Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Highway 66 -- December 9, 2007

Get yer kicks, on Route 66 (C'mon, it had to be said).

With the Highway 66 gates at Elbow Falls closed for the season, N and I decided to take advantage of the closed road and hike along the highway itself. In May it had been a fun alternative while we waited for the gates to open, and on days when we don't have the ability to drive too far out of the city, and we're just not in the mood to hike Fullerton Loop or Diamond T again, Highway 66 provides a nice change and a little exercise.

And for the initial part of the hike, a lot of exposure to the wind, as we were to discover.

This close to winter solstice, our meeting time was being pushed back later and later in the morning, for fear of not enough sun. This morning was no different. The bonus to driving out at the crack of dawn is seeing the sunrise and spotting wildlife along the highway. This particular morning I was lucky enough to spot a moose in the middle of the highway. He saw me and took off, so a picture was not in the cards.

But I did get this shot of the sunrise along Highway 66:

Hiking along the highway didn't yield any unique sights this time around, partially because, well, it's the highway, and also because about ten minutes into the hike, the clouds started rolling in. It was clear when we started. Less than 30 minutes in, it looked like this:

We made it to the first roadside exhibition/attraction/display. At that point the road was solid ice and the storm was worse. Normally, this is a great view of the beginning of the Rockies. This is what we saw:

Believe it or not, there are very large mountains in that photo.

We headed back from there. By the time we got back to the cars, the sky was clear again.

Calgary did not see a flake of snow that day. Crazy weather....