No seasonal affective disorders here, just a brief return to winter. On this last day of April, a quiet Monday, when most of the skiers have gone home and the golfers, mountain bikers, hikers, and fly fishers have not yet arrived, we took advantage of the solitude to venture up into the Kananaskis Country, south of Canmore, climbing to an elevation of 1724 meters (5600 ft), where winter was in full force yet at the Kananaskis Lakes, which won’t begin to fill with snow melt for many weeks yet.
We chose not to bring our bicycle on this trip, figuring the bike trails would not yet be open. Well, we were partly right. Although there is an extensive trail system throughout Kananaskis Country, some trails are closed to bicycles, as seen here, and some are just closed, anyway, along with many roads, services, and all the campgrounds.
We had set out for the day up Alberta Highway 40, which was still closed for the winter about 50Km up the valley. After a short hike for views of the lakes, we headed back, following the GPS, which pointed out the shortest route back was via the Spray Lakes, most of which was unpaved, but, for the first 50 Km or so, was very wide and relatively smooth and empty of traffic.
The scenery was great, even though visibility was low.
Despite having dropped quite a bit in altitude, the lakes were still frozen, and we were getting quite close to town. At the dam at the head of the main reservoir, the road narrowed and deteriorated, and, more ominously, quit descending, until we came to Whitemans Pond, perched on the edge of a cliff, 400 meters (1300 ft) directly above our resort. The narrow gravel road turned sharply left across the face of the cliff and descended at a double-digit grade. Suffice it to say that, had we chosen this route outbound to the high country, we would not have attempted the journey. As it was, we were within 5Km of town and no turn-arounds, so we plummeted down the slope, transmission screaming in low gear (but, to her credit, the Nice Person, white-knuckled in the infelicitous downward-view seat, was not–screaming, that is).
Meanwhile, between adventures in the wilderness, work goes on for the Unix Curmudgeon. Email correspondence tended, files uploaded, advice rendered, and life goes on. Hmmm, wonder where to go tomorrow on coffee break?