Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Morning That Was

Southbound on the Deerfoot, I kept glancing out my drivers side window at the early morning dawn breaking on the horizon. The sun would not rise for another 20 minutes, however the breaking dawn was stunning to say the least. This dazzling display, due to the low lying clouds just above the eastern-horizon in the early morning skies, made promises of a great day ahead. As I drove south-ward, I kept a close watch out for the exit to highway 22, as I was headed out to Priddis, located in the foothills, along the eastern slopes of the Rockies. With fall now officially here and signs of Indian-Summer about, I was planning on shooting landscape photos with color in them. Now having said that, I know that those of you that have been to eastern Canada or the New England states in the fall will laugh at me. But, hey! - You do what you can with the cards that you are holding, and besides the eastern slopes of the Rockies can hold their own when it comes to stunning scenery.

I was lost in these thoughts when sound from the speaker of my vhf radio brought me back. "Victor Alpha Six - Tango Sierra Sierra (VA6TSS) - monitoring" were the words that exited the speaker, and had me reaching for my microphone. "Hey Tammy - its Jerry-VE6AB, what are you doing up so early in the morning." "Hi Jerry, I am on my way to Okotoks to attend the emergency preparedness course that FARS is holding at the north firehall." We continued the conversation for a time, and then we were joined by Tammy's sister Melanie-VA6MKS who was driving up from Spring Coulee, located southwest of Lethbridge. After passing pleasantries back and forth for a few more moments, I then signed off as a text message had come in, and was waiting for my response on the digital side of my radio.

The message proved to be from my friend Bill-K7MT who resides in Helena Montana. I texted him back and he soon acknowledged with another text as to his whereabouts on such a early morning. Bill is a interesting guy who has been involved in the field of communications all his life, beginning at the age of 18 years old while serving in Vietnam where he flew in high level reconnaissance aircraft. He now spends his summers as a communications expert on a fire-fighting operation, placing portable repeaters on mountain ridges with the help of a helicopter, so that the ground-crews can communicate with the water-bombers flying overhead. For the last several winters (ours) Bill has been stationed at McMurdo Station in the Antarctica, where he also works in communications.

Once I reached the Priddis corner, I made the turn off of highway 22, and proceeded south on Priddis Valley Road. This may be one of the most beautiful hidden locations that I have visited over the years, and I am drawn back throughout the year. I say hidden, because I rarely see any traffic on the various backroads that I travel throughout the area, other than the locals who give me the eye as they pass by. I am sure they are curious as to what I am doing back that far off of the main road.

I may have mentioned before that the CBC Television series "HeartLand" a sprawling family saga, is filmed in this area of southern Alberta. Great series - worth checking out for the stunning scenery alone. I always keep an eye out for any of the film locations, and have found a number of them, although unfortunately with no filming underway. Oh-well, I'll keep a watch out for action on the set! Speaking of action, I had parked my truck more or less on what passed for a shoulder (the ditch), while I shot landscape photos nearby. Hearing voices coming from down the road, I looked up and although puzzled for a moment, I soon realized that three people were attempting to coral a wayward donkey. The donkey had escaped from his pasture, and was enjoying his new found freedom, but was not planning on returning to his former life anytime soon. The donkey was now headed back down the road towards my location, where I had returned to my truck. With a little of my help, the four of us soon had the donkey back in his pasture. After visiting on the road for a bit and the offer of a cup of coffee politely refused, I drove off down the road as the light was changing rapidly and there was one more photo that I wished to shoot before I headed for home. Now, where did I put my camera!

No comments yet