is a really cool spot off the main road around the White Tank Campground. There are huge rocks and boulders littered all over the place, each in its own unique size and shape. We were like two little kids jumping from boulder to boulder, walking through little slot canyons and climbing amongst them all.
Just to give perspective at how big Arch Rock really is, I thought I would post a photo below with Ash standing by. The top photo is from sunrise while the photo with Ash is the afternoon before.
More to come.
One thing that I have always loved since being a kid, was exploring. Living just a 5 minute walk down a hill from my parents house along the fence-line of a golf course and down to what we called ‘the creek’ (it was in fact the Lerderderg River, in Bacchus Marsh), I would make my way through all the overgrown bushes and tall gum trees and follow the trails, swim in the pools, look for frogs and tadpoles and build tree houses and forts.
A big part of that little kid inside me comes alive when I head into the mountains. I love all the big attractions along the highway but I really finding new places, a little further away from the main roads.
This photo is from the old coal mining ghost town in Banff National Park called Bankhead. During the summer months when the Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive circuit is open, its extremely easy to get to there is even a car park right there. During winter though, it is about a 2km walk along the ice/snow covered road, used as a wildlife corridor (from November to April) to get to the site of the former town.
What drew me to this spot was it being a new and unique view of Mt. Rundle. I hadn’t seen too many photos of this place in the winter either so I thought it would be a great spot to check out.
I arrived just before the sun started disappearing behind the surrounding peaks and stayed a few hours until the stars really came out and shone so brightly. I think it would be a great spot to come to out to at night during the summer months when the Milky Way is at its best.
Above is a shot as the sun is setting and the photo below is as the stars began to show. The subject in the foreground is a fireless compressed air locomotive used to bring the coal out of the mines.
Tonight was like any other week night in good old Calgary town. Come home from work, listen to some tunes, cook dinner, watch TV then bed. The 1 difference though is that Ash and I caught an amazing light show between TV and bed. The Northern Lights.
It all came about from me checking a Facebook group set-up for people in Alberta called the Alberta Aurora Chasers. (You can find the group here.) I usually check it a few times a night to see if there looks to be a chance of an Aurora show. Most nights when there is activity, it usually tends to be a week night and I know it’s going to kill me the next day so I play it safe and stay home. The other nights that there is actually activity, it is usually overcast. This time I didn’t want to risk it and Ash was happy to come along too.
We headed north east of the city out of the city lights and just as we got off of the freeway we could see a faint arch. We kept driving until we found a place to stop, got out of the car and just stood there in awe as they danced before our eyes. They were the brightest I have ever seen them. It was amazing to share that moment with Ash.
I grabbed my camera, found my subject and my spot but the lights were a lot more faded and washed out than when we first arrived but you know what, I didn’t care because it was still an amazing show. I was pretty happy with what I ended up with. I hope you enjoy it too.
Big love to all of my beautiful friends and family in Australia. Would have loved to have been there with you by the pool, on the beach or at the Big Day Out having a few beers but this will just have to do…
What a year 2014 was, it came just as quickly as it left. For me, personally it was a great year. I got in some travel, including a quick trip back to Australia to visit my amazing family and friends as well as for my 30th (including a surprise party!), got to spend yet another incredible year living with my beautiful girlfriend here in Calgary and met some great people along the way. I hope you all had just as incredible of a year.
I didn’t catch any fireworks as the new year rang in but instead spent it with some of my favourite people sitting in a hot-tub out in the snow with a fire roaring. A truly Canadian experience and one I would choose 10 times out of 10 over being out with the crowds.
I guess you can say this is my interpretation of fireworks to welcome in the new year. Taken with Zack Splaine of Zack Splaine Photography on a night we went out searching out the Northern Lights. The turned out to be a bit of a bust in regards to the Aurora but Zack brought some steel wool along and we had fun experimenting and shooting with it after tying it to rope, lighting it on fire and swinging it around. This is the same location as the photo I posted recently with the faint Aurora in the background.
I enjoyed shooting this bridge, located in Big Valley. It is a single lane steel framed wooden bridge that crosses over the Red Deer River. As you can see with this and the last shot I posted from here I had a lot of fun playing with silhouettes and minimalism.
I hope you all had a wonderful 2014 and 2015 is truly amazing for you all.
