Category Archives: Life

Skoki Trip

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Upper Skoki Lake with Pika Peak

Have you ever woken up then realized you’ve reached an important milestone in any of your relationships? I did – two weeks ago was my 5th anniversary with Mr. Bean. How did that happen? I guess time flies when you’re having fun!

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Mr. Bean and I Hiking In

To celebrate, we went out to Skoki Lodge in Banff National Park in behind Lake Louise Ski Area. My mom and I backpacked in the area last year – we visited the lodge for tea to dry off after a huge thunderstorm. The funny thing is that it started raining (albeit much lighter than last year) in about the same spot. Fortunately, we didn’t have to hide under a tarp and we got to the lodge before it really started raining.

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Ptarmigan Lake (Click to View Larger Pano Shots)

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Mr. Bean and Ptarmigan Lake

It’s incredibly beautiful up there – wonderful meadows, great views of mountains and turquoise lakes.

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View toward Skoki Lakes

On the second day, we hiked up toward Merlin Ridge. Poor Mr. Bean was sick, so he went back to the Lodge before the lake, but I kept hiking up with a group of ladies who were also staying at the Lodge up to Merlin Ridge.

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Mr. Bean and I with Merlin Ridge and Mt. Richardson in the Background

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Merlin Castle on the Way up to Merlin Ridge

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Merlin Lake – Mt. Richardson is in the background – I totally climbed it last year!

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Looking down the Merlin Valley toward where Skoki Lodge is.

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Hiking toward Merlin Ridge with the Ladies we met at the Lodge

It was really great to get some perspective on the Mountain that I climbed last year – Mt. Richardson. 10,000+ ft is really quite high!

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View from Merlin Ridge toward Merlin Lake – Mt. Richardson on the right.

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At the Top of Merlin Ridge

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Me and Mt. Richardson from Merlin Ridge

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The Ladies I Hiked Up With

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Mt. Richardson with a Cairn

Overall, it was a great trip – excellent food, good company and beautiful hikes despite the periodic rain.

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Mr. Bean and I in front of Skoki Lodge

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A “Fork in the Trail”

On the way out, we hiked past the Skoki Lakes we saw on the way in on the way to Packer’s Pass. It included a bit of scrambling through this cliff band, which was kind of scary but fun! I’m really glad that it wasn’t raining during it and that we were going up not down.

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Mr. Bean looking over the cliff we climbed.

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Our Scramble up the cliff to the Skoki Lakes

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Lower Skoki Lake

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Upper Skoki Lake

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Mr. Bean Scaling Packers Pass

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View Toward Ptarmigan Lake from Packer’s Pass

Have you taken any interesting trips lately?

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Flood Time!

The last two and a half weeks have been whirlwind of craziness – it appears that we had our 100 year flood in Southern Alberta. Fortunately, Mr. Bean and I are safe and our house is fine, but that’s not the case for many, many people in Calgary, High River, Canmore, Exshaw, and many other places, including my parent’s cabin.

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Flood by the Cabin – June 20, 2013

I don’t know if you remember, but a few years ago I posted a photo of from where the flood waters had been in the cabin a few years ago. Here’s the photo showing how high the water had gotten:

Cabin-2If we thought that was bad, it was nothing compared to what happened. Nothing. 2 feet of clean water in the basement? Nothing. Picture the dyke breaking, causing a 3 – 4 foot river to go right past the cabin, with 8 feet of muddy water to fill the basement.

Want to see what it looked like?

We’re one of the lucky ones as the cabin is still standing, unlike two of the neighbour’s houses – one got washed away entirely and the river eroded away at the house’s foundation until it finally collapsed.

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Toward the Cabin

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Toward the houses that were washed away.

We’re also incredibly lucky as the waters didn’t hit the main floor. By the grace of God, the ghost river upstream self diverted, meaning that most of the flow did not go by the cabin, so we weren’t part of the list of people whose places were washed away.

Here’s the aftermath damage photos:

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We have also been lucky that we’ve had the help of many volunteers, the MD and the forestry guys – without them, everything would be covered in feet of mud, tons of trees and look like multiple bombs went off.

And here’s after two steady weeks of work:

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As I mentioned, we weren’t the only people affected. Calgary wasn’t undamaged – I’m still not able to go back to my office building as it flooded and power has yet to be restored. Hundreds of people are still unable to get back into their homes. Here’s a view of the Bow River in Calgary.

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View towards Bowness in Calgary June 21, 2013

The worst may be over, but there is still lots of work to be done. We are lucky that we are safe and not missing a primary place of residence – please pray for all the people in Southern Alberta who have been affected by this flood!

I hope you all are staying safe!

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Earth Hour 2013

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What did you do? We did the cool thing and played crib by candlelight.

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Cross Country Skiing

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View of Kananaskis Lakes from Blueberry Hill

Ever gotten back into something that you used to do a lot?

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Upper Kananaskis Lake – Looking toward the Point and Forks Campgrounds

Cross Country Skiing is that for me. As a kid, we used to go fairly frequently and then I went sporadically as a teenager and adult. However, in the last month, I have gone three times. Mr. Bean and I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade our gear so we’re no longer using secondhand stuff from the 80s. It definitely helps!

Cross Country Skiing-4It can be so peaceful skiing through the snow covered trees and seeing things like this creek… Plus, now that I’m used to my new skis, I can snowplow with greater control and don’t do the “ahhh!! I’m going to fall – goodbye balance!!” dance while going down hills. Am I the only person who does that?

