Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Silent Screams

This day found me hiking the Upper Kananaskis Lake shoreline under ominous clouds with a biting wind blowing out of the west. Winter had not yet let go of her grip on the landscape with snow flurries dancing crazily before the wind. Being the spring of the year, the very low water levels of Upper Kananaskis Lake allowed me to hike across the northwest corner of the lake bottom. I was shocked and saddened to see the remains of what was once a living forest, but now their bleached stump like skeletons reminded me of a scene out of the 'Night of the Living Dead'. Once the initial shock wore off, and I had regained my composure, I shot this one and only photograph, as a sense of foreboding hung over me, not unlike standing in the section of a cemetery where the unwanted are buried. As I hiked out of the lake bottom, I thought that I could hear the sound of silent screams echoing across the desolate landscape. Since that day, there are times as I look across Upper Kananaskis Lake, that I hear the faint sound of screams surfacing from beneath the pristine waters where once stood a living forest.

At one time these tree stumps were a living forest that lined the shoreline of the Upper Kananaskis lake. The lake was raised when in 1942 a dam was built between the Upper and Lower Lakes. The tree stumps in the photo, are on the lake bottom later in the season when runoff from the mountains fills the lake. It is worth knowing that had the lakes been left alone, tourists would be standing in line to take photos of the beautiful Twin Falls on the Kananaskis River, connecting the upper and lower lakes. Also the beauty of the upper lake, is but a fraction compared to the lake when Schooner, Hogue, Cressy, and Peegasus Islands existed. Schooner Island if it existed today would be right up there with Spirit Island on Maligne Lake In Jasper National Park as calender material. If you are in Banff sometime, do yourself a favour and take in The Whyte Museum. You will enjoy the early history of Western Canada hanging on the walls in the form of images including the Kananaskis Lakes as they were.

Kananaskis Country - the best kept secret in the Canadian Rockies.

There is no finer place in Alberta than Kananaskis Country and I find myself exploring the various areas of K Country every chance I can. The fly fishing in its pristine streams and high mountain back-country lakes is superb. For those of you not in the inner circle, Kananskis Country is the secret playground of the locals, and is located in Southern Alberta. Kananskis Country borders on to Banff National Park, where we allow our visitors to hang out. In 1858 John Palliser a British explorer and his men, crossed through the Kananaskis Pass just a few kilometers to the south in the above photo, while exploring the area in search of a pass through the mountains to the pacific.

Marl Lake - Kananskis Country

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