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Tag Archives: Rocky Mountains

Jasper Elk

I traveled the last couple of days and, as I went through Jasper National Park, I came across these two elk. They were just off the side of the highway and have a full rack of antlers.

This one was by himself eating.

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This one was not as cooperative in showing his face.

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The shy one decided the grass was greener over in the other one’s pasture and began to move over.

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The interloper begins to push the original out of his pasture. You could hear the clash of the antlers and the intruder seemed able to push the first one back.

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I was closer to an elk when we were in Yellowstone several years ago. There is a story to the picture I took as I climbed down the embankment into the ditch and a moment later one of the other tourists we were with tumbled down the embankment. I told her it was OK because I thought could run faster than her.

I was probably 50 or more feet away from the ones in Jasper. I was only about 15 feet from the one in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Elk

Logan’s Pass

Logan’s Pass includes the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. When I looked, the view was spectacular and breathtaking.  The park was named for the many glaciers that are part of the landscape and so visible through Logan’s Pass. The glaciers are slowly receding and some estimates suggest they may be gone by mid-Century.

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Looking straight across from the road, you can see the ice and snow almost at eye level and further out is Jackson Glacier. The road is dotted with short barriers and are not very wide.

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The Montana sky is a constant backdrop for the mountains, the ice and snow, and the green in the foreground.

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A person constantly feels like they are on the top of the world here. People refer to Glacier National Park as the Crown of the Continent and closeness to the tops of the mountains is a reason. Waterfalls are often in view.

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Here, there are no real barriers at the edge of the road.

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Kathy took this picture over her shoulder. It shows the switchbacks and curves in the road.

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I enjoy the contrast provided by the grey granite and the white snow and ice. There is stability and, at the same time, instability visible in nature. The granite looks like it forms a stairway to the top of the world.

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Glacier Park Mountains, Glaciers, and Logan’s Pass

Kathy took most of these pictures driving through Logan’s Pass. Glacier National Park is appropriately named. Most of the white spots in the pictures are glaciers or snow pack. There are about 37 glaciers left in the park and most of them are receding or shrinking in size.

We came through the park a later in the summer, but there we saw some of the wildflowers in bloom on the way up Looking Glass Hill overlooking Two Medicine Lake. The mountains and lake serve as a spectacular backdrop. We walked around the lake later.

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This is looking downstream from Running Eagle Falls or Trick Falls. The glacier on the mountain would likely be considered one of the 25 active glaciers in the park. An active glacier is one that is 25 acres or more. Over 90% of the park is wilderness.

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This is Jackson Glacier. Although it does not look very high, it is deceptive. The roads climb well up into the pass and travelers end up closer to the mountain tops.

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This is the tourist stop in Logan’s Pass with the mountains in the background. Parking is at a premium here so we did not get to stop.

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Most of the pictures we took going through the pass were from the car without stopping. Again, the peaks are not much above the road level.

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Waterfalls ribbon the mountainsides as they are constantly fed by the glaciers.

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If you look closely at the picture below, you can see about 3/4 of the way up the road on the left side. It is a slight darkening. The middle of the picture, below the background peak, is basically where the road reaches the summit of Logan’s Pass .

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Glacier Waterfalls

I am fascinated by waterfalls. It could be they offer paradox in their fury and the stillness found in their sources or in the pools that lay at the base of the falls. Glacier National Park offered opportunities to see waterfalls up close and from a distance

We saw this one from the car as we drove through Logan’s Pass. We saw several waterfalls that fell either right on the highway or right beside it. Literally, we shot pictures from the car as we drove. Parking is at a premium throughout the pass.

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I want to give perspective on driving through the pass. This is common with even more pronounced switchbacks in places. I can look out of the car window when there is vegetation along the side of the road, but my fear of heights is paralyzing. I don’t drive these roads. Kathy was a mountain goat in an earlier life and is far more comfortable with this driving.

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We walked in to Running Eagle Falls or Trick Falls. Earlier in the summer and spring, there are two waterfalls caused by spring run off from the snow melt. I copied a picture, which shows the second waterfall above the one in our picture. The link I used rated these falls among the top in the Pacific Northwest.
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We hiked into Avalanche Lake. We took pictures from both ends of the lake. The first picture shows a series of waterfalls coming down from the mountain side. The snow on the mountains is actually in the form of glaciers.

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We hiked around the lake and were able to take a few more pictures. Another hiker told us he tried to get closer, but once he was a few feet into the trees he said it was impassable. You can see in this picture that it does not look far but the underbrush is heavy. The link to Avalanche Lake has some pictures taken by someone who was able to get closer to the base of at least one of the waterfalls. As we got closer, the waterfalls look quite different with more ribbons appearing.

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We were furthest from this waterfall, but the ribbons were clearer as we got closer.

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I took two pictures in Logan’s Pass. This was one. Once we got to the top of the pass, it was less open and I was able to manage a camera shot. It was right beside the highway. I rolled the window down, as there was no parking and took this picture.

