Saturday, February 07, 2009

Dales and Valleys

What breaks over yonder hill

As I drove along, I made a mental note to myself that the days are getting longer as the calender marches forward towards spring. With the sun just peeking over the horizon, I turned off of Highway 66 just south of the hamlet of Bragg Creek, on to the 762 that meanders through rolling foothills with picturesque ranches lying before the Rockies off in the distance. I actually planned on being in High River for coffee with the guys from F.A.R.S. (Foothills Amateur Radio Society) at the Heritage Inn, however, even the best laid plans can go array. This became evident as I drove the 762 south through a layer of fresh snow that had fallen overnight, creating photo-ops that abounded in all directions. I was talking to Tim-VE6BZ who was on his way to Lethbridge, on my VHF radio, operating through the F.A.R.S. Millarville repeater, when a cow moose came up on to the roadway a ways down the road. She stopped and looked at me for a moment, then turned and moved back into the bush, where she stopped and looked back at me from a safe distance. I fired off a quick-pic of her, before she moved deeper into the trees, where she disappeared before I could get any good photos. By now the sun was playing peek-a-boo through the trees that lie along the valleys that the 762 runs through, creating stunning images with the thick hoar-frost that covered fence-lines, trees, shrubs, and building roofs amongst other things. With all the stops I was making, I was not going to make it to High River in time for coffee, but hey, coffee with my ham buddies could wait for another day as I pulled over for another photo to be shot of a scene that lie shimmering in the early morning sunshine. At one of my numerous stops, I removed my hf antenna that is mounted with a quick-disconnect on the back of my truck and placed the antenna in its carrying place. I did this because of the attention that my truck gets when this antenna is mounted in place. Everyone that passes me on the road, almost hits the ditch while rubber-necking in my direction. So if I am not talking on my hf radio, I remove the antenna. At one stop, I had a pleasant conversation with a man out for a walk with his dogs. I am not sure who was enjoying the walk more, however on this morning, I suspect they both were. Moving on, I realized that coffee in High River with the guys was not going to happen, so I decided to explore a few side roads that I had not been down before. I zoomed my GPS into its wide view mode and based on what looked interesting on the display, I turned down a side-road that took me west further into the rolling hills with the Rockies looming off in the distance. My GPS indicated that the road that I was on was a dead end, however I was curious as to what lie along this picturesque valley that the road meandered along in. I was more than pleased that I did, as I exposed more pixels through the lens of my cameras of the vistas that I found around ever corner. Upon reaching the end of the road, I turned around and headed for Millarville where I picked up Highway 22 and headed my truck towards Calgary. Hmm...maybe a stop at The Camera Store was on the agenda to see what new toys had come in since my last visit. Catch ya later.

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