A couple of weeks back I posted a picture of Upper Troll Falls. A frozen water fall that I hiked out to for the first time. I had previously been out to see Troll Falls in the summer but that was as far as I went. Check out the link to see the difference a season makes. Its a complete other world.
After shooting at Upper Troll Falls I stopped off at Troll Falls on the way to set up a couple of spot lights behind waterfall and take a few shots. There were huge icicles that ran from the top of the canyon all the way to the bottom next to the actual frozen waterfall. You could hear the water rushing inside the ice, its a daunting figure to look at, especially at night with it lit up.
I got some great locations mapped out that I want to check out in the upcoming weeks. Come back and check them out. In the meantime, there is also my Instagram account that I upload to frequently from my phone.
The Northern Lights proved to be elusive last night, dancing between the clouds and keeping to the horizon. I headed out with the talented Zack Splaine (Check out his work here) a fellow photographer from Calgary. Our chase took us 2 hours north east of Calgary until we eventually decided to call it a night at around 3:30am.
Here’s a photo taken at the old bridge that crosses the Red Deer River at Big Valley. Will have some more pictures coming during the week, got lots to show you all.
Sometimes, you’ve just gotta pull over and appreciate what’s around you…
Castle Mountain stands a tall, lonely figure while the stars majestically waltz overhead.
It was a beautiful night last night in Banff National Park with clear skies, millions of stars, a meteor shower and the aurora. Well worth the 2:00am start.
I have been fortunate enough that in my time here in Canada, I have been able to see some absolutely stunning places. Some can be seen from the road, some take a bit of work to get to but they all have the same result. A feeling I think only people who have come to these mountains would know. It’s special!
I had an awesome adventure on Saturday afternoon/night in Kananaskis Country along the Marmot Creek and Troll Falls Trail. I will leave you with this one for now of Upper Troll Falls.
More photos and story of my trip to follow later in the week.
Once again, to continue with my fog phase I seem to be having is Crowfoot Mountain. The fog clouds slowly start to rise as the morning sun rises.
This little stream will run along to Bow Lake which sits at the base of Crowfoot Mountain. The lake is one of many that sit along the Icefields Parkway.
Here’s a shot of Mount Rundle, one of the more magical looking mountains in Banff National Park. This was taken at Vermilion Lakes just out of the village of Banff.
There are literally millions of photos that you can find of this mountain online, even from this exact spot but it just never gets tiring to look at and even driving through here on Highway 1, I find myself watching it the whole way past. This time I was driving back from another shoot and noticed the reflections in the lake as I was driving past. Even though this was the middle of the day, I just couldn’t resist.
Hope you enjoy.
It has just occurred to me that I seem to have an obsession with clouds, fog and lakes… Here’s another one of Peyto Lake and Mistaya Valley. With the sun rising, the clouds retreat north up and along the valley.
Such a magical morning.
The Larches are an extremely popular sight in Alberta during the fall. For those of you who don’t know what a Larch is… don’t worry, I didn’t know myself until I moved to Calgary. They are conifers, like a spruce, a fur or a pine but this time of year, they turn a stunning yellow before their needles fall in preparation for winter. Most conifers are evergreen. They look absolutely stunning!
I had been meaning to get out to see them for the past couple of years but have not had the chance up until now. A bit of planning had gone it to finding a location where I wasn’t going to be stuck fighting the crowds. I wanted to try somewhere new too. There are a lot of photographers around this part of the country but I find they keep shooting the same places so I wanted to see and show you all something different.
This was the most ambitious shoot I have attempted but I was lucky enough to have Miss Maggie-May the boxer to keep me company. It was a 11.2 km round trip and I knew in order for me to get out there to be able to enjoy it for myself that I was going to have to get out there early. I left the house at 3:30am and got to the parking lot at around 5:30am. The sun was due to rise at 7:30am so I had to start along the trail in the dark with my headlamp. It was a nice downhill trek into the fog down to Vista Lake for the first 1 km but from there on it was nothing but up hill as I climbed back out of the clouds up over the ridge of Storm Mountain. I had never really hiked that far and it was absolutely grueling (for me, probably not anyone else). I got there at around 8:00am as the sun was just showing its face. I snapped a couple of shots then did some wandering around the lake, just mesmerized by the sheer cliff face of Storm Mountain over looking this amazingly beautiful setting.
