Thursday, February 25, 2016

Great Trails - Part 1

Trails Beckon

One way to ease cold, dreary February gloom is to think of glorious, warm, sunny days, like those during our 2007 summer trip to the Canadian Rockies.

This picture, from a beautiful bike trail along the Bow River in Banff, makes me feel better already. The trail was rather short, but featured some gorgeous scenery along the way. C is standing on the trail with her rented bike.
We finished riding the bike trail fairly quickly, and decided to continue riding around scenic roads near the Banff golf course. On the way we came upon the following sunlit scene guaranteed to warm a cold February day.
At this spot I felt pleasant sunlight warm my skin. Mild, fragrant breezes feathered past. It was hard to leave the beauty of this wonderful place.

On another day we hiked on a magical trail at Lake Louise, probably my favorite place in the whole world! We have been there twice, the first time in 1991, and then once more in 2007. Each time we were lucky to have lovely sunny days. The hiking trail starts in front of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel and ends high among receding glaciers. Look at these stunning scenes along the lake near the beginning of the trail.
If this trail doesn't beckon, I don't know what does! As the trail approached distant glaciers it got narrow and rocky.
Eventually, the landscape opened to the following panoramic scene. (Click on the image to see a larger view.)
At the trail's endpoint we viewed a dramatic glacier while struggling to keep upright on a scree-covered slope.
Looking back from this high trail terminus we could see the lake, the distant hotel near our starting point, and the bare ski runs of the Lake Louise Ski Resort.
A few hours of return hiking brought us back to this exquisite spot in front of the hotel. What a magnificent sight!
When this photo was taken, conditions were absolutely perfect - perfect temperature, perfect humidity, perfect sunshine, at the end of a perfect hike on a perfect day. I wanted the moment to last forever. With strong emotion and teary eyes I turned away, realizing I'll probably never return to this special place again.

Nothing in my experience has ever topped the Lake Louise hike, but we had another good hike a few days later at Mount Edith Cavell. A rough hiking trail there rises above a glacial melt pond.
The very top of the trail was inaccessible, blocked by snow even in early July, but we still saw some pretty alpine scenes along the way.
This marmot posed majestically against a mountain backdrop.
The glacial melt pond was on display below the trail.
Angel Glacier could also be seen hanging on the mountain above the melt pond.
The day was cool and partly cloudy during the Mount Edith Cavell hike, but still warmer than most days in February. There were more wonderful hikes ahead on our 2007 trip. I'll relive those in my next post.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Annabelle's Happy Universe

Annabelle in Space

My granddaughter, Annabelle, has joined her sister, Sophie, in our solar system.
Annabelle lives in a very small universe at the moment, but she is very happy to be here.
Someday, Annabelle, I hope you will see the stars. Your Dad and Papa will help.

People say I'm crazy doing what I'm doing
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin
When I say that I'm o.k. well they look at me kind of strange
Surely you're not happy now you no longer play the game

People say I'm lazy dreaming my life away
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me
When I tell them that I'm doing fine watching shadows on the wall
Don't you miss the big time boy you're no longer on the ball

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go

John Lennon