As insight grows,
Enter life’s stream
Seek calm waters.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I borrowed this picture from Wikipedia, but a goal for next summer is to hike into Berg Lake, camp, and bring back pictures.
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.
Kathy and I are back on the road this morning. It will be Monday before I post again. I disconnect to reconnect. I feel on the edge at this time of the week and summer. I go back to work next Wednesday and, for the first time in my career, I am not looking forward to going back. I am on the edge and find faith in something other than me.
Brings me to the edge.
On the edge.
Instability dances with stability
Harsh with the gentle.
Quiet the self
Hear the soul’s gentle words.
A still space reveals wisdom
A spirit of Faith.
Accept hands proffered in similar Faith.
I was sure I had visited Sunwapta Falls before, but, when we got there, it realized otherwise. Sunwapta River flows from Athabasca Glacier and the falls plunge over a hanging valley left by receding glaciers about 8000 years ago.
The path down to the overview above the falls is unique with the tree roots playing an integral role in the stairway. I got closer to the edge than I usually do. Initially, I was going to post a number of pictures, but changed my mind when I looked at this picture taken on my camera by Kathy.
Gnarled it wends
Safely, I gain confidence.
I find a way
Life now fuller, richer
Nature and creation await.
A ray shines down
Lights the path
Shines on each step
Of this ‘highway to heaven.’
The cow elk picture posted yesterday was at the end of our trip to Maligne Canyon. It a challenge for me along the canyon rim with a drop of up to 50 metres. The canyon was an issue for explorers finding their way downstream to the Athabasca River.
This is immediately above the drop into the canyon and the river shows its turbulence already.
The river drops suddenly and its power is obvious. The holes are a product of the swirling water over time.
This is the first part of the canyon and the holes are visible in the top left hand corner of the picture.
The river turns 900 and hollows out the rock wall into a cylinder-like churning machine before roaring down the canyon.
The canyon has six bridges at various locations along the canyon and beyond. Bridge 5 is currently out of commission due to high water. Kathy took this picture from Bridge 1 looking back upstream.
After crossing the bridge, Kathy took this picture. In a particularly harsh environment, the trees are exceptional survivors in places as demonstrated here. This place is probably close to the 50 metres.
As we descended into the canyon, the river began to run slower, but there is evidence of the power of nature over the centuries.
Kathy took this from the 3rd Bridge where our hike ended. The gorge drops again and the river plummets one more time over and around the rocks in its pathway.
The Maligne River flows into the Athabasca below the 6th Bridge. We drove to this bridge and walked to where the rivers converge. We opted to skip the 4th Bridge because we would have turned back due to the closure of some of the trail.
On our way back into Jasper, we made a stop at an overview of the Maligne Canyon. Initially, there was not much to see and we were disappointed. As I walked to the other end of the walled parking lot, this lovely young elk caught my eye.
It took us about five minutes or more to walk carefully closer and not startle this animal. This is her home.
It was a perfect day. We wandered in Jasper, enjoyed great scenery, and I was with my favourite person.
We found the best at the end of the day. I posted a picture of a bull elk on Yellowstone 2005 in May. I took the picture from about 15-20 metres. Today, Kathy duplicated this with a picture of a cow elk chewing her cud. She seemed aware of our presence, but we were quiet and as others joined us in a secluded area she posed. The wall is about 1 metre thick wall and a similar height.
We hiked for two hours in the Valley of Five Lakes and could have spent more time exploring the small lakes. We crossed the Wabasso Creek and its valley before beginning our ascent. What is surprising about this hiking area, is it is only about 10 minutes from the town site.
We had no easy access to the first lake (they are unnamed), but I used the trees to frame the lake and its prettiness. One of the things we noted about all the lakes was the way they mirrored their surroundings.
The second lake mirrors the mountains and trees vividly in shimmering waters below.
The third lake is a deep green and is very deep in the middle. This lake reflected clouds and trees. The green appeared to be algal growth and not from the source of the water.
We could not get a good angle for pictures of the fourth lake, but it was the home of frolicking dragonflies. Kathy captured this one with amazing patience.
We only got glimpses of the fifth lake. Thick foliage and steep banks surrounded it. We tried several different paths but to no avail. One thing along the paths was the frequency of large rocks left by glaciers which formed this valley and its small lakes.
I enjoy Robert Frost’s The Road Less Traveled. As we began our hike, we saw this path and wondered where it went, but stayed on the main path. As we climbed back out of the Valley of Five Lakes we had a choice: go right or go left. We chose right and found ourselves on the path we wondered about almost two hours before. We took the road less traveled. It was a challenging part of the trip physically.
And, at the end,
We emerged at the beginning
At the trail head,
Blue skies gone
Clouds not only threatened;
They delivered a promise
Like our day.