Alberta through my eyes

Colin and I have been in Alberta since May 2, 2016.  We have hiked deep into the mountains, across the golden prairies and down through moon like coulees.  I can't fully express in words, or photography, the beauty, diversity and character of Southern Alberta and the Rockies.  I write a descriptive paragraph then find it doesn't do the grandness of mountains or the colour of glacial lakes justice.  Nor can I express the depth of spiritual connection I feel among the hoodoos of the Blackfoot sacred site of Writing On Stone or upon reaching a ridge after an 850 meter uphill hike and looking down into the valley on the other side.  So here is a simple list of words, adjectives, phrases and places that just touch on the splendour and character of this province. Alberta is more than just the stereotypical controversial tar sands, oil, donkey heads, guns and hunting. aboriginals, alpine meadows bear spray, bighorn sheep, badlands, berries, Blackfoot, bison, Banff, big sky (not only Montana) cactus, coulee, camels, coal mining, Cochrane – where the west is now, cows, continental divide dinosaur bones, Drumheller, deer, diverse landscapes and nature, Dinosaur Provincal Park elk, erratics, erosion fossils, farming, fishing, foothills, flat, Frank Slide glaciers, geology, gravel roads, goats, grizzley bears, grain mills in railway towns hoodoos, horses, hay bales, horizon, history, hail, hot springs, Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump ice age, inland sea, ice-field, Icefield Parkway, intense sunshine Jasper Kananaskis lakes, lodgepole pine tree, lightening, Lake Louise, lush mountains, mining, mother bears and cubs, Milk River, magical Napi, Niitsitapi, National Parks open, Okotos, Oldman Dam Provincial Park prairies, popcorn, pick-up trucks, pronghorn, peaks, pictographs, petroglyphs, prehistoric quiet serene scared sites rattlesnakes, railroads, RVs, Rockies, rivers, rain, rolling hills, Royal Tyrrel Dinosaur Museum sharing the land with nature, squares, Siksikaitsitapi, Sweet Pine Hills view, semi arid trains, tipis, thunderstorms cracking, tornados theatening, tranquil turquoise lakes up, uphill, ungulates valleys, vast wind, windmills, wildflowers, wildlife, wheat, Writing On Stone, waterfalls, Waterton Lakes xtraordinary "yo bears, hikers, coming through" clap clap, yellow canola fields brilliantly glowing zigzagging switchbacks trails back and forth up up up 🙂 If you don't know why I put a word in the list (like camels)...google it, in some cases you'll be amazed!

Blog – Miami and Florida to Alberta

20160424-_DSC9416 Travel This update is a bit retro.  We traveled about 6000 km in 30 days from Florida to Alberta so I simply had no time to put material together, although we certainly collected a lot of experiences and photographs to fill many blogs!  Here is the condensed version. Miami Florida to Alberta Photo Galleries Art Deco (South Beach, Miami) Miscellaneous South 2 – A few shots taken in various places in the South (Florida and Alabama). Retired Citadel – Fort Morgan, Alabama.  Built to protect.  Decommissioned.  Now picturesque. A Walk on a Nebraska Hwy – A morning photo walk sums up characteristics of the west. Devils Tower – This incredible land formation is a sacred site for the Lakota and many other tribes that have a connection to the area.  Truly a place of wonder. Violated – In a forest in Nebraska we came across what I feel to be a disrespectful hunting site.  I took these pictures to express the violation of these lives and to honour them as well. Westward – A few photographs of the characteristics of the west in landscape and history:  the last known unaltered Pony Express relay station, three pioneer landmarks (Chimney,  Courthouse and Jail Rocks), Little Bighorn Battlefield and Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills. Added new photographs to:  Beach Craft (first 5), Oceanside  (first 8), Southeast Birds and a Lizard (first 7 the one of the lizard), Forestside (first 5) For more on our journey and stunning photography, visit Colin's website 🙂

Even More North

Eagle Canyon Hideaway to Cochrane, AB - Google Maps First, my heart and thoughts are with those who have been affected by the fires in Fort McMurray. Colin and I arrived back in Canada a few days ago. But we are still in the West...Alberta!  We'll roam around Alberta for about 6 months and then head south again.  Despite some wintry weather that caused twists and turns in our plans, we still made it to Devils Tower, WY, (amazing) and to Deadwood, MT, but not to Yellowstone.  A bout of hail in Nebraska and a storm front coming up from the south sent us running to Canada quicker than we wanted.  Our first stop in Alberta?  Milk River, just over the border, with a visit to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park.  Starting tomorrow, weather permitting, we will spend a few days at Dinosaur Provincial Park for some ancient "wild west" history! I have lots of travel and RV living stories from our journey North which I will post soon...like the story of driving off with the trailer's folding steps still down... 🙂 Happy Mother's Day too!

North

Larry and Penny Thompson Park to Eagle Canyon Hideaway - Google Since April 2, 2016 we have been edging our way north...in a very westerly manner (looks like we are trying to avoid going North, doesn't it 🙂 ).  ETA in Canada:  a couple of days into May.   Our north westerly meandering has taken us unexpectedly to the starting point of the Pony Express and jumping off point of the Oregon, California and Mormon trails traveled by pioneers heading west in the 1800s.  So, we decided to follow the general direction of the historical trails and we have learned a lot of history stopping at interpretive sites and landmarks along the way.  Our next stop:  the famous landmark Chimney Rock, a symbol of the great migration west. Before reaching Canada we are planning on going to Devils Tower National Monument, the infamous town of Deadwood (a wild west town in the late 1800s) and possibly Yellowstone National Park.  Tonight, we are in the area of Brule, Nebraska, nestled in a small campground surrounded on three sides by rolling hills and facing Lake McConaughy.

Blog – Everglades National Park

  Travel Everglades National Park was a really special place.  We lived there for two weeks and loved every moment, despite the mosquitoes.  Several things we did in the Everglades left an impression on me and I have included my journal entries describing those experiences.  I have also added my journal entry for our drive from Titusville to the Everglades...it was one of "those" travel days.  I laugh...now. But we did take it in stride at the time anyway.  Read about our time in the Everglades National Park. RV Living In some blogs I have talked about leveling the trailer with leveling blocks (and we even did it in the dark in the Everglades). So, here is Leveling the Trailer 101. Photo Galleries I have three galleries from the Everglades. Everglades Wildlife Everglades Scenery Nike Missile Base

Blog – Titusville, FL

untitled-1 Travel Here is my Titusville update.  I am only behind five stops now:  Everglades National Park, Miami and three one-nighters in three different states parks on our way to Alabama.  To read my Titusville update and see my small Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge gallery, click on the roseate spoonbill above 🙂 Colin is more up-to-date with his galleries than I am.  See his fabulous Florida photographs, including Miami and South Beach. RV Living In different posts I have talked about hoses for sewer and fresh water and surge protectors.  To put the utility setup for a trailer in perspective, go to Utility Set Up 101 for a picture and a short description.  

Photos – St. Augustine area

  Beach Craft - The beach's craft is in its ebb and flow. Birds - I am not an expert wildlife photographer but I enjoyed the process of capturing these scenes. Sand Sketches - Magical sketches in the sand by nature.  Each picture speaks to me.  I'd love to know what you see is each. Wind Craft - The wind's craft is in its breath. I added a few pictures to the gallery Miscellaneous South 1 as well.