Due to Covid-19 we were unable to travel abroad this spring. Instead, we focused our attention on places near home: the prairies of central Alberta, the mountains in western Alberta, and the lakes of southeastern British Columbia.
Red Deer River above Drumheller
In early July over the course of three days, we paddled the Red Deer River from McKenzie Crossing to Bleriot Ferry. The river was running high (300 m3/s) and the paddling was easy.
Lunch stop, watching a group go by.
Red Deer River through Dinosaur Park
We ran the Red Deer River through Dinosaur Park in early September, over the course of three days. At low flow (25 m3/s) we did the slalom around sandbars.
The first night we were treated to a spectacular sunset.
Our canoe, while camping downstream of Steveville.
Stopping on a sandbank.
It was close to a full moon, and the local animals were busy around our tent. There was a cacophony of howling coyotes, honking geese, and beavers slapping their tails on the water’s surface. I enjoyed it.
South Saskatchewan River
In mid September we canoed the South Saskatchewan River from the Grand Forks (Grassy Lake) to Echo Dale (Medicine Hat). Again the flow was low (about 75 m3/s) requiring careful dodging of channel rocks in places. We spent four days and three nights on the river.
On our second day out there was not a breath of wind, and the water reflected the badlands like a mirror.
Diana setting up camp.
Looking upriver. The yellow dot in the middle of the picture is our tent.
There were lots of stars at night.
Paddling down the river.
We spotted some pronghorn antelope while driving back to the put-in the retrieve a vehicle. Antelope are funny-looking animals.
In June and July we visited Buffalo Lake several times, staying Diana’s family cabins.
Here is Stettler.
Barn in a field of canola, near Trochu.
Corrals and cattle chute.
This statue of the northern pike is a new addition to the village of Rochon Sands at Buffalo Lake. It is very life-like. We really like it.
Organic ribeye steak, roasted potatoes, homegrown lettuce, and a bottle of Cabernet. Dinner at the cabin overlooking the lake. Life is good!
Diana swims in Buffalo Lake.
I made several daytrips to Kananaskis for hiking. Here is upper Canyon Creek.
Hiking a ridge, upper Canyon Creek.
This pika peeked around a corner.
View from Pocaterra Ridge.
We had a cold spring, and the snow took a long time to melt. This glacier lily was still blooming in mid July.
Wildflowers on Forgetmenot Mountain.
Herbert Lake, reflecting the Louise group.
Crowfoot Glacier and Bow Lake, viewed from Helen Lake trail.
I spotted some people paddling on Bow Lake.
Upper Waterfowl Lake. Mistaya Lake is in the distance.
Howse Peak, Mount Chephren, and Chephren Lake.
Cirque Lake (right), Mistaya Lake (left), and upper Waterfowl Lakes. Banff’s glacial lakes have a wonderful cyan colour.
Indian Paintbrush. More wildflower pictures here.
I attempted to photograph comet Neowise from Scotsman’s Hill in Calgary. The idea was to image the comet above the city skyline. However the comet was far too dim to be able to compete with the city lights, even with lots of image processing. As such I just took this blue-hour shot. Later on that evening I spotted the comet from Nose Hill as a faint smudge.
In August we spent a week house-sitting my parents’ house near Kimberley. It was hot, and we spent a lot of time swimming in the local lakes. We picked a different lake for just about every day of the week.
Panning for gold on the Wildhorse River.
We found a few dust-sized flecks of gold. Next time I try this I will bring a loupe or magnifying glass. We did not strike it rich, but we had a lot of fun.
Barn in Yahk.
Cooling off in Premier Lake.
We spent a lot of time watching hummingbirds at the feeder. More bird pictures here.