Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Wishes
From Harley and his friends!

(Harley video at bottom of this posting!)

Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the mountain passes, nothing was stirring, - except for perhaps a few avalanches.

Some came down on their own, and some needed a little help. Some of the avalanche paths have the Trans Canada Highway in their sights, so they get some special treatment.

Finally a clear, sunny day, and the helicopters were buzzing. Some flitted from mountaintop to mountaintop, trying to get the mostly 'out of order' mountaintop radio repeaters working again, after their solar panels had been covered with frost and snow for weeks.

On the avalanche front, after we closed the highway and railroad as a precaution, another helicopter added a touch of explosives in key avalanche start zones. Creating smaller avalanches under tightly controlled conditions is much safer than risking a much larger, unplanned slide that could block the highway or knock a train off the tracks.

The first photo is of the closed highway looking towards some of the avalanche paths. If you squint, you might just see a couple of puffs of white up on the slope. Those are the explosives going off.

The next photo is showing a closer view, and if you squint once again, you might just be able to make out the helicopter, which is the speck to the left of the snow puffs.

As planned, nothing actually reached the road, but at least now the holiday travellers would have one less obstacle to reaching their destinations.

I, on the other hand, had some days off, so I headed out to my 'other' place and was welcomed to the neighborhood by some Christmas decorations on our gate.
If you are still squinting, you might just see my house in the distance?

(Don't forget, you can click on any photo to see a larger version. Less squinting, eh!)

Notwithstanding the "Harley video" at the bottom of this post, Harley was content to stay indoors and relax most of the time.

I, on the other hand got out to explore a bit, and hiked around checking out some of the nearby bush areas. Lots of deer around, but they were all just a bit too camera shy to stick around for the photos.

And I also drove around a while and came across the remains of some one's hunting or holiday camp. Some of you may not recognize the truck without the camper on it?

Rest assured, the camper will be going on again early in the new year, and we will be hitting the road south again as soon as possible. Yahoo!

Okay, here's what you've all been waiting for! If you have dial-up, that 'waiting' my be more than just a figure of speech.
Here's the famous (some might say lazy?) cat playing with his Christmas mouse, and then, thanks to generous readers Terry & Marie, Mary & Merle, he is checking out the latest shipment of ...


Monday, December 17, 2007

(Harley video at bottom of this posting!)

Wow! Has it been over a week since the last update?
How time flies when the days are short, and the plans are starting to formulate for the next expedition. With luck, we should be on the road south by the start of February! Can't wait!

In the meantime, there has been lots going on at work. Well, at least lots of drivers that can't seem to grasp the concept of 'keeping it between the ditches' and 'keeping the shiny side up'!

Starting off the photo lineup is a shot of 'Morants Curve', taken through the windsheild. It is a famous spot for photographing trains just east of Lake Louise on the 1A highway.

Next a shot of the front of my truck, while I was starting it up after the recent snowfalls.

Then, scenic shot looking down the tracks near Lake Louise, while watching out for the train coming!

Today was a great day for wolf sightings! I spotted this pack of at least 7 wolves in Yoho National Park, and got to take quite a few pictures, but was disappointed with the quality - even at 10.1 megapixels. I think there are six wolves in this photo.
I turned down a closed access road for a better look, and found this one black wolf, very close up, and very unconcerned about my intrusion into his day. This 'may' have been one of the original group of 7, or it might be an eighth wolf!
The next three pics are of a truck that somehow failed to stay on the straight road, even though it was three lanes wide at that spot. Hmmm? Fortunately, no one was hurt in any of the three wrecks.

This guy decided that driving on the road was not challenging enough, so he decided on a route between the highway - and the river! He did a good job of keeping it upright under these admittedly challenging conditions. He kept the shiny side up, but failed miserably in keeping it between the ditches.

And just this afternoon, this guy followed the rule about keeping it between the ditches, but must not have been listening when I mentioned keeping the shiny side UP!.

And for the Harley fans - another video of, well, Harley getting his hair done.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Spent a little time poking around the west boundary of Yoho National Park the other day.

Spotted a coyote on the railroad tracks coming out of the park.

Lots of logging trucks hauling out of the Beaverfoot valley, just west of Yoho and north of Kootenay park.

Park boundary signs along the Kickinghorse river.

Kickinghorse river, with Mount Hunter in the background.

If you look carefully at the last photo ( and click on it to make it larger), you should be abe to see the park boundary slash going straight up the mountainside left of centre.