The fog caught back up to me and was meandering up the mountain and flowed out over the lake. It was incredible to watch and I got a nice series of photos of it making its way. Luckily enough though, once it hit the lake, the sun managed to burn it off so I didn’t lose my stunning landscape.
The fog rolling on to the lake adds a nice soft tone to such a majestic location. I was in absolute awe all morning… So was Maggie-May, can’t you tell?!
Hopefully you love these as much as I loved being out there and taking them. I have a few more I will post later as well as some more from my last little adventure to Peyto Lake.
Sitting, waiting patiently for the sun to rise and the clouds to disappear… What lays hidden beneath? You will just have to come stop by again to see for yourself.
Life is good!
Takakkaw Falls is a waterfall located in Yoho National Park, near Field, British Columbia. “Takakkaw”, loosely translated from Cree, means something like “it is magnificent”. The falls are fed by the Daly Glacier, which is part of the Waputik Icefield. Its quite an amazing site to see with its highest point being 384 metres (1,260 ft) from the base.
What would you say if I told you this photograph is actually upside down?
I initially dismissed this image and didn’t think it came out too well. I was bored one night and went back through my photos to take a look through my folders from the past couple of months. The reflection came out incredibly! There is one little flaw I kept in there to tell them apart… on the bottom right you can see tree branches stretching out that didn’t make it in the reflection.
Came out quite well in the end, especially upside down.
A few more photographs from my road trip through Nevada and California through Death Valley National Park to Racetrack Playa. I was disappointed that the dust storm had started to tear through when I got there depriving me of some spectacular sunset pictures but I was extremely happy that despite what felt like 100km winds pushing through the playa, that by 3:00 – 4:00am the dust had thinned out enough for me to see the Milky May arching right across the sky. It was amazing being able to enjoy it all to myself. Selfishly, it is one of the reasons I love venturing out on my own. Just that the thought of being the only person to see that particular moment in time.
In the image below you can see a shooting star to the left of the Milky Way.
I could have stayed out there and just admired it all night if it wasn’t so damn windy and cold but I was happy with the couple of shots I was able to get before calling it a night.
Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park in California. I flew 3 hours in a plane to Las Vegas, and then drove another 5 hours through the desert just to get there, sleep in a car, see some stones on a dried lake bed and then turn around the next morning to get back home… That’s over 14 hours of travel for a 12 hour stay. Crazy?
This remote, dried up, ancient lake bed sits 3,700 feet above sea level and is so damn flat. Towards the middle of the lake bed sits what would be an island, named ‘The Grandstand’. A stack of tall, jagged rocks that stick up and stand out in contrast to the bright surface of the dried up lake. It gets windy out there, I can attest to that, it was absolutely howling the whole time I was there but it has been known to get up to 150 kilometers per hour!
That picture above, that is exactly what I came for. They call them Sailing Stones, rocks that mysteriously move along the lake bed. I’m not talking about little pebbles that skip in the breeze, these rocks or ‘stones’ can range from anywhere between 25-30lbs right up to 700 pounds! You will notice in the photos, the trails or ‘racetracks’ (which gave the valley its name) out the back of the stones. It has been said that the stones only move once every two or three years and most tracks last for three or four years. If it wasn’t for these marks in the mud, we wouldn’t even know they were moving.
Since discovered in 1915, no-one has actually seen them move and so all we can do is speculate. The most likely theory is that with the playa surface being made up of very fine clay sediments, it becomes extremely slick when wet. When you put together the information I mentioned earlier about it being quite high in elevation, mixed in with the strong winds surging through, you can imagine that this would be the most likely scenario.
So as you can see, it really a fascinating phenomenon. I will leave you with one last shot I took with the stones off on their trail heading towards the Milky Way… Being so remote, the stars were absolutely incredible out there!
I absolutely loved it out there. I got to see something that I have admired and marvelled about for quite a while and I would definitely recommend everyone to try get out there if they can. It is such a great feeling to be out in such a remote part of the world and knowing you are the only person there. Truly amazing.
Last Friday, I was fortunate enough to receive notice that my new working visa had been approved. My previous visa had expired at the end of April and so I had been eagerly awaiting this new one to come through. The timing couldn’t have come much better. It was the end of the week and so I was able to sneak away for a weekend and make the most of having to leave the country.
