Saturday, 20 October 2012

2012 Trip to Edmonton, AB & Battleford, SK

We went to Edmonton Alberta to visit with my brother, September broke the record for sunshine this year! Mt. Baker on the horizon as we head north ...
The coastal mountains are heavily treed, but as we reach Merritt, the hills are dry and the valleys green with ranching.

Further north, the evidence of past forest fires.
After the coastal mountains, we are into the Rockies where trees cling to life  in  crevices.
Jasper's friendly moose.
The highway follows creeks and rivers.

High mountain meadows are turning to fall colours.
The upper heights of the Rockies still have glaciers that remain all year.
Valleys often have wet areas suited to moose.
Mount Robson had fresh snow and the wind was blowing it off the cap.

Larch and birch stand out among the evergreens.
The mountain weather can change in an instant.
Trains join on the journey.
This slab on the mountain is interesting, showing red iron content
Elk wander and this is rutting season, not a time to get in the way of an amorous bull!

You can see the massive layers of what was once the bed of an inland sea ... now heaved thousands of feet in the air.
These slabs are vertical.

Soon ... The Yellowhead Hwy leads us into the foothills.
This is a normal moose habitat, out in the foothills. Below is a young moose who has ventured into an Edmonton city mall.  He has tangled himself in some garden netting and is wearing it  on his head.

Too cute!
Local bird: notice the bill designed for digging nuts out of cones.
In Edmonton, we visited the Muttart Conservatory, near the University of Alberta. It consists of four glass pyramids, each with a different climate zone.
The desert plant display was fantasitc!

Crown of Thorns
The tropical area was breathtaking. 
(The final area was temperate and had been dried by the hot sun of Edmonton.)

a lady sleeps

The feature was Halloween.
An art display was colourful. Wax crayons were melted and allowed to run on canvas.

From there, we headed to the archives were my husband did some research on his grandfather. It is housed in the old armories, a sturdy brick heritage building that also has a military museum and a telephone museum.

This display was disturbing. It consisted of 'decommissioned' guns and was created by the artist to give a message to end violence. Some teenagers who were looking at it had a different view. They thought it was cool and were excited to see and touch the guns. I spoke to one of the volunteers and he agreed that it sent the wrong message.
Soon ... we are on the road again ... heading to North Battelford and Jackfish Lake where the Fibre Art Network held its fall retreat.

The land stretches into farm land, dotted with shallow ponds and  woodlots. Here the trees had turned to gold!

Canada Geese and Snow Geese are gathering and practicing the formations they will use to fly south.
Farmland shares its space with oil pumps and storage. Heritage grain elevators are few, some are still used - often by individual farmers. Huge new concrete storage facilities gather grain from a large area.

The original cabins were 16'x20' ... with little protection from the wind and cold.

Jackfish Lake is huge! 
A lighthouse on the hill is a lighthearted tourist attraction.

The golf course and conference center at Jackfish lake.

The last morning we walked up a hill that is a reserve for northern prairie plants.

A large conduit pipe allows you to walk under the road.

The waves are strong enough to wash piles of lake weed onto the shore.

There is a small village nearby ... a cabin invites you in!
We head back to Edmonton and home ... through the ranch land.

This lake had hundreds of geese. Perhaps protected on private land. Many were sleeping and there was a constant rotation on the windy side, moving them to the east side and then in the lee of the wind, they would rotate to the west.

There are few hills, but many deep drainage areas.

Back on hwy 16 we head to the foothills and mountains.

Clouds move in, and rain turns the mountains misty.

Mountain weather can change with each summit. The skies cleared and the sunset was breathtaking.

We stopped for the night at Kamloops and the morning skies were a little heavy!

The trees have changed to gold in the week.
Over the summit and we were hit with horizontal hail and snow!

Through the coastal mountains rain set in and clear skies greet us as we head the last few miles for home.

With all our travelling lately, we value being home!

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