In Opposition More Daring

When adversity strikes I know no better way to work on hitting the reset button than going directly into nature, as far into the back country of these mountains that I live in as humanely possible.  It just so happens that I already had an overnight trip planned as adversity reared it’s ugly head.  My adversity is nothing new and is nothing in particular serious, but it is adversity nonetheless so spending some time with a friend walking into the mountains with what only is absolutely necessary is a great cure to any troubles, big or small.  Nature shows a different approach to adversity that we humans tend to overlook.  It isn’t always kind, but it works through a process that has been in place for millions of years, well before we walked this earth.  So I went to the mountains with a good friend, chatted about life, challenges thereof, and more importantly of the absolute beauty that surrounded us.  Once I saw the beauty it was as if nothing else really mattered.  Nature knows.  It knows how to show one what truly matters, what exists beyond the mundane, beyond the immature and selfish thoughts that we humans have created as a sensation and as of control.  I am not an overly spiritual person, but when I look for answers I can find them in the rocks and dirt that I walk and bicycle over in these mountains that I call home.  My actual dwelling is not always a home, but the mountains always welcome, weary or strong, they welcome like no other.  My adversity is not with my family or my close friends.  I have so much love within my family, my wife holds so much strength that it borders on the impossibility to even understand, just as these mountains are hard to fathom as I look at scree slopes and large boulders that fell hundreds of years ago and now sit peacefully in a golden larch filled alpine meadow.  My adversity lies within understanding others that I don’t truly know, understanding how society works against some and so beautifully for others.  My adversity stems from money, how easily it comes to some and how they take it so much for granted and on the opposite end how unfortunate others can be in holding on to a measly sum in order to make end’s meat.  Sometimes I feel like I have nothing left to give.  But then I wake up and I see my beautiful wife before me and the mountains staring me down directly outside and I realize that I have many things left to give regardless of the selfishness that society can create.  I sit here at midnight listening to the train whistle as the coyotes howl back.  It’s nature saying I can do better than you, just listen, just watch, and it can give insight and peace that perhaps was not there before.  After spending a night in the pure darkness that only the back country can provide I now know that nature sees and endures much more adversity than we humans can even comprehend, but the difference that I see with nature is that it takes it in stride, it adapts and moves forward.  The most important observation I have seen is that nature indeed moves forward and it moves forward without ego, as ego is human invention that nature knows nothing of.  So I choose to walk off adversity, to pedal off diversity, to know that I am truly and profoundly blessed to have the family I have, the friends that I hold so dear to me, my pups that know only unconditional love, the beautiful home that stands over me, and my wife that is a saint amongst saints.  Ego can go and sit in a dormant place, a place that nature holds for the harshest of winter days and will hopefully mellow through harshness and create a new and humble beginning, whereupon society looks at every aspect of the human experience living more in tune with what nature has to say.

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Lake O’Hara

Lake O’Hara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and they limit the amount of people that can go into this fragile alpine area daily.  Kirstie and I book a day there every September and every year it is completely different.  Last year we had a day that was without a cloud in the sky, 22 degrees and the Larch trees had already turned golden yellow.  Today was very different and just as stunning and surreal as ever as a recent snowstorm had just hit the area.  It is not far from Banff but feels quite different as it is on the western side of the Divide.  This place has been named by National Geographic as the second most beautiful place on earth only behind the Fjords of Norway.  I haven’t been to Norway and really want to go but to be honest if I could spend one day every September in this place, then I really don’t need anything else.  It truly is a special place and we have really only touched the surface of what there is to see on the abundance of hikes in the area.  Lake O’Hara is a hiker’s paradise and holds a great amount of diversity.  See more photos that Kirstie took here.

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Like A Kid In A Candy Shop

Today we received an abundance of snow, our first snowfall of the year.  It was 22 degrees yesterday and both Kirstie and I received sunburns.  Today was a very different story.  Snow has come very early and today was one of those days that I will not easily forget.  There was lightening, thunder, and snow!  Lots of snow!  So I naturally took to the fat bike immediately and hit the Spray Loop where I came across a moose within the first couple of kilometers.  Thunder, moose, snow, how can a day get any better?  Kirstie took some photos of me as I arrived back in town near our home.  See the full post here.  Snowtember is continuing into the middle of the week as it looks so far.

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Mount Rundle

Cooler and wetter weather has once again returned to our mountain town making it feel as if fall is not far off now.  Fortunately for me, Fall is my favourite season especially for hiking and biking!  See more photos of foggy Banff here.

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Heading Home

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WildFlowers

It’s been a very warm July for the Canadian Rockies and the wildflowers are out in full force now.  I have been photographing them as they arrive and have been putting together a photo list here.  There are so many more and such little time.  Off to the Alpine I go.

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The Monarch Ramparts

I made my first summer hike up into the Alpine of Banff National Park today.  It has taken awhile for the snow to come off to get to some of my favourite areas and without a doubt the Monarch Ramparts are my absolute favourite spot to get out into the true wilds of Banff National Park.  See more of my photos from the day here.

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