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I am so grateful that I live so close to the mountains and have the opportunity to go out and enjoy them – does it make me weird if I want this warm weather to go away so it’ll snow so I can go skiing?

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No twigs or pine needles in my eyes – my safety glasses did their best to replace my broken sunglasses.

Last weekend my mom and I headed out the Peter Lougheed Park and skied up to Blueberry Hill. It was a beautiful and warm day and lucky us got spoiled on the way back – what an amazing sunset to end a fantastic day!

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I tried to adjust the colours so they looked similar to what I actually saw – still is nothing close to the real thing!

Have you gotten back into something after not really doing it for a while?

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2012 in Review

Baby-Shower

Decorations for the Baby Shower I Threw for a Friend – Inspired by InkObsessionDesigns

It’s already almost the end of January and 2013 has already started to pick up, so 2012 almost seems like a faint memory despite it being less than a month ago. Such is life, I guess.

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Newborn Shoot for a Friend

2012 was definitely a year full of firsts, challenges and triumphs. I also apparently took way more photos than I thought – as can be seen with the accompanying collages (look at alt-text for descriptions!) I also finished my Photography Certificate of Achievement through SAIT – go figure that procrastinating me has yet to submit my form to get the actual certificate.

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Annual Field Trip

In 2012, I got my first “Real” job, watched one of my siblings get married,  Shot a wedding as the Primary Photographer, climbed a 10,000ft Mountain and sent out a Christmas card and letter. You know, small things like that.

Right to left - Living Room, Bedroom Dresser, Dining Area, Upstairs game area; View from Deck

House my Family let for my Brother’s Wedding

First of all, I learned a LOT at work. Not just technical stuff, but things about myself like how I am more capable than I think I am and that I can survive through embarrassing situations where I wish the floor would swallow me up as have fun to boot!

Okay, I’ll fill you in – at the end of August, I went up to Fort St. John on a field trip and I was so out of it on the first day that I dropped my glass of water on the floor (and all over myself) while at the client’s office. Go me! Despite being super spastic, I ended up having fun, but it could also because I have a tendency to get incredibly hyper when I’m really, really tired. I’ll keep believing the former as it makes me feel better about myself.

Lottie, Dad being silly, Fun with the Camera and Campfire

Summer Fun at the Cabin

Mr. Bean and I also spent a fair amount of time at the cabin having fires. I ate waaaaaay too many s’mores, but I justify it by saying that I’m making up for almost 12+ years of not eating them. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Sunsets on Vancouver Island, Seal at Leisure & Mr. Bean with his fresh shrimp.

Vancouver Island

I also learned that I need to be better at taking care of myself. There was a period in June and July (before I went on a glorious vacation) that all I did was work, ride my bike to and from work, eat and sleep. I had no desire (or time) to do anything with other people. Not exactly the best example of enjoying life to its fullest. Or at all.

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Friend’s Engagement Photos

While shooting my first official wedding, I gained even more respect for wedding photographers – everything happens SO quickly and you can really only hope that you’re able to capture everything and that it looks good. I was so happy that Mr. Bean helped me!

Shot with the help of Mr. Bean!

Friend’s Wedding Photos

I did manage to do a bit of hiking in 2012 – first I went with my parents to Mt. Lipsett in Kananaskis, Piper Pass in Kananaskis with my family while my sister was visiting, the Plain of the Six Glaciers in Lake Louise with my mom (where we saw a huge chunk of ice fall off a glacier – very cool) and to Pocaterra Cirque with Mr. Bean during the height of the larch trees. I LOVE larch trees.

Top - Larch Tree Reflections, Mr. Bean and I, My Mum on the Elbow Trail, View from Mount Lipsett, Chateau Lake Louise, My parents on Mount Lipsett & Larch Trees in the Pocaterra Cirque

Hiking in 2012 – Mt. Lipsett, Piper’s Pass/Elbow Trail, Lake Louise – Plain of the Six Glaciers, Pocaterra Cirque

My mom and I also went on a backpacking trip into the Skoki area in behind Lake Louise ski hill in Banff National Park. There, we climbed Mt. Richardson – take that, fear of heights! – my first 10,000 ft peak. We had a few issues with weather (hiking in the pouring rain isn’t the most fun), with our camp stove, forgetting sunscreen only to realize that there was some in the care after we went back to the Lake Louise townsite to get more and thinking that sunscreen was lotion, but we still had fun. We also ate delicious dehydrated meals, similar to our previous meals. The area was so beautiful that I convinced Mr. Bean that it would be a good idea to head to Skoki Lodge for our 5th wedding anniversary this year (in the same cabin that Will & Kate stayed in when they visited in 2011!)

Neat Ice, Mt. Richardson (totally climbed that!), Scarily Tame Marmot, View from the top of Mt. Richardson, View from Mt. Richardson to Lake Louise, Alpine Creek, My Mom atop Mt. Richardson, Hiking In

Annual Backpacking Trip with my Mom

The year ended well and poorly – we celebrated a wonderful Christmas with both sides of our family and I baked a lot. Unfortunately, shortly after Christmas, I got the flu which eventually morphed into viral Bronchitis. I guess it was okay – it’s only because I was sick that I made all these storyboards!

Mysterious Clouds over moon, Ocean Dusk, View from Parking Lot, Star Trails, City Lights from Cabin

Night Photography

What are the best moments of 2012 for you?

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