Blog.

Another Adventure Brought To You By Paul.

I'm a pretty strong believer that there should be people in your life who break your comfort zones on a frequent basis. Now the majority of my friends consistently create these scenarios in my life, and I’m not complaining, but Paul tends to do this more than most. The images below are from our 'short 2km hike to a gorgeous hot spring' that we did at the beginning of winter. Now if you’re familiar with any of my other escapades with Paul, you’ll know that his descriptions of difficulty and distance leave much to be desired. Immediately, I should have known to double the distance and maybe even triple it. In addition to the drastically undermined length of this hike, I should have really taken into consideration the difficulty when he was packing long rope and seemingly over preparing for a basic hike. I mean judging by his description of the end goal being a hot spring I just assumed any city girl wanting a new Instagram photo could easily navigate their way to this location. In one way it’s accurate because there is a pretty well-defined trail. It isn't until we reached the saddle between the two mountains where I really started to contemplate the simplicity of Paul’s description.

As we stoically stood, catching our breath, the arduous next few kilometres were right in from of us. Due to the immense amount of wind, the paths from previous people hiking to the hot spring were completely covered. We waited for a few fellow hikers on the trail to pass by so we could proceed along the uncomfortably steep trail that was sheltered from the wind. We wrapped around the corner that you can see Paul and Celine posing on when the wind really decided to escalate my trepidation. The four of us hesitantly made our way along the side of the snow-covered shale and then Sam (Paul's wife) slipped and began sliding down. She managed to dig her feet into the icy snow to slow her decent but we were all stunned. In the exact same spot Celine proceeded to do the exact same thing and then I think Paul might have just done it for fun. Regardless all three of them were not 50 feet further down the mountainside than I was and to their fortune, a little closer to our destination.

After walking a few more kilometres since the saddle, we arrived at the hot spring without any additional company. I didn't get in the water due to some sort of phobia of being wet for non-utilitarian purposes but it was exceptional being able to observe a serene and relatively unknown landscape. After everyone had time to soak in the warm waters and dry off in the relentlessly cold wind, we began hiking back for home.

Just this past long weekend we had the pleasure of hanging out with Paul and Sam again where more adventures occurred. I'll be posting about in the upcoming weeks so thanks again for reading and it would mean a lot if you shared any of my work with someone you think would enjoy joining in the journey.

The Voyage to Spirit Island pt 3.

We stood semi-paralyzed watching the bear only a few meters away. Both of us were on the verge of pushing away from the dock to watch the bear peruse our goods. As it glanced towards us in somewhat of a contemplative manner it merely swayed its head back to the earth and meandered onwards. Relief riffled through me as our undesired company made it welcomingly clear we were uninteresting hosts on our humble dock. We stood there and watched the bear stroll up to a log about 20 meters away and effortlessly flip it over to start eating what I assumed were insects. I’m sure after all these cliffhangers you're just waiting for something catastrophic to occur and I feel as though it would be a disservice not to write about one. With that being said, I think this might be one of those stories that ends exceptionally well.

While we watched the bear, the sun still rising, calm ripples in the water and the looming mountains I couldn’t help feel connected to our Creator. Not only were we safe, comfortable and in awe of the view but to direct the admiration and thankfulness to our divine Creator is something I think people from a strict materialist view miss out on. Our ability to acknowledge creativity is something I find fascinating and of course, sceptics could simply say creativity is a human assigned attribute yet I’m doubtful. The scope of what people find beautiful seems so diverse that if it were just humanly assigned there should be something that is undeniably the most creative object in existence and testable by science. My desire with each trip is to frame up images that enable people to enter into the awareness of something greater than the material and recognise how they feel when viewing the photo. Reflecting on the significance of things outside of the material world is something our modernist minds desire to remove and alternatively rely solely on soulless, scientific systems.

Patiently, we waited for the light to brush along the treetops of Spirit Island but the angle and clouds were in opposition to our aesthetic yearnings. The final image we made was a panoramic from the dock where arching clouds bridged the gap between mountains. It was the perfect scene to conclude with and begin our arduous paddle back. Exhausted, we monotonously moved through the water with each stroke feeling like we were still stationary. The benefit of starting at night is you couldn't see how slowly you were moving. At one point we saw a rock on top of a mountain and used that as a marker but it wasn't until an hour or more we finally passed it. Each time we looked up that dang ominous rock seemed to taunt us with its' motionless form. Three or four hours passed when we finally reached the shore where we kicked off from 8 hours earlier. Once again thankfulness flooded my body as I stepped onto solid ground, knowing my lungs wouldn't be flooded due to capsizing and that we had just embraced the mercy and majesty presented to us in nature.

This trip happened a little while ago and only now did I feel like I was removed enough to be able to sufficiently write about it. Retelling stories like this is part of completing the photographic narrative that I enjoy sharing so much with all of you. I'd love to hear your comments, see some of your favourite images from the series or even hear about your wild experiences. Thank you for reading and come back next time to find out where we headed next!

First Camping Trip of 2018: Jasper.

     Below are a few photos from our camping trip in Jasper National Park. We spent three nights at Pocahontas campground and went on a few hikes around the area. Our last morning there we  tried out a 10km summit called Sulphur ridge and for the ease of the hike, the views were stunning! I would have loved to camp up there if it was permitted but just getting to look out over the mountains and forest was gratifying enough. Sometimes I think I enjoy the forests more than the mountains, which would make sense since they provided us clean air. I hope you enjoy the photos and have a great week!

Ptarmigan Cirque.

      I'm not sure how I missed posting the images from this hike but lets just call it a throw back Thursday! By far Ptarmigan Cirque was one of the most rewarding hikes I've been on for how relatively easy the trail was. Once you get to the plateau there are gorgeous scenes in every direction. Not only were the views on point, but the people on the hike are what make the day even more memorable. Celine, Caleb, and Nic are all so much fun hiking with and spending quality time around them is revitalizing! Currently Caleb and Nic are down south and it's been quite the adjustment not being able to hang out with them on a regular basis like we were able to at Prairie. Needless to say, I miss them and our other friends down south immensely with hopes of seeing them soon! 

I'd love to hear where some of your favourite hikes are and what the views are like. I'll probably be taking a break from mountains for a while and begin posting a few of the many sunset drives I've gone on since moving back to Bonnyville.