Sunday, August 03, 2008

Past and Present

Doorway to the Past

(expand the above photo and look closely through the arch for people standing on the distant cliffs for a idea as to the height of these cliffs. I had been searching for rattlers along their south exposure with many underground openings located along the base of these cliffs. The rattlesnakes emerge on 30 Celsius days and sun themselves, camouflaged by the sagebrush that grows in profusion in DPP)

I last visited Dinosaur Provincial Park at the end of June and vowed to return before too long. This week-end found me camped at Lake Newell south of Brooks and Saturday afternoon found me making the drive up to DPP where I planned on hiking in to the badlands in search of Rattlesnakes. The temperature on my truck thermometer was indicating 22 Celsius and I was concerned as these temperatures would keep the snakes in their dens unless the temperature got a whole lot warmer.
I pulled into the visitors centre parking lot where I could not help but notice the parking lot was reasonably full. The licence plates ranged from across Canada and the US, proving that the DPP is a becoming a popular destination. Quickly changing from sandals to hiking boots and grabbing my camera gear, I was underway.
Knowing where I had observed rattlers before, I quickly made my way past the visitors centre and before long, I left the crowds behind and found myself in the solitude I desired. The temperature was great for hiking but just was not cutting it for rattlers, however I was not to concerned as photo-ops were around every corner and the afternoon was quickly passing. The time was of some concern as I was getting deeper into the badlands and I would need time to hike out before making the drive back to Lake Newell for a barbecue I was expected at.

After checking out all the locations that I knew of that I had found rattlers at over the years, I realized it was not going to happen on this day. Oh-well, I had passed a pleasant afternoon on my walk-about and with many fine captures made of wildlife and the great landscape, how could I be anything but pleased. I finally was running late after spending way to much time crawling and climbing up draws for one more photo that I could not leave without and then having trouble getting back down to the valley floor for the hike back to my truck. I finally had to force myself to turn around and head back down my meandering route that I had arrived by. This took time as I was sandwiched in between high cliffs on one side and the Little Sandhill creek on the other side, giving me no choice but to go out the way I had hiked in as my camera gear would not allow me to climb out of the valley by a more direct route. I finally arrived at my truck hot and thirsty having run out of water on the last kilometer out of the badlands. My thirst was quickly fixed with water on ice from a cooler in the back of my truck. Now if I hurried I possibly could be back in time for the barbecue. Later

Daughter of the Sun Gods chanting rituals to the Sun

Remember all photos expand

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