It's been a crazy week here in my world, so it has taken me a while get these photos posted. I hate it when the real world gets in the way.
A couple of weeks ago I was still testing a digital camera, and I wound up playing hooky for the day and going for a drive in the mountains. The weather was just starting to turn nice after a *lot* of late season snow, and now when I look at the photos I can't believe they're only two weeks old....
Anyway, I drove west of the city and took the Kananaskis turnoff at Highway 40. The scenery changes from rolling foothills to the Rocky mountains in the blink of an eye. Only a few minutes and I was at Barrier Lake Dam. I think this is now one of my Favorite Places in the World:
It's so beautiful, but what's amazing is how much snow is still around compared to April of last year. Last year the ice shards from the lake were washing up on the beach and looked just fascinating.
From here I drove further south on Highway 40. It's so stunning there, sometimes it's tough to pay full attention to the road:
I pulled over at Nakiska, one of the ski hills used in the 1988 Olympics.
Right underneath the sign, I found these dried flowers from last season. They must have frozen while still in bloom (I don't remember an early frost, but the weather is a lot more severe out this way). They blended in perfectly with the dried grass, but still kept their form:
Highway 40 eventually goes through the Highwood Pass (at 2,227 meters/7310 feet, this is the highest paved pass in Canada), but the Pass is closed from mid-December to mid-June. I also wanted to make it out to Banff on this day, so I figured it was time to turn around. I found a particularly amazing spot where there were astounding views in all directions. I literally stood in one spot and snapped photos of what was around me.
South -- check out how white the snow at the top is... when clouds were nearby, you couldn't tell where the snow ended and the sky began:
East -- directly across the highway from me:
North -- the snow always looks so crisp against a deep blue sky:
West -- if there's a downside to being this deep in the mountains, it's that you don't see the bad weather until it's almost on top of you. This was another hint that it was time to get back to the Trans-Canada:
That said, it's no hardship to drive out.... amazing drive coming and going:
I'll continue the journey on my next post....