I had been doing some research the past few months on a place called Racetrack Playa, a remote area in Death Valley in California and after checking flight loads and times, I decided this would be my destination. I flew into Vegas on the Saturday and rented myself a 4WD as I knew I was up for some long, rugged driving but I knew what I was getting myself in to so I just enjoyed being out on the road, busted out to some tunes and was looking forward to getting out to my final destination. The image below will give you a bit of an idea of the territory I covered…
The drive was amazing. It was as if I was driving through Mars. The mountains out there are dry and desolate and were always there on each side of the highway. The elevation was quite interesting too along the way. About halfway there at Furnace Creek I was driving through the lowest point of the country which was 200 feet below sea level. On the flip side as I was moving closer to the Playa the was sitting over 5,500 feet ABOVE sea level. Saying that though, I wasn’t scaling or driving over any mountains, the road just kept slowly ascending and descending without it being too noticeable.
After travelling for about 3 hours, I came to my turnoff off the highway and on to the back roads. As I said, I had done a bit of research and knew I would have to do a bit of driving on gravel roads but to my surprise, the roads were paved… That lasted only a few minutes though and I found myself driving through some pretty rough gravel roads before too long.
It was a long drive and due to the condition of the road, I didn’t find myself driving much faster than 20 mph. I passed a couple of cars coming back the other way but I loved the thought that I could possibly be out there all by myself. I had planned on sleeping out there in my car so I did secretly hope no one else would be out there and I was fortunate enough to have that come true. It was just me and my camera in the middle of absolute no-where.
A view of the road ahead of me…
I kept driving along and just when I thought it had to be around the next corner, the road just keep weaving through the mountains and valleys. There were certain areas with nothing but sand, there were others with small shrubs and cactus’ and then an area in a valley that was just full of Yuccas or Joshua Trees. It was always changing and some of the plants, cactus’ and flowers truly were beautiful to look at. Finally after driving for some time through the back roads, a sign caught my eye…
Teakettle Junction! On that sign I saw something that made me a very relieved man… No, I wasn’t thirst and in need of some tea but now knowing that Racetrack Playa was 6 miles away was extremely good to know. Weaving through those roads, it was still a fair way off but at least I now knew for sure I was on the right path and knew how far I had left to go. It made me a little at ease too as the sun was preparing to set behind the mountains and I knew I would now at least get to my destination in light so I can scope it out a bit, find some locations to shoot at night and pick a spot to park the car and camp out.
Finally, there it was. I was confident that was it in the distance and I was right!
As I was approaching Racetrack Playa, a dust storm was coming in behind me. I was hoping it wouldn’t be coming in my direction and that it was going in the opposite direction but I wasn’t so lucky. It hit just as I got to the Playa but having been through 2 dust storms in Palm Springs both times I had been there I knew at least what I was in for. Saying that though, the wind was incredibly strong and it was coming in quite thick. I just hoped it wasn’t going to settle in all night and the next morning.
The photo below is the dried lake bed of Racetrack Playa with the dust clearly visible in the background. The reason I came all the way out here was to see the Sailing Stones which I will talk more about in my next post but these stones move along the lake bed most likely due to being pushed by the wind… Having a dust storm and 80-100km/h wind push through shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise.
I will leave it at this for the moment but I will be post more pictures in the next couple of days of the Sailing Stones and also some amazing pictures I am extremely happy with of the Milky Way I was able to get in the middle of the night once all the dust had started to clear away.
Thanks for following my adventures, I am very excited to bring you the rest of the photos.
See you all soon.
This image is from a couple of weekends ago when I stayed out in the mountains. The conditions were too treacherous at Bow Lake but as I drove along Highway 1 back towards Calgary I came across this spot. I pulled over and spent most of the time just enjoying being back amongst the fresh mountain air. To my surprise, out of no-where, a couple of Moose started walking towards the river. I had seen a Moose once but it was absolutely incredible to see them come out to the river and take a drink. These are the moments I have really enjoyed whilst exploring out on my own. It is cool to think that I am the only person who saw that, it really makes it special.
It has been a crazy few weeks and I have so many images to process and play around with including some from Australia too. I will eventually get to them though I am sure.
Thanks for stopping by.
I went out late last night around midnight in search of the Milky Way. It was a clear night in Calgary but as I got further west into the mountains the weather started turning. It was late and I was tired so I decided to keep going and head up to Bow Lake, camp out for the night and get up for sunrise in the morning.
