A skiff of snow last night. This morning blue skies. In the morning Willow and I headed for the Columbia River below Lake Windermere. It’s a clear trickle at this time of year. A Kingfisher gave us the gears for our intrusion.
Wedge after wedge of Canadian Geese flew overhead north to south. Willow paid them no mind, concerning herself instead, with mice in the long reeds and wading the river. I on the other hand, watched intently, taking a few photos while my hands got cold.
We have gone from +8 to -8° in the past 24 hrs. The cool weather is a gift especially when it is accompanied by blue skies.
Had the privilege to go hiking with Ashley from Manitoba and Kevin and Ashley from Scotland. They let me take them into the backcountry for a hike. Hiking is just about done for the season with snow coming on, but it’s the only day we could all get off from the resort.
It was -14°c in the shade when we started out. Kevin and Ashley from Scotland said that is a cold day back home. Ashley from Manitoba, on the other hand, didn’t bat an eye.
We had about a foot of snow to start that stuck festively to the boughs of the trees. We climbed quickly on a broken trail, catching a glimpse of a moose where the path opened into a meadow. Unlucky for us it didn’t stick around.
The rise kept us warm. We marvelled at the rock cliffs catching the sun and cheered each other on to reach the warmth. Finally after a bit of a slog we reached the edge of the timber. The sun didn’t disappoint.
We stopped for a few pictures and admired the view and discussed our plans to go to a small lake in a basin to the west, or head up higher. The lake seemed out of the question. Breaking trail in the snow while losing elevation seemed counterintuitive. On the other hand, the ridge, with the wind hardening or blowing the snow off the rocks, seemed not so bad, although steep.
We slogged for awhile in the deep snow until we were finally out of the trees and walking became much easier. I encouraged my young companions to lead the way as I knew I was holding them up.
We rustled a flock of Snow Buntings, not yet entirely white. They flew overhead giving us a thrill with their small chirps. Ashley said, she thought at first they were falling leaves but realized there was no trees.
A quick snack and some photos up top and we were on our way back down. If it were me alone I would have backtracked on the same way we came. But they are young, and apt to take the road less travelled, so why go back over familiar territory.
Instead we dropped off the ridge into a steep draw directly above where we parked the truck. It was knee deep snow on the shady side that would have been better tackled with skis. We hopped, skipped, slid and waded our way back to the truck, boots full of snow, happy for the sunny day.
Was up the pass this morning. Lisa and I got higher with the week of warm weather and snow melt. The Calypso Orchids have stems, yet no blooms. Next weekend for sure. It’s still early.
The garden is all up. Considering I usually don’t plant until next week, we are ahead of the game. Next week I’ll plant the beans and put in the tomato and zucchini plants. Lisa and I are looking forward to a good feed of greens.
The rhubarb is up and ready to be eaten. The sun is shining still coming up slanted and going down so. It’s a good time of year.
Lisa has encouraged me to look back at some of the photos taken in the past. I rarely do this, content with looking at what was taken most recently. She said sometimes I might miss a good one. These two were taken on a wonderful trip along Palliser Pass last summer.
A bunch of coulees, bluffs, creek bottoms, waterfalls and draws, trees scattered like match sticks hither and yon. Fire lay it bare, exposing the mountains for what they are; slides, rock, coves, caves, ridge and a bunch of hiding spots – just ask the grizzlies and goats.
You don’t want to be lost in it. That’s for sure. It’s better to stay on top then be wondering in the dark, not a star in the sky, only the dim moon shining through falling snow, silver here and there where the water shows.
Even best instincts aren’t enough. Nothing coming good or bad. The fire and deep snow doesn’t care, nor does the burnt snag falling to the forest floor give a damn if it’s heard or not.