June 20th 2016 – My New Canon 1DX

Today I picked up my new to me Canon 1DX to replace my aging Canon 5D Mark II. It’s a very low shutter count camera I purchased used with less than 20k shutter cycles. I messed around with it for a bit in Glenmore Park and the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. I’m very impressed with this camera. It has some of the best colour accuracy, auto focusing, and image metering I’ve ever seen. I’m still getting the hang of it as all the button locations have changed, and the menu’s are more complicated, but I managed to get some decent bird photos.

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June 4th 2016 – Bourgeau Hike

Today I went for a hike to Bourgeau Lake with a colleague of mine from work. The trail wasn’t very busy, but it was a little muddy towards the top. The trail is switchback after switchback, getting more difficult the closer you get to the lake. The last 300 metres of the 725 metre elevation gain occurs in the last 1.75 km of the trail.

When we got to the lake we relaxed and had our lunch, and were watching Pika’s try to steal food from my backpack, and the backpacks from other hikers. After lunch we climbed up a bit further to see a slightly better view of the lake. I was absolutely blown away by the sheer beauty of the glacial fed lake. The colours were so vibrant!

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May 23rd 2016 – Glenmore Ranch Provincial Park

Today I went for a nice 5km walk through Glenmore Ranch Provincial Park with my friend Sara. I can’t believe I’ve not been here before, even though it is so close to home. She was the one who came up with the idea, and I’m glad we went. Originally this weekend we were supposed to go and hike Bourgeau, near Banff, but the weather didn’t cooperate. The weather still didn’t cooperate, but at least this was close to home. The sky was very overcast, and it was raining a fair amount, but it made for some pretty stunning photographs.

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May 17th 2016 – Ink Pots Hike

On Saturday May 14th I completed three hikes; Paint Pots, Johnston Canyon, and Ink pots. You can see my blog post about the Paint Pots here. You can see my blog post about Johnston Canyon here.

After the Upper Falls on the Johnston Canyon hike I continued up a few more kilometres up a steady climb. It was starting to warm up as it was mid day. I ended up having to take off a few layers of clothes at this point. About a kilometer before the paint pots the trail actually drops a significant amount and then you come to the Paint Pots. The Paint Pots are in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains. Words can’t describe the beauty!

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May 15th 2016 –Johnston Canyon Hike

On Saturday May 14th I completed three hikes; Paint Pots, Johnston Canyon, and Ink pots. You can see my blog post about the Paint Pots here. Today’s post is about Johnston Canyon. This hike is one of Alberta’s most famous hikes. It’s quite a beautiful hike, albeit short. The only thing that bothered me was there was way too many tourists. The hike starts off walking along a metal bridge (pathway) built into the side of a cliff. The pathway ends after about 1.1km at the Lower Falls. These falls are absolutely stunning!

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After the Lower Falls the hike continues upwards for another 1.6 km, but this time on a path, rather than the metal bridge (pathway). The Upper Falls even had some snow still! The crowd’s of people started to die down the further up I went from the Lower Falls.IMG_2723IMG_2731IMG_2759IMG_2768IMG_2777IMG_2784

I continued further along the hiking trail to the Ink Pots, but look for tomorrow’s post about the Ink Pots!

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May 14th 2016 – Paint Pots Hike

Today I went on a beautiful, but short hike in British Columbia. It is a one kilometer hike, but is one of the most unique sceneries I’ve seen in my life. The Indian’s used to travel here to obtain the “red earth”. The yellow ochre was cleaning, kneaded with water into walnut-sized balls and flattened into cakes. The cakes were then baked in a fire, then ground into a powder. The red powder was then mixed with fish oil or animal grease and used in painting bodies, teepees, clothing, and pictures on rocks.

The paint pots resulted from the accumulation of iron oxide or hydroxide around the rim of a pool. As the rim grew, the pool got deeper. The increased pressure of water in the pool became greater than the force of the water in the spring, causing the spring to seek a new outlet. When this happened, the pot eventually dried up, forming a choked cone.