I woke up in the morning to snow… a lot of snow! and it was coming down hard! I got my things together, headed out on to the lake and patiently waited for the sun to rise and the clouds to clear. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and the snow came down harder and harder.
This is the pick of bunch from this morning at Bow Lake… Let’s call it a poor man’s homage to Ansel Adams or Olivier Du Tre I did some more shooting at another location on the way home which I will get to later but now I think it’s time for a nap. I’m buggered!
I have been itching to take out my camera since my night shots near Banff a couple of weeks back but I just hadn’t had the chance until this weekend. Ash was away for work so I decided to head out early on Saturday morning and try my luck at some more night shots out in the mountains. The forecast said there was going to be variable cloud cover but it seemed like it was going to clear up. Not only could I take shots at night of the stars, I wanted to hang around for sunrise too so I was happy to have a back-up plan in case it was overcast.
I set my alarm for 3am and surprised my myself by getting out of the house by 3:45am. Those of you who know me well, are more than aware that I am not much of a morning person but I was able to do it. Driving out there, I noticed it was incredibly dark and that I couldn’t see any stars, not a good start but I wanted to keep going anyway because I knew I would regret it if I turned back. I decided to head to Lake Minnewanka which is near Banff, I hadn’t been there before so i was keen to check it out. All I knew was that it was a long narrow lake surrounded by mountains. I got out there and it was pitch black. I could just make out the mountains but took a few long exposure shots around 30 seconds to check out my surroundings. It was not ideal at all, no stars, overcast and windy. I jumped back in the car and decided to get some sleep for a couple of hours until sunrise. I missed out on the stars but I was sure I would get a nice sunrise… Wrong! About 45 minutes before the sun was scheduled to come up, I scoped out a couple of locations and set up at the first… I took a few shots here and there and eagerly awaited the sky to light up in pinks, purples and and oranges as we normally get, that didn’t happen at all. it was like someone flicked a switch and suddenly it was daylight. The cloud cover was too thick and the sun at this time of year is too low so I got nothing I came for at all.
I took a few shots still and these two are all I had worth sharing. It was so quiet and peaceful out there, the only noises I could hear was the wind whistling through the pines and the sound of ice cracking. I wasn’t out on the ice on the lake even though it was so thick (in some places I could see it was about 10″ thick) but that sound of it cracking was a little too unnerving for me. Due to the dull light, I decided to convert them to black and white just give them a little bit of character and moodiness. A bit of a disappointing outcome (photography wise) but you can’t win them all. I did enjoy getting out there though.
4:25am, Friday morning my alarm goes off. I turn over to Ash and tell her it’s time to get up. Let’s go to Moraine Lake for sunrise. This is my 4th or 5th attempt to wake up early and head out there but this time I was determined to make it happen. Every other time, I reached straight for the alarm and turned it off, this time I jumped straight out of bed and into the shower. I know that if I did that there was no turning back. I didn’t really hold any hopes for Ash coming though as she didn’t seem to happy when I woke her up. I was surprised to see her up and dressed once I was out of the shower. This is happening!
It was pitch black the whole way out to Lake Louise, not much traffic and a nice easy drive. Ash slept the whole way and Maggie May chilled out in the back. After a couple of hours of driving we finally got to Moraine Lake around 7:30am. The sun was slowly starting to wake up but it was still a little dark when we climbed the hill at the foot of the lake and I found a spot to set up.
We sat down and played with Maggie while waiting patiently for the sun to rise. It was absolutely beautiful out there, taking in the magnificent Valley of the Ten Peaks and the bright blue lake. As well as the sheer stillness and peace. There wouldn’t have been any more than 5 or 6 people out these in comparison to the thousands that are normally there and when we left the tourist buses started rolling in. We counted around 15 from the time we left the lake till we got to the main road.
I strongly recommend that everyone try their best to go out there for a sunrise if they get a chance. It truly is a magnificent sight to see and well worth the early start. We are lucky that the snow has been falling on the peaks as we came out here last month and there was not a single flake of snow on them. It is a different story now though with them really starting to get covered and the lake, as you can see above is starting to freeze over. It was fresh, but we came dressed for it. Truly an amazing day.
I hope you enjoy.