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Calm in Turbulence

As insight grows,

Clarity emerges

Wisdom revealed.

Enter life’s stream

Accept turbulence

Seek calm waters.

Drop labels

Cease judgment

Fall awake.

Focus

I keep blurry pictures. They remind me life is not always in sharp focus and there are times to step back, pause, and reflect.

The spirit wearies

A voice from within speaks

Seeks reflective time.

Quietly turn inward

Listen to an inner voice

Seek counsel and wisdom.

Pay homage and celebrate

While pain reveals character

New paths carved into wilderness.

Cherish each moment’s gift

Arrival and departure

Grateful for life.

Mount Robson Provincial Park – British Columbia

We stopped several times in Mount Robson Provincial Park. I find an advantage in most Canadian provincial parks is the accessibility of many of the featured places. Our first stop was at the visitor centre at the base of Mount Robson. We walked a few hundred metres up the Berg Lake Trail. The headwaters of the Robson River are located at the base of the mountain and begin with Robson Glacier. The river runs fast and has many areas where rapids and small waterfalls flow. The colour of the water is a product of the rock particles the glacier scrapes from the bedrock it passes over.

Mount Robson towers above the valley and dominates the skyline. It is not always fully visible, but is still the most imposing feature of this area.

We stopped again at Overlander Falls which is on the Fraser River below its confluence with the Robson. These falls are less spectacular than others we have seen, but even I was able to get down to the viewing area. They are about 10 metres tall and 30 metres wide.

A person realizes the slope of the river when they look at a picture of it below the falls. We captured the blue-green colour of the Fraser closer to its headwaters in these two pictures.

Our next stop was at Mount Terry Fox. Terry Fox is a Canadian hero who began the Marathon of Hope in St. John’s Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 by dipping his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean. He lost the leg to his first battle with cancer and had to stop the marathon on September 14, 1980 near Thunder Bay due to a relapse. He passed away at the age of 23, but left an important legacy for Canadians.

Our last stop was at Rearguard Falls which are at the top of the hill before Tete Jaune Junction.  These falls are quite wide and hard to get good shot from above them. We took this picture at the bottom of the trail and stairs. It was still hard to do justice to the width of the falls.

I was down at the falls level. The provincial parks people built a great set of stairs for the final foray to the bottom for me. I was not getting any closer, but this captured a bit more of the width of the river at this point.

Athabasca Falls August 2012

I posted before about Athabasca Falls, but Kathy and I were there this summer and I thought I would share new pictures.

This is a view looking up river. The river is fairly wide and narrows rapidly at the gorge.

This is a view of the falls plunging into the gorge. According to the signs, the falls create, and recreate their path through the gorge constantly.

Kathy took this from the foot bridge which spans the gorge. I walked across which is a first for me. There are hiking trails on that side of the river that work their way further up-stream.

Kathy took this picture from the bridge to show the rings the water grooved into the wall of the canyon. It is like an old washing machine down there.

We got much closer to the falls on this side of the bridge. I got a much stronger sense of the power of the falls through the sound and the way it shakes the ground on that side.

I walked down these steps which are an old channel for the river and the falls. The water carved a new path and abandoned this one.

On the Road

It was a dreary day when we started home from Prince George, British Columbia but, when traveling in the mountains, that is a dynamic that adds to the view.

Barely on the road, we spotted a bear browsing on the shoulder above the highway about 10-15 metres from the car. We rolled the window down and he posed before disappearing from sight.

mountain peaks peek out

snow almost hidden from view

clouds blur the picture.

valley flowers bloom

richness on nature’s canvas

a soft brush at work.

Mount Robson revealed herself within a cloud-like frame pointing her majesty into the blue sky above. I enjoy taking pictures of Mount Robson when the clouds show something different.

I took this picture of Mount Robson a few days earlier. The white on the mountain is glacier or snow.

Kathy and I hiked a few hundred metres along the Berg Lake trail. We had not done this before, but it is a hike we will attempt next summer. I settled for this shot of Mount Robson which disappears from sight as you move along the path. In the foreground, is the Robson River which has its headwaters on Mount Robson and flows into the Fraser River a few kilometres further down the highway.

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I borrowed this picture from Wikipedia, but a goal for next summer is to hike into Berg Lake, camp, and bring back pictures.

Sunwapta Falls in Jasper

I got closer to these waterfalls then I normally do and they are impressive. I had not visited Sunwapta Falls before, but they offer an incredible view, sound, and event.

This is a view at the top of the falls looking back upstream.

This is the first chute of water over the top of the falls as it shoots through the narrowing of the channel and over the lip of the valley.

A second view of the top of the falls with a tighter shot on the small cave across the gorge.

And then a last view of the river as it flows down the canyon, crashes into the end wall, takes a sharp left, and disappears from view.

Mount Kerkeslin stands guard over the Icefields Parkway between Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls.

Have a great Monday August 27. 2012.

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