Mountain Winter Wonderland

I think I mentioned yesterday something-something about unpredictable weather in the mountains. It snowed all night here and we woke up to an ankle-deep blanket of fresh mountain powder.

Of course, the highways home are going to be terrible. Gah!

But as far as a morning walk went, the dog was over the moon to bound through the snow drifts and I took about a hundred beautiful photos from the panoramic vista near the hotel.

It’s a shame we didn’t bring any skis!

Local Adventures: Social Distancing at Spray Lakes

International travel is still something that hasn’t quite come back to normal, but fortunately we happen to live in a province of Canada that has it’s share of tourist destinations.

We’re spending some more there time over spring break returning to the spot where we took our first local pandemic weekend getaway back in July of 2020.

for whatever one photo is worth:

We had gone for a drive.

Kananaskis Provincial Park is a sprawling mountain nature preserve on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, touching the foothills and playing peekaboo with the city of Calgary just a few twists of the highway away.

There are thousands of kilometers of hiking trails wending their way through bear country and hundreds of lakes, rivers, streams, waterfalls and spectacular mountain scenes speckle the landscape.

You can see a respectable sampling of it by driving for a bit, then hiking for a while, then driving some more. Our ultimate goal was to drive the full loop around the hundred and fifty kilometers (give or take) back to our hotel. The route led past a number of stops, from a trailhead for a full morning strenuous hike to a couple spots where we could step out of the car for a few photos and snack at a nearby picnic table.

Sparrowhawk Day Use Area fell into the latter category.

A small ten-car parking lot was virtually empty as we pulled off the gravel road. A five minute wander down to the shores of the Spray Lake Reservoir led us passing by an eerily quiet assortment of empty picnic tables and cold campfire pits. On a summer day like this in any other year there would have been cars lined up along the road for lack of parking, and dozens of motor-less recreational boats exploring the lake. The din of families enjoying this place would have hidden the absolute stillness with which we were instead greeted.

We walked along the shore for a while The kid skipped some stones into the still water. A canoe, far across the water, almost tracing the distant shore, was the only human movement besides us.

I took some photos of the lake, and this one too, looking North towards where the dam sits, up past the bend and at the foot of those faraway mountains. The water almost like glass in the late morning calm.

The ultimate in socially distanced places where no one else seemed to even exist.