There is nothing quite like a sunset. It doesn’t matter how many times you have seen the sun go down, it always feels like it is for the first time. Everywhere I travel, no matter where it is, I always do what I can to see the sun set in that city, town or village. It is by far one of my favourite things on this earth.
Above – A large cluster of annual sow thistle catch the last light of the day as the sun slowly makes it way below the horizon.
Below – The sun sets over the wheat fields out in the Alberta prairies. The mixture of soil and dust in the air from all of the machinery out harvesting along with the colours of the sun setting make it a really beautiful site. The photo does is absolutely no justice at all.
Last weekend I have to say, I experienced a first… Eating dinner out in the middle a wheat field. My parents are here in Canada with my uncle still and we have had a lot of fun but this was definitely the most unique thing we have done. I brought my camera along and took a couple of snaps.
We were up in Camrose, 3 hours north of Calgary with Ash’s family for the weekend. On Sunday, we headed to her Auntie and Uncle’s farm with the rest of the family for dinner. The guys have been working out in the fields swathing and combining in rotating shifts over 24 hours in order to get everything done. It is a hell of a lot of work!
We all drove out at 6:30 in a convoy of trucks loaded with food, drinks, coolers and chairs and met the guys in the middle of the field. The ladies did a great job getting dinner together! We had chili which I don’t think could have been any more fitting for the occasion. The weather was beautiful and w were all surrounded by amazing company. I don’t think the Mitty’s and Broughton’s any more welcome.
After a great dinner out in the field, it was time to get back to work. We packed everything up and my dad and uncle took in turns to ride around in the combine to see what it is all about. Just like a couple of kids.
Thanks to the Broughton’s for having us over. It really was a great day!
I jumped in the Jeep late Sunday afternoon and decided to head out with my camera out east, through the prairies to the Badlands. I had seen some pictures of an old ghost town called Dorothy that had an old wooden church that was falling apart. I thought it would be great to check out and get some photos and so with Maggie May keeping me company, we hit highway 1 and started our 2 hour journey to Dorothy.
My good old iPhone GPS was in fine form as it always is taking me through back roads and dirt roads and just when I thought all was lost I came across the the little town of Dorothy. The final part of that drive was pretty awesome driving through the canola fields and at the end scaling down the valley on the dirt road and across the Red Deer river. To my absolute disgust though, the church had been fully renovated! No longer was it leaning to the right or were its weather boards showing its age. It was just sitting there, all perfect with its new windows, coat of white paint and standing upright. I was shattered! All wasn’t completely lost though. I did come across this grain elevator. Most likely built in the early 20th century, showing its wear from long winters and hot summers out here in the badlands.
Next I headed towards Drumheller. I thought since I was out here I may as well make the most of it. The day was coming to an end and I had always wanted to check out an area out there called Horseshoe Canyon. On way way though as the road ran inside the valley along the river, I came across the site you can see below… They are called the Hoodoos. Rock formations shaped by centuries of wind, rain and snow. They are quite an awesome sight to see.
Further along I went until I reached the canyon. The road that took me out there was the one that headed back to Calgary and it was quite a while out of Drumheller, I just about gave up hope as when I looked around all I could see were crops and flat land. It didn’t look like there would be any canyon in sight. Finally I saw the sign and was relieved that I hadn’t missed it. I spent a bit of time there, walking around, admiring the shapes and colours and watching the sun say its goodbyes for the day. I found a really cool spot where I set up my tripod and took a while lot of shots but coming home and checking out my photos more closely, it made me realise just how much I need to invest in a better high quality lens. Unfortunately, alot of my photos either were too grainy when I tried to lighten them up which had the perfect sunset or were too light and didn’t do the beautiful sunset any justice at all. This is the only photo I could really salvage.
Saying that though, I was lucky enough to be the only person there and loved just taking it all in. Sometimes photos, and in this case in particular, really do no justice to the beauty that is in front of you.
As always, thanks for reading.
My beautiful girl soaking up the fresh mountain air. Love you baby xxxxxxo
After an absolute crazy long weekend last week, we just needed some fresh air and a chance to finally breathe. I picked up Ash on my way home from work on the Tuesday and we headed west in search of mountains and sushi. Just what the doctor ordered!