Mining of iron oxide was attempted in the 1920’s, but was not considered viable due to economic and ecological reasons.

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May 7th 2016 – Cold War Bunker & Heart Creek Hike

Today I went on two hikes with my friend Carissa. The first hike was to a Cold War Bunker at Lac Des Arcs, near Canmore, Alberta. The hike was quite easy; two kilometres each way, with only about 100 metres of elevation gain. It took approximately half an hour to get to the bunker. I had fairly high expectations, but I was quite blown away when we got there. We even saw a Pack Rat living in the bunker.

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After we finished looking inside the bunker we went back to the parking lot where we parked, and started on the Heart Creek Hike, which was on the other end of the parking lot. The hike to the waterfall at the end of the Heart Creek Hike took about an hour. We saw a bunch of people rock climbing along the way. When we got to the end of the hike you could hear the waterfall, but couldn’t see it. I took off my shoes and climbed into the water with my camera and climbed about 20 feet up some rocks to see the waterfall around a corner. I’m glad I did, because it was quite beautiful. We even saw a very cute teacup Chihuahua.

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April 17th 2016 – Super Train Model Train Show

Today I went to the annual Super Train model train show with my friend Arthur. We also went last year. There was some new model train groups there this year, some missing from last year, and a lot of carryover from the previous year. I’ve been going to this show since I was young; back then with my father.

It’s amazing how far the technology has come over the years. When I was young it was a simple electric motor with a rheostat-like control to adjust the amount of power going to the train. It was difficult to have more than one train on a track at a given time. Fast forward to today and the systems are sophisticated computer controlled systems that you can run multiple trains on the same track at the same time, even at different speeds. The trains can have sounds, and lights, and you can even remote disconnect cars. It’s absolutely mind blowing what computers can do for us.

Anyways… take a look at some of the pictures I took at the train show!

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April 9th 2016 – Sunset at Hanalei Bay

I decided to head to Hanalei Bay Pier for some sunset photos this evening. I’m glad I went, because it was absolutely stunning! There was a young german man taking photo’s of his girlfriend modelling in the sand. He saw me with my camera and asked for some tips, so I helped him out, and even took a few photos of them together. I even saw an old dog playing in the water.

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April 8th 2016 –Hanakapi’ai Trail

Today I woke up at 8:30am, partially because I was tired, and partially because I had too much to drink the night before. I made myself some coffee, and had breakfast and drove towards the trailhead, which was about a half hour away.

The trailhead taunts you with what is going to be a pretty difficult hike, but well worth it in the end. The hike is brutal in some parts, but easy in others. Here’s an elevation profile so you can see what I’m talking about.

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The views are spectacular all along the way. You basically run alongside the ocean for the first 2.0 miles (3.2 km).

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After the 2.0 miles you reach a beach called Hanakapi`ai beach. The beach doesn’t have much sand at all, but it has a lot of amazing rock formations that people have placed.

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After the beach you continue inland another 2.0 miles (3.2 km) to Hanakapi’ai Falls. You cross over the river multiple times to get there, and I’ll be honest I fell in once and it wasn’t pretty. At least I got a good laugh, as well as others. I could hear the falls getting louder and louder as I approached. Even the photo from a far was quite beautiful.

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When I arrived at the falls there was a ton of people there, some even swimming in the little lake at the bottom. I quickly noticed that someone was sitting on the rocks enjoying herself, and thought it would be a neat photo to take a picture of.

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I then gazed my eyes up and down the falls and was quite overwhelmed by how beautiful they were.

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Oh yeah and there was a random kitten just hanging out by the waterfalls… Nobody knew why it was there or how it got there. Poor kitty, but it looks like many people were feeding it.

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It took 2.5 hours to hike to the falls, and 1.5 hours to hike back to the car. 22000 steps later, and I’m exhausted. I drove back to the condo, showered, and then got some beer, chicken, and mashed potatoes from the grocery store. I talked with Kirsty for a bit, downloaded my photos, went for a swim in the pool, and now I’m just going to relax for the rest of the day.

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