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Wanderlust cured’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 29 Mar 2009

Location: Kananaskis, Canada

Map"Do you think we should be driving in this" was the comment on the drive to the Kananaskis River (the Kan) on Sunday. I stayed very calm and said 'we are going to be fine, I have driven in snow before'. haha, all the while I am thinking quietly that I have one of my closest friends life in my hands as well as the lives of two gorgeous dogs, both having separate owners to deal with if anything were ever to happen to either of them. The snow when we left Canmore was a drizzle - the snow as we drove towards Kananaskis was blizzard conditions, pure white haze, I was going slow on Hwy 1, and although I would have thought this to my advantage it was when the big cars and trucks continued to fly by and our little hire car was showered with fresh powder making visibility basically nil that I started to rethink my genius plan of walking along the river with the dogs, seems easy enough back home! I think we passed 3 snow ploughs which were a constant hum just to keep the highway clear, there was one car spun out on the drive there, so I was told, I was not to take my eyes off the road for even a second.

What was to come was beyond anything I could have dreamed up, the normal car park had been cut off from the snow plough building up a metre high wall to the entrance, so we drove a little farther and pulled into the information centre to ask how to walk to the Kan, 'just down the end of the car park there is a walkway', so off we went, a leash each, into the pine forest. With a smile on my face we trudged through 2 feet of snow, sometimes more, sometimes less as the snow continued to come down. The dogs were let off once we were out of sight and the joy that they both have belting through the snow makes me laugh just thinking of it. Wide mouths, grabbing bites of snow as they run past, completely covered in white powder, running forward and back to make sure we are still on our way and barking up the trees as the squeaks from the squirrels taunt them from above.
The snow rested on our heads and shoulders and the smile I had on my face was probably one of my widest, I know how lucky I am to be here and this day, in its pristine whiteness with our four sets of tracks the only ones in the snow cemented why I spent so long saving and getting myself over here. I know perfection is a perception, but this is my perfection.

The walk back towards the car I spotted a fantastic photo opportunity which was too good to resist, so off I ran, towards the river to photograph the wide expanse of river lined with white pines. I was powering along through the two feet of snow when 4 feet of it suddenly appeared...or maybe the big hole in the ground helped? Belinda was back up on the track and all she could see was my head and shoulders as I tried to get my hands onto the ground to get myself up. The dogs thought it the perfect opportunity to run after me and there was nothing to be seen of them except black noses being held in the air as they bounced through the snow. Once I regained my composure and the laughs stopped I rolled my way into less snow so that I could get some footing and pull myself back up. So much for waterproof boots hey :) We got back to the car, our legs almost completely soaked, pups into the back to curl up for the ride home. By this time the blizzard had cleared and it was a smooth ride home. Total bliss.

I missed out our morning in my haste to tell you of our River Expedition! Belinda loved waking up to the snow and we were out before breakfast to shovel the driveway and find the car which was hidden beneath 15 cms of snow. Chez Francois provided us with our sustenance for the day with our "North America Combo" complete with eggs, french toast, sausage, bacon, hash browns, pancakes, fruit and washed down with a cup of English Breakfast tea :) We talked of travel over breakfast and I think that Bel now has some idea of my love of this place, as she starts a little love affair of her own.

I guess my biggest news should be the result of my job interview and just when I thought life couldnt get better I scored a dream job! I start in late May guiding horse trail rides:

http://www.canadianrockies.net/crosszeeranch/

I dont even know how to describe how excited I am about the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, share with them a small piece of paradise which I can call home for now, ride horses all day long, share information on flora and come across all sorts of fauna that is so specific to here and get a wage at the end of the day! Gratitude only begins to explain it. The job will end just before the snow season gets started again and I get some more practice for Delerium Dive and my jumps become higher, my turns more sharp and my smile much wider :)

The weekend finished with a walk up Cougar Creek and up onto the 'right bench' which I am scoping out for future mountain bike tracks once the snow has melted. 2 hours later we return home, probably 100 photos later, completely fulfilled from the weekend, take our seats in the hottub and relax with the candles sending a orange glow through the steam as it rises to the backdrop of snow.

Love, hugs and kisses back home.
Anyone up for a horse ride is more than welcome to join me in the summer :) MWAH X