This afternoon, I headed up to Edmonton to help out Ash’s brother Jeremy, whose car was stuck down here in Calgary. I was there for no more than an hour, 45 of those minutes at the airport and then flew back home. Just something to do on a Sunday afternoon. I wanted to share a couple of pictures showing the contrast of the two journeys. It is roughly 300kms so it takes a good 2.5 to 3 hours driving without stopping. Coming home took me 45 mins flying in my WestJet bird. The latter was definitely a lot easier.
Above you can see what the drive is all about. Just one long straight road, through the prairies. Flying back is not only quicker but just that little bit more scenic. See for yourself and let me know what you would prefer…
After an amazing night at Tom and Yolande’s on Saturday night, I decided to stay the night on the couch. With the sun rising so early this time of year and no curtains in the living room where I was sleeping, I thought enough is enough and I got my ass up and out of bed. I decided I wanted to to go for a drive and take some pictures and was up and out of there at 5.30am on a Sunday morning!
I headed towards the mountains. There is a road I heard about that isn’t eaxactly close but I was keen to check it out nonetheless called Highway 40, the Kananaskis Trail. I had about 1.5 to 2 hours worth of driving to get there and then it would be a good 2 hours back up to highway 1 to head back to Calgary. Ash got called up the night before and I had nothing else to do so I thought why the hell not. What I was most hopeful about and what I really wanted to see were some Bears. I read that there have been quite a few spotted lately on the side of the roads munching on dandelions so I was hopeful.
It was a little foggy to begin with but it was so calm and tranquil at that time of morning. It was a beautiful drive!
As I got further out of the city, the cars got less frequent and I found myself for quite a long time being the only car out there. With the sun only just coming up and very little traffic on the road, the animals started coming out. I had my eyes peeled the whole time as I had heard Deer are like Kangaroos and are spotted more often than not when the sun is rising or setting so I was a little cautious. I was lucky enough to see a large group of them crossing the road up ahead so I quickly pulled over and got out my camera. I was able to get a few snaps in.
Further down the road, I came across this big fella. A Moose! He had no antlers unfortunately but it was extremely cool to see him nonetheless.
It was so cool to see them out in the wild. I was feeling good about coming across some Bears. Things were looking promising.
Further along, I came across this cool train engine just sitting in the middle of a field by the road. The one thing I have loved about driving around Canada has been the random stuff I have seen. Driving through the country, there are a tonne of abondoned houses and barns and building. I saw a tram in the middle of the desert driving through the salt flats in Utah which was awesome to see but this was just as amazing. I had no idea what it was doing there, how it even got there but it was really cool to see it just sitting there in the middle of nowhere.
After driving for a couple of hours, which included a few stops along the way to take some photos, I finally made it to Kananaskis country. Not long now till I get to drive through the valley with mountains on each side of me, still being early with no other cars out there and being able to enjoy it all to myself. I got to the entrance of the park and the gates were closed. This couldn’t be true! I wish I took a photo. It was true, the gates were bolted shut and the highway which closes each year on December 1st wasn’t going to open up again till June 12th. Just 3 days later!!!! Talk about shit out of luck!
I was disappointed, I won’t lie but I really had a great morning out there. It was such a beautiful drive and I know the Kananaskis Trail is going to be even better but I am looking forward to going out there with Ash and discovering it together.
I thought I may as well make the most of it and take the long way home. Rather than go the same way I came, I took some back roads. Probably not the best idea taking that route while out on my own, no phone reception and no-one knowing where I was but I liked being out there with no-one around. Just me out there in the Jeep soaking in the great outdoors!
I liked it for about an hour until I started to freak out that I hadn’t see anyone and scared myself a little, I will admit. I thought if my car broke down, I might find myself in a bit of strife. Then finally, I saw a car and some hikers and I could finally enjoy myself again. It was so great being out there with the clean fresh air out of the city. Deer, Moose, more Deer and even a Bald Eagle. The only thing that eluded me was seeing a Bear. There were so many Deer out there, it was cool to see. This next picture was probably the best shot I got for the day. It came out a little grainy but if you look to the bottom right you can make out the Deer next to the road. I wish it came out a little clearer but I loved that I got this shot in the spare of the moment. It couldn’t have been in a more picturesque location.
So that was my day, well my morning anyway. After all of that, I was back home by 1pm and took the rest of the day to chill out and relax on the couch. I am definitely not a morning person but I have to admit that I enjoyed getting away early in the morning, doing so much and still getting to bum on the couch to finish off my weekend. This may just become a new little hobby of mine.