Ok I know it is February already but I am going to jump back to January for a bit here. In January I got out of the house on my own without the kids on 2 different days!! 2 WHOLE DAYS!! I don't know about you guys but that is pretty big for me! My husband often tells me to take a day to myself but I just never actually DO it!! I tend to just think, what the hell am I going to do by myself all day, then move on and not make the time to go out on my own. Sometimes I feel guilty even taking a couple of hours to myself, thinking about taking a whole day seems crazy and can feel almost overwhelming.
My first trip to Jasper was a solo trip with just me and our dog Mikko. I had a really hard time deciding where to go. I am not an over-planner for most things so I decided just to go down the Icefields parkway and see where I ended up. I drove, sang, drank a whole coffee while it was warm, and enjoyed not having to stop for anyone to pee! I ended up stopping near Athabasca falls. While making the images that follow I was laying on my stomach with my camera and tripod in the river and Mikko sitting beside me on his leash. It was so peaceful, it was a Monday, and I hadn't seen a vehicle since Jasper. After about 30 minutes I heard a truck on the highway and then a door close. When I turned I saw a Conservation officer walking towards me. As it turns out she could not see my camera and so from her vantage point she just saw someone lying face down by the river, with a dog sitting beside them. I think she was pretty happy to see me stand up!!
I was a little over-excited and wanting to get to so many places that I didn't spend long in any spot because I had so many ideas of where I COULD go. So for the rest of the day, I skipped around from spot to spot. I probably should have sat and looked around a bit more at each location and not felt like I needed to go to 100 different places in one day but, you can only learn, right! I also realized how much more time I can take to actually look around and compose my shot when I don't have the girls running everywhere and distracting me. Jasper was windy but it got to +10 that day and I enjoyed the warm weather. It was so nice to just be alone with my camera and my dog and not worrying about anything else. At least I thought we were alone until Mikko started huffing and I looked around and saw some bighorn sheep. We kept a good distance away and got a couple of pictures and then left them alone. Every time I run into wildlife I wish I had a longer lens, but oh well, one day!
One of my biggest frustrations, when I go to Jasper, is how close people get to the wildlife. Once we saw some people less than 10 meters from 2 bear cubs on the side of the road and the momma was very close as well. I was so mad!!! I made Nick roll down the window so I could yell at them to back up from the bears as we drove past. We reported the incident as soon as we got to Maligne lake. Mikko is a Karelian Bear dog and is used to barking at wildlife but he did a very good job of not barking and just laying in front of me and patiently waiting for me to get my pictures and leave.
Now on to my second trip to Jasper!!
Lucky for those of us who are part of the Edson Photography Club some of the restrictions about outdoor gatherings here in Alberta were changed so it was decided we could do a club outing!! We all hopped in our vehicles and convoyed to Jasper. It had been decided we would head to a spot named "The glory hole". This always gets smiles and giggles when talked about during club meetings. I had never been, so I was excited to see this much talked and laughed about location. Now I cannot wait to go back! We wandered around the area for a couple of hours everyone doing their own thing and yet it was so nice to be together and out of the house.
The Maligne Canyon ice walk is something I have never done and was excited to have a good little hike through such a beautiful area. We were there on a Saturday so there was a fair amount of people in the area and I did not stop to make a bunch of images but I will be going back! Honestly, I think any solo trips I do will likely be on a Monday. Mondays are where it's at in Jasper!
So little side story here, my dad teases me every time I am leaving the ranch asking what I think I am forgetting this time. Every time he teases me I think "Nothing, I double-checked I am sure I have everything". I ALWAYS forget something...sometimes small like a sock, but sometimes it's my kids' skates or my glasses or in the case of our last trip to the ranch.... my kids' skates AND my glasses. I don't need to wear my glasses all the time so I often take them off and forget about them. So my glasses are at the ranch and driving in the dark without my glasses gives me a headache. After the Ice walk, I had a pretty good headache, so I decided to run up the road grab one quick shot then head home before dark. I said bye to the photo club crew and hit the road.
As it turned out it wasn't one quick shot it was many shots and I ended up playing in the creek for over an hour then sticking around until sunset and driving home in the dark. Time can really fly when you are playing in the water with your camera.
I think my next mountain trip will be with the family and I am sure I will have just as much fun
If you are a fan of any of these images and looking to add some art to your walls visit my print store the image you like is not in there feel free to contact me and I will add it for you.
I have a variety of work in my store and I would love it if you took a look.