Bunchberry Meadows in the winter sun

Seven people came out to hike Bunchberry Meadows after the extended bout of extreme cold weather.

For in Alberta, even when the temperature is -20 Celsius, if the sun is shining on you, it’s nothing to take off the mitts to eat lunch.

The day was refreshing for everyone. Thanks to Carissa for leading the hike.

You can find more photos on Flickr.

Blackfoot Recreation Area: Snow Day Hike

After the bitter temperatures and dark, grey days of the preceding week, we were overjoyed to be on the trails of the Blackfoot Staging Area under a clear blue sky. Even as the day warmed up, the snow was still cold and crisp, making it especially fine for cross country skiers.

Eight of us arrived at the Waskehegan Staging Area—seven hikers and one skier as the tail-ender. We managed to keep together for the whole 12 km, with the hikers stepping carefully around or between the set tracks, and Brad, the skier, timing his swoops downhill.

We didn’t know it, but the park was celebrating Snow Day. We were lucky to be able to have our lunch in Meadow Shelter, which was heated by a crackling fire in the wood stove. And at the end of the hike, we were even more grateful that we had gone the whole distance, so that we could reward ourselves with hot chocolate at the parking lot.

Thanks to John for leading the hike.

You can find more pictures on Flickr.

Devon Hike: A Peaceful Escape

Nine people came out to hike the Devon trails.

The starting point was the North Saskatchewan River, which continues to rush like it’s spring. The river seems a long way from freezing up, even though it is now January. (Go North Saskatchewan River!)

Walking through the steep forested ravine is an experience that always makes us feel small—the side slopes and the trees are gigantic. The ravine also gives us a feeling of peacefulness and sanctuary—as if we have dipped into a crack in the earth to escape the noise and distraction of urban life and everyday concerns.

 

The town’s trail at the north end, above the golf course, is now a Trans Canada Trail. It’s well used and frequented by squirrels and birds. This squirrel, holding a hazelnut in its mouth, stayed put while we snapped picture after picture.

There are more photos